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With its soaring skyscrapers, craggy coastline and world-beating landmarks – Ocean Beach, Chinatown, Alcatraz – San Francisco is so attraction-packed that even its residents don’t want to leave. Believe it or not, “The City by the Bay” is the most Googled destination by San Franciscans; who conduct more searches for hotel accommodation in the Californian metropolis than anywhere else – including popular vacation hotspots like New York City, Las Vegas and Disneyland.
It’s not just San Francisco, either. Residents in five other major U.S. cities – Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and Washington – scour the Internet for hotels in their hometown, opting for staycations rather than traditional trips, according to research from Skift. Planning a staycation of your own? Rent a vacation home and enjoy all the perks of a long-distance holiday without any of the hassles.
A staycation gives you more time to do the things you love without the bother of booking a flight or finding an airport parking space. Cities like San Francisco – voted one of the top 25 best locations to take a staycation – have a wealth of neighborhoods to explore, from the frenetic energy of high-rise-filled downtown to the chilled-out vibe of Presidio Heights, home to twisting hiking trails and rocky alcoves.
San Fran’s Mission District, where you can find more Airbnb properties than anywhere else in the city, boasts affordable accommodation (from around $100 per night) that’s cheaper than an average hotel stay ($151-$200 per night). The same goes for New York, where the average hotel room costs $245 per night compared to $164 for a rental, and Seattle ($195 versus $145).
Traveling between neighborhoods is often a challenge – in the San Francisco Bay Area, the drive from Union City to Corona Heights is a 32-mile slog via the city’s notoriously congested roads – so staying in a short term vacation rental in a different part of town lets you see the sights without having to rush back home. Taking the opportunity to relax and enjoy a different neighborhood during a staycation can be just as rejuvenating as a longer-destination trip. These trips also up the opportunity for last minute (much-needed) and more frequent getaways without breaking the bank.
Some vacation rentals fuse home comforts, like Wi-Fi, cable TV and must-have kitchen essentials, with all the amenities you would expect from a five-star hotel, such as a swimming pool and a hot tub. Large, diverse cities like San Francisco, where the geographic landscape changes from one neighborhood to the next, let you experience a wide range of scenery within driving distance of your hometown. For example, you can rent a downtown apartment with a rooftop pool that overlooks the city skyline, book a coastal cottage near China Beach, or reserve a secluded home tucked away in the Oakland hills. Drive a little further and reach destinations like Lake Tahoe, Napa, and Santa Cruz. Other California vacation hot spots – like San Diego, Big Bear Mountain, and Palm Springs – are within a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles. With such a wide variety of scenery and amenities offered by unique vacation rentals, staycations are a great way to experience new locations and bring some much-needed diversification to everyday life.
Getting away from it all for a few days should provide you with some rest and relaxation but, common vacation stressors like managing travel details, not knowing about a location and not feeling safe can also accompany a travel experience. So take advantage of your incredible city and all it has to offer – book a staycation, and don’t worry about flight delays or airport security!
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