How to: An elevated family Banff staycation with ease

Taking a getaway is so important to refresh and revive. The New Year always brings a sense of reflection but also a renewed sense of vision for the year ahead.   For our family, 2017 was a big year: we welcomed baby #2, celebrated 15 years of marriage and bought our first home! And as we set goals in place for this year, it’s important to start from a place of feeling rejuvenated.  

For me, finding a place where I can shut off and just ‘be’ is a bit of a change. Sometimes I feel big trips are not relaxing at all. The extended travel, especially with small children, can be exhausting. Additionally, when I am travelling I am always tempted to explore the area to capture new things to photograph and share; it can be hard to shut off your passion!  As a result, many holidays have the potential to turn into work and I return home feeling more tired than refreshed.    Enter the staycation!  Seriously, the best way for me to just slow down and be in the moment with my family is to enjoy a break near home.

Being from Calgary the best staycation is to enjoy our extended backyard of Banff National Park, a quick one-hour drive from the city. For me, this is a true holiday. It removes the pressure to explore the area as I am frequently in Banff National Park working and creating content, so I can shut off without feeling like I am going to miss out. 

To get the ball rolling for our staycation, I called the Platinum Card Travel Service team at American Express to help with our booking process.  Booking through them or online through the Amex Travel Website, I’m able to access Cardmember benefits such as the FINE HOTELS & RESORTS Program.   I love being a part of the Platinum program for many reasons, and this is definitely one of the major advantages.  

My favourite benefit of this partner program is the early check in and late check out. When travelling with kids, you want to maximize every moment. Being able to check in early and get settled so we can fully enjoy the afternoon and evening is such an added bonus. And with late check out, we were able to enjoy our stay until 4pm, which allows us to enjoy the day without getting that sense of urgency at breakfast to start packing and get out of our room. The combination of the two genuinely makes it feel as though we have added an extra day to our staycation!

On top of this, when you book at one of the FINE HOTELS & RESORTS properties through Amex, you receive even more perks such as daily breakfast for two people, in room Wi-Fi so my family is always connected, room upgrades when available and even food and beverage credits at the property. Our money goes a little further and takes some of the stress away of traveling as a family.

One of the lessons in life I am learning is that you can’t put a price on the value of health and well-being.  An integral part of that is taking time to stop and be present.  For us it’s best done through the staycation.

Having access to all of the benefits that come along with booking through my American Express Platinum Card, is an incentive to make sure we are booking this needed time together and that we are making every moment of our time count, rather than having to worry about every detail. I encourage you to find those spaces that work for you and your family. And if the staycation is one of them, make sure you use your American Express Platinum Card to access those incredible benefits.

This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada.  The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

An entrepreneur, creator, father & husband from Calgary, Scott Bakken is inspiring a generation of creatives to live their best life.