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Hey there Neighbors,                                                                                                                         

Brrrr!   We’ve had some chilly weather here in our beautiful shoreline towns in Connecticut. I must admit, I do enjoy it for a little while. I love having my fireplace going and snuggling up with my Chihuahua Trixie, sipping tea, and watching Netflix. It reminds me why I love and choose to live in New England in the first place. I do, however, get a little cabin fever as the cold weeks go on. Being the social butterfly that I am, I find myself needing a little getaway, a local staycation I like to call it. I’m not necessarily looking to go anywhere warm, but more of an overnight or two in a beautiful hotel, great restaurants, and maybe fit in a spa treatment or some shopping.

Now, if you follow my column, you know one of my resolutions is a financial detox, so I look for the best deals that will offer me the best experience. Basically, I’m looking for a place like the Mystic Marriott Hotel that has the Cerulean Spa and the Helmsman Kitchen & Bar. They have overnight packages that include spa treatments and dining. It’s minutes to downtown Mystic for some good shopping and local eateries. My new favorite place in downtown Mystic is Milestone Restaurant. The food and the service are equally amazing. I love their brunch and not to mention those French fries!!! Now, because I work at the Mystic Marriott and I run the spa, I’m personally looking for someplace else, but with all the same amenities and great service.

Why a local staycation?                                                                                                                                    

For one, you’re supporting local businesses. We live in a tourist area and these local businesses count on locals to support them during the slower and colder months. Another benefit is cost savings and less stress. No long lines, no TSA security, and no hassle of air travel. Packing the car and driving a short distance, (I consider less than 3-4 hours a short distance) is the most stress-free way to travel. Plus, you have the luxury and flexibility of having your own car and you don’t need to rent one when you get there.

Finding the best deals…                                                                                                                                    

My first suggestion is to choose a local place you’d like to visit and get on all their hotels’ email lists. Most hotel websites have an “offers” page with their current promotions, and if you’re on their list, you may receive discounts when they’re trying to fill their rooms. The same goes for the local restaurants. If you don’t receive an email with a discount or promotion, it never hurts to ask when you’re making your reservation and always be sure to ask for a room upgrade. I recently booked a few nights in Newport and the deals were plentiful.

I hope you find some time to take a few days away for a local staycation. It’s a budget- friendly alternative that is still filled with fun, relaxation, and new experiences. It’s an excellent way to appreciate what your local community has to offer while enjoying a break from your routine.

Be well, spa often, wear your sunscreen.     

Tracy XO