stay*ca*tion: a vacation spent at home or nearby

Planning a proper vacation can be an overwhelming, exhausting and expensive task. Whether you are seeking a solo trip or a romantic getaway for two, playing tourist in your own city has its rewards — especially when that city is New Orleans.

The weekend staycation has become so trendy that some hotels and businesses are recognizing local tourists with special discounts and perks during off-peak times.

Before you go, check for up-to-date information on festivals and concerts around the city. To truly immerse yourself in vacation mode, venture outside the norm. Find interesting cafes, restaurants or bars you don’t normally frequent. Walking into that place you have wanted to try or never heard of will also keep you from bumping into the usual crowd and keep the holiday momentum going.

Remember to spoil yourself silly while on your staycation. Book a spa service, order a great bottle of wine or have room service delivered poolside.

Packing for a staycation doesn’t require a great deal of clothing, but the right pieces are important if you want to maximize your experience.

Start with a light but roomy overnight bag, and plan your wardrobe around whatever activities you are doing. Don’t forget to bring accessories that can pull double duty all weekend long.

Nothing will kill the excitement of a weekend getaway quicker than too much luggage and too many clothing choices. Recycle a jacket and jeans as often as needed. Two pairs of shoes should be more than enough and, just in case, bring along one good piece such as a cashmere wrap or dress shirt with French cuffs.

Bring your bathing suit and a great pair of shades. Remember to have fun and relax. Your clothing options should be fun, flirty, lightweight and packable.

Most of all, relax — you’re on holiday!

Sondra Blunck is a stylist and wardrobe consultant who lives in New Orleans.