The Art of the Staycation
When it comes time to take a vacation, you can choose to jet off to more exciting places — a luxurious stay at the beach, an adventure in the big city or a trip to a country you’ve never been to before. Although it’s easy to see the appeal of these new experiences, we’ve got a suggestion for you! How about a staycation? That’s right — a vacation you take without hopping on a plane, taking the train or enduring a long car ride.
It may seem like a silly waste of vacation days, but it’s actually a great way to get caught up, relax and get a fresh perspective on your life. Not to mention staycations are far more affordable than venturing out of town. And avoiding airport security lines and weekend traffic? That’s just an added bonus.
Intrigued? Go for it and make the most of your staycation with these fun-filled activities.
Staycationing at Home
By definition, staycationing means taking a vacation without ever leaving your home. Here are some ways you can enjoy your time off and treat yourself without ever leaving your property:
Camp out. Pop a tent in your backyard and set the scene with all the camping essentials — think s’more’s supplies, an acoustic guitar for fireside singalongs and a deck of cards. Plus, if bad weather shows up, you’ve got an easy retreat to the comfort of your home.
Watch a flick. Plan a themed movie night and select films that’ll bring you hours of entertainment. And don’t forget to stock up on your favorite theatre snacks! Rent or stream films with similar themes, actors or directors and have an all-day movie marathon. Want to make it even more fun? Do it on a weekday. You’re on vacation, after all!
Reconnect with a friend. Take this time to ring someone far away to chat. No agenda, just time to catch up and escape from the normal distractions that usually sidetrack or prevent the conversation. They’ll be glad you took the time to call.
Treat yourself. In our ever-busy lives, it can be hard to find time just for ourselves. But when you’re on your staycation, the time is all yours! Go ahead and take that bubble bath, learn a new hobby or read the book that’s been collecting dust on your shelf. It’s the perfect time to disconnect and focus on yourself.
Order in. Leave the cooking for the professionals for an evening and order in a luxury or guilty-pleasure meal. Even if your favorite restaurant won’t deliver your prime rib dinner, there are plenty of meal delivery services that can get your food to you in a snap.
Staycationing in Your Town or City
When you’re on a staycation, you don’t have to avoid your front door and stick to your couch. Enjoying the city or town you live in gives you a chance to enjoy some of its best offerings — things you probably see every day but simply haven’t taken the time to enjoy. Here’s what to do:
Explore. Try a new restaurant, picnic at a new park or visit a museum you’ve never been to. Expand your horizons and you’ll enjoy something that might’ve been in front of your face the entire time! Plus, spending money in your hometown is great for your local economy.
Book a room. Odds are your town or a city nearby has a luxury hotel, but since your house is just minutes away, you’ve probably never thought to say there. Why not spring for a fancy room with great views and room service? We all deserved to be pampered from time to time. Pair your hotel stay with a night on the town and you’ll feel like you’re in the big city!
Enjoy nature. Whether you live in an apartment with a patio or a countryside home with an expansive yard, we can all find little ways to soak up some sun and breathe in fresh air. Simply set out a lawn chair or go on a hike to local landmarks. You don’t need to head to the mountains or camp at a national park to enjoy nature’s beauty — you’d be surprised at just how refreshing it is to enjoy your surroundings.
Now that you’ve got your staycation planned, use these tips to avoid distractions, enjoy the time off and make the most of your well-deserved break from the real world:
Turn off the phone. Even if you don’t completely power it down, at least put it on silent and avoid looking at it every couple of minutes. It feels good to disconnect and get rid of the constant checking of text messages, social media and weather updates.
Don’t check your work or personal email. You’re on vacation! Whatever your coworker, Aunt Mary or neighbor Bob are sending you can wait until you’re back on the clock.
Avoid work of any kind. No doing the dishes. Don’t mow the lawn. Seriously, it can wait! Take this time to relax and enjoy your family. Leave the stressful activities where they belong — far away from your holiday.
No matter how you choose to spend your hard-earned days off, remember to skip the rigorous itinerary and allow yourself the chance to unwind and reboot. There’s something truly powerful about slowing down to appreciate your life just as it is, no bells and whistles. And the savings come with perks, too.