When's the last time you took a vacation? There's a ton of research showing that taking time off is really important for your well-being, lowering rates of heart disease and reducing stress, depression, and anxiety. But what if you need a vacation and can't get out of the city because of things like budget concerns or conflicting schedules? The average travel budget is around $323 per person, per day! Let's save that cash and travel time and get the benefits of a vacation without ever leaving home. Here are some ways to create that “getting away” feeling within your house and hometown.
1. Set up your space for maximum relaxation
First things first, make sure your home is clean, the laundry is done, and the bed is made (extra pillows and all). You don't want to leave yourself chores on your vacation! If you have some nice candles or glamorous dinnerware you never have the occasion to use, pull them out. Fill pitchers with water and cut fruit. Buy fresh flowers. Stage your home like a luxury hotel the best you can.
Pretend you're staying at a far-flung beach or mountain resort and don't have wi-fi. Put your phone away so you can stay off social media, apps, and news alerts. Set up an “out of office” reply on your work email and don't check your emails during your staycation.
3. Give yourself the spa treatment
You deserve to be pampered on this staycation. Get in your robe, light some candles, play some soothing music, and treat yourself to the things you enjoy: a long bath with oils and a good book, a pedicure, a manicure, face or hair masks, a hair blowout, or an exfoliating body scrub. Whatever you enjoy.
4. Prepare food or drink from vacation destinations
Bring your favorite places to you through dishes and cocktails. Recreate that drink that came in a coconut that you enjoyed on the beach in Mexico, or try your hand at the beignets from Café du Monde in New Orleans. If you enjoy cooking or mixology, the sky's the limit on what you can enjoy while on your staycation.
5. Be a tourist in your own hometown
People tend to get so caught up in their day-to-day life that they don't actually spend time enjoying what their city has to offer. Check out the latest restaurants, go hiking, watch a performance, or visit a tourist attraction you've never gotten around to seeing. You can even stay the night at a hotel or Airbnb to switch it up if you've been working from home. You have the unique ability to enjoy your hometown as a tourist, but with the awareness and know-how of a local. Get a look at your city from a new perspective. An extra plus? You'll be helping to put money back into your community.
6. Get a “vacation book”
It's time for your brain to take a break. That means staying away from 500-page monster works of non-fiction or a heavy self-improvement book. This is your time to be non-productive. Pick up a book that's short, enjoyable, and easy to read – and relax!
7. Camp indoors or outdoors
If you have the backyard for it, pitch a tent, light a fire, and make some s'mores. Enjoy camping but have inclement weather? Bring camping inside. Pitch a tent or roll out some sleeping bags in your living room. Grab some snacks, play a nature soundtrack, and light your fireplace. Get a bit of the camping feel but with the benefit of a fridge and indoor plumbing!
8. Binge watch to your heart's content
Do you have a long list of shows and movies you've been meaning to watch? What about that one that “everyone” is talking about? Now's the time to get into your comfiest of clothes, curl up on the couch, and binge. Prep by getting the best blankets and pillows, your favorite snacks, and the best pizza delivery place's number.
9. Take a day trip
Go explore areas just outside your city. Heard about a little hamburger place that has the best milkshakes? How about that ghost town with mine tours and faux wild west shootouts? Is there a water park, zoo, or theme park that will make you feel like a kid again? Take a drive for the day and have an adventure!
10. Tackle a DIY or artsy project
You finally will have the chance to restain that vintage bookshelf or make that cross stitch you bought all the material for, but it's been sitting in your closet. If you're the handy or crafty type and your idea of relaxing is sprucing up your home or car, you'll have the time to focus on getting your projects done. How great would it feel at the end of the staycation to have finally completed a project or two that you've wanted to do for so long but never had the time to dedicate to it?
The key is to simply take a break from your busy life and fill your days with activities you enjoy but wouldn't normally do. Put a staycation in your schedule, even if it's just for a few days - you deserve to slow down and recharge.