Family Travel

Toronto “Stay-cation” can be the perfect way to cap the summer

Toronto Stay-cation | Back Story

Typically my family getaways involve a plane, train or automobile. Recently we opted for something a little different. Instead of heading off to some far-flung getaway, we packed a bag, hopped in the car and headed downtown. Our long weekend away was an eye-opening in many ways to the gems that tourists have long found in our city. In my column for The Globe and Mail, I share some of the highlights of a visit to Toronto that are perfect whether you live nearby or are visiting from afar.

How to execute a last-minute Toronto stay-cation | The Globe and Mail

Here’s the thing: It’s the end of August. Your days of staving off the kids’ wrath with promises that you’re taking a vacation “soon” are over. The jig is up. School starts (or has started) and if you’ve yet to make good on your promises of a fun-filled getaway, mutiny is imminent. There’s still a chance though. The answer my friends, lies in the infamous staycation.

I know what you’re thinking. “My kids aren’t going to be swayed by the promise of a trip – to nowhere.” Not so.

Staycations have received a bad rap but mostly because we have been doing them wrong – and the word itself has a terrible connotation. “Let’s just hang at home this weekend and do all kinds of fun things in between our regular chores,” isn’t going to cut it.

The steps to a successful staycation are few but mighty. I recently pulled one off and successfully lived to tell this tale. Want to stop the whining and re-position yourself as the parent who saved summer? Do as I did:

The lobby of Hotel X on the Lakeshore in Toronto.

Leave home: I know it seems silly: Why pay for a hotel room when you could be in your own house less than an hour away? I’ll tell you why: It’s a mental shift. We checked into the new Hotel X Toronto and immediately felt as if we were a world away. No dirty socks in the corner of the room, stunning views of the lake and the CN Tower and a Nespresso machine to do my bidding! Room for all of us to lounge but none of the to-do list temptations of home. It screamed “This is not our house. We must be on vacation!” so we were. If the budget requires a less expensive stay, check hotel sites for deals, consider off-peak days for a few of the nights, or consider a house swap or AirBnb option. Important things to consider when choosing where you stay: Proximity to fun things, room for everyone to be comfortable and a pool. You need to flee your house, you just don’t have to hop a plane to do it. hotelxtoronto.com

Cameron hams it up on the @culinaryadvco food tour in Toronto.

Ready for more?

Read the full story at The Globe and Mail here.

Get Sahara Mehdi’s take on 5 Things Your Teen Will Love About Toronto here

View Cameron Davis’s impressions of the city  here.

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