Recharge and refresh: 8 incredible tips for making your staycation phenomenal

Things are slowly getting back to normal, but many people are still not comfortable with the idea of air travel or being in crowded areas due to COVID-19. Combine that with rising costs, and it’s easy to understand why so many people are replacing their typical vacation for some quality time spent right at home. 

What if you could enjoy all the fun of a bona fide getaway without paying the price? Enter the staycation. What exactly is a staycation, and what are the best staycation ideas? Read on to find out. 

What is a staycation?

A staycation (sometimes called a holistay) is essentially a vacation spent at your own home or in your local area, minus the excessive packing, high costs, and long travel times. Whatever you decide to call it, if done correctly it can be a lot of fun.

Just a few of the perks of a staycation…

  • Saves money
  • Maximizes your time off
  • Eliminates travel stress
  • Lets you try new things close to home
  • Allows you to enjoy quality time with your pets (no boarding needed)

How do you make a staycation feel like a vacation? The trick to a successful staycation is making sure you don’t just fall into your normal daily routine. You need to make an effort to treat your time off at home as a real vacation and to do many of the things you would normally do if you were away from home. For example, if your normal vacation mode includes dining out at restaurants, you should not cook dinners at home. Whether you opt to go to restaurants in person or get takeout meals from some local haunts, make each dinner a vacation-worthy event. 

Avoid major home projects (that’s not what a staycation is all about) — keep reminding yourself that you are on vacation and there will be other times to clean out the garage or catch up on laundry. Think of your staycation as a more relaxing, fun, and cost-effective vacation plan.

8 of our best staycation ideas

Staying home can be just as fun as going on vacation. These staycation ideas will help you relax and have a good time.

1. Learn something new

Sign up for in-person or virtual classes, and learn a new skill. Whether you opt to try out some beginner yoga classes at a local studio or take an online pastry decorating class, your staycation allows you the time to dedicate a few hours to exploring something you’ve always wanted to learn. Check out your town’s official website or community Facebook pages for a list of available classes you might be interested in joining. Then, dedicate a little time each day to improving your new skill set.

2. Book a night in a local hotel

There’s just something so luxurious about staying overnight in a hotel: the bed that you don’t need to make in the morning, the room service, the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, the in-house gym or indoor pool. Just because you aren’t getting on a plane or traveling for hours by car, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a night in a hotel. If you’re looking for local deals, check out sites like hotels.com, where there are always deals aplenty, especially for last-minute bookings. 

3. See your town through the eyes of a tourist

Sometimes your own town, or another town nearby, could hold fun things to do and see that you may not have experienced as a local. Check out the chamber of commerce or official town website for recommendations, and get ready to experience familiar places like a tourist.

4. Volunteer

When you do good for others, you do good for yourself. Look into volunteer opportunities in your town, and get that feel-good glow that only comes with making someone else happy. Volunteer to work a few hours at a local food bank, walk dogs or cuddle kittens at your neighborhood animal shelter, or gather toys and books that your children have outgrown and deliver them to a nearby homeless shelter. 

5. Host a potluck dinner

Want to host a dinner party with your friends, but don’t really have the budget? Have a potluck dinner party instead. Similar to how you organized your Friendsgiving dinner last November, you can assign everyone different items to bring so the cost of the gathering is shared among your group of friends. It’s not about who makes what but about spending an evening enjoying good food and laughs with the people you care about.

6. Take in a sports game or live theater show

Get in the team spirit by attending a local sporting event, or check out a production of your town’s community theater group. You may be surprised at the talent that lives right in your own neighborhood.

7. Read a book

Take a break from spreadsheets, marketing reports, and other work-related reading, and pick up that bestseller you’ve been meaning to read. Then take a trip to your local coffeehouse, and splurge on an espresso and croissant as you while away the hours getting lost in a book.

8. Schedule a day of pampering

You may not be at a fancy spa, but you can still schedule a day of pampering right where you live. Get a massage, facial, manicure and pedicure, new haircut, or whatever it is that makes you happy. Then follow up your “spa day” with a nice dinner out. 

Time off from work is never a bad thing, whether you spend it embarking on a typical vacation or enjoying the pleasures that are right in your own backyard. Make the most of every minute to recharge and refresh your mind, body, and spirit. 

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