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6 reasons to do a staycation this Memorial Day weekend

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

Staying close to home is the best way to get the most out of your Memorial Day weekend

While we all look forward to that glorious start of summer otherwise known as Memorial Day weekend, it's not a weekend that's particularly awesome for travel.

It's only three days long, so going very far away means you'll spend most of your time traveling. And once you arrive at your destination, you really have only a day and a half of true vacation time left before you have to start prepping for the trip home (because it will take you twice as long as it did to get there).

More: 11 reasons you should travel more this year

So why not cut out all that hassle and have a staycation instead? Just because you're not on a beach or near a lake doesn't mean you can't have prime vacation time. Also, in case you didn't know, a staycation doesn't mean you have to stay at home. Take advantage of your knowledge of your area, and have a staycation you'll all enjoy.

If that's not enough, here are six more reasons you should definitely keep it local this Memorial Day weekend.

1. You'll avoid those dreaded Memorial Day beach crowds

Remember all those people you were stuck in traffic with over the past several hours? They're all going to end up on the same beach you are. There's nothing worse than an overcrowded beach, except maybe an overcrowded nudists' beach (well, for most of us, anyhow). Why not go to a local park with a custom-curated picnic basket instead? You can still enjoy the sun and the warmth without having to listen to screaming children and three different boom boxes all blaring at once.

2. You can finally try those restaurants that are always booked

Just because everyone leaves your city on a national holiday doesn't mean the city shuts down. It does, however, mean those trendy new restaurants will be much less crowded. Instead of spending money on an out-of-town vacation, why not splurge on a few amazing-looking restaurants that are usually booked weeks in advance? You can have a food-cation, not to mention the most envied Instagram posts.

More: Why kayaking is perfect for both weekend getaways and exotic locales

3. A staycation doesn't have to mean you stay at home

There's no rule that says you can stay in hotels only when you're far from home. There are most likely plenty of lovely hotels close to where you live, and you should enjoy them. One fun way to make a vacation feel special is to book a local room for a night or two. Bring the kids along, or have them stay with Grandma — either way, you'll all have a great weekend. If you're not sure where to start, check out Embassy Suites by Hilton — they have tons of locations and very reasonable prices.

4. Traveling is expensive

There are so many components that make traveling out of town super expensive. Flights, car rentals, gas, lodging... the list goes on and on. However, if you stay local, you can cut out most of those costs and reroute that money to something more fun or something you've been longing to do for a while. Enjoy a local tourist attraction you've never gotten around to trying, treat yourself to a Memorial Day sale or two, or put that money in the bank for a rainy day.

5. You can go with the flow

When you travel, everything always feels like it has to be planned down to the minute so no time is wasted. However, if you stay close to home, you get to use your time however you want. You can spontaneously decide to go to the botanical gardens, take your kids to the zoo or just binge-watch three shows you haven't had time to check out. The world is your oyster, and you finally have time to really explore it (or not).

6. You can discover something new nearby

If you've recently moved to a new city or town, a staycation is the perfect excuse to finally get out and delve into it. You can start by just taking long walks around, checking out stores and restaurants that may have caught your eye before. Alternatively you can read up on lesser-known local spots and go seek them out. It's sometimes fun to research a park, bar or club and then go see if it lives up to the reviews people post online.

Long story short, a staycation never has to be boring. There are endless things going on in your hood, especially over a holiday weekend — all you have to do is be proactive enough to find them.

More: 21 delicious breakfasts that will remind mom of her hometown

This post was sponsored by Embassy Suites by Hilton.

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