Staycation: Getting away without going away
By Waridi Ajambo

Travelling puts a lot of things into perspective for me, it allows me to see things that I would have otherwise missed. But there is always that question of how much will it cost. Getaways can be quite expensive but there is always a way to go about it. I have a bucket list of adventures that I want to experience. I never once had it in my list to sample the list of adventures within the town I live in.

When I first read about staycations, I was a bit sceptical. Why would I spend money to stay in a place that I already live in? I, however, did not have money to travel out of Nairobi at that time but I had promised myself that I had to try something new in that season. The simple definition of a staycation is having a holiday within your home town or a stay at home vacation.

Staycations are slowly becoming a concept that helps you explore your town and discover places that you otherwise would have ignored. If you are on a budget or you are just saving up for a full-blown vacation this can be your plan to enjoy a mini getaway. A staycation can be just as relaxing, it can help you chill out in style right in the comfort of your city.

I got the idea of going on a staycation from a blog and after that, I started the search for a perfect location. I did not want to be anywhere near where I stayed, I needed the location to be pocket-friendly and to have a pool. With my checklist in hand, I went online to make a booking. 

I wanted a city staycation nothing in the outskirts of Nairobi.  I found Woodmere serviced apartments on booking.com. The apartments are conveniently located along Lenana Road.  I was sold and I made my reservation immediately before I changed my mind. I picked a standard studio apartment which was approximately Ksh 5500 per night. They have different types of apartments to cater to your needs whether it is a family or just a lone traveller.

It was a weekend staycation. I planned it two weeks in advance. I had to set some guidelines because I did not want to spend my staycation cooking or cleaning. I took a matatu from the house to town, like I said I was on a budget. I then took an uber from town to the apartments.

The checking-in process was quite straight forward, I paid on arrival. To access your room, you need a keycard for the gate and the door to your room. My room looked exactly as it did on the pictures I saw online. I settled in and headed straight to the pool.

The apartments are close to many amenities within the city like Yaya Centre but I was not going to leave the apartments to do anything. I thank heavens for the online market because I did all my shopping while I was in my room. I used uber eats to order most of my meals while I was there. If you want to cook, the kitchen is stocked with the utensils that you might need. If you do not want to clean your dishes, they have people on staff who can do that for you

From my search online I did not know they had a sauna and that was my next stop. You regulate it yourself with instructions on the door. They have a jacuzzi as well, you can organize with the management to spend some time in it. All these things are inclusive of the Ksh 5500 l paid.

I spent my weekend relaxing, reading and not thinking of any chores. I am planning another staycation but this one will involve me leaving my room.

The concept of staycations might seem a bit foreign but it is worth exploring. I had a friend tell me that it feels like a sleepover at a random persons house but I enjoyed my little staycation. To travel is to live, do not limit what can be defined as travelling to you.