Taking time off from work to stay at home is a wonderful way to save
cash while still getting the R&R of a vacation. At least it can
be … as long as you commit to enjoying yourself and don’t just spend
the time catching up on household chores. To make the most of your time
off, it’s important to do what you can to shut off the outside world and
rid yourself of your usual routines. Choose one or more of these ideas
to help you rock your staycation.
1. Savor the outdoors.
Part of what is so delightful about being on vacation is being outdoors,
so get out there. We may not have a water view, but we can bring our
coffee outside in the morning, carry a glass of wine to the deck in the
evening or simply sit with a book in the shade and feel the breeze. To
boost ambience, set candles and a few bud vases of flowers on your
table. If you want to go a step further, hang up outdoor curtains — they
make any outdoor space feel special.
2. Host a movie night on the lawn.
Hang up a white sheet, rent or buy a simple projector that connects to
your laptop or smart phone, and invite some friends over. Bring out some
lawn chairs or spread blankets on the lawn, and hand out yummy snacks.
The beauty of being at home is that you can serve whatever you want,
whether that’s classic popcorn and candy or grownup drinks and cocktail
3. Splurge on a plush new robe. And wear it every morning! Let your fresh, fluffy robe signal the start of vacation.
4. Listen to beachy music. Cue
up some of your favorite summer tunes and make a few playlists to get
in the vacation spirit. If you’ve been wanting to get a few new albums,
your staycation is a great excuse to splurge. Music can give us a major
mood boost, so listen more often than usual.
5. Hire a massage therapist to come to you.
You don’t need to go to a fancy spa to bliss out — have the spa come to
you instead. Find a local massage therapist who makes house calls and
get ready to relax.
6. Sign up for a one-day class. If you
love trying new things on vacation, don’t feel you must miss out just
because you are at home. Check out the continuing education department
at your local university or community center, or search listings in the
free paper to locate upcoming workshops that sound appealing. Try a
cooking class, a painting or pottery workshop, or a lecture.
7. Take a guided tour, nature walk or boat ride.
Have a beautiful outdoor space or historic landmark in your area? Be a
tourist for a day and sign up for a guided tour or hire a nature guide
to lead you on a hike. Live by the water? Hop on a whale-watching or
fishing boat, or take a dinner cruise.
8. Take your yoga practice outdoors. Change up your routine by rolling out your mat in the sun. Enjoying fresh air and breezes is a wonderful way to start the day.
9. Hire a yoga instructor or personal trainer to come to the house. Splurge
on having a personal trainer or yoga instructor come to your home and
give you (or you and a small group of friends) a workout tailored for
10. Make yourself a big batch of fancy water.
Slices of cucumber, lemon or lime or sprigs of fresh mint look
beautiful in a glass pitcher and make drinking water more appealing.
Start each day of your staycation with a fresh batch of fancy water.
11. Treat the family to new shades. The bigger and more glamorous, the better.
12. Rent a cool car. Want a change of pace? Leave the boring commuter car in the garage and rent a sportier car (or even a Vespa) for the week.
13. Sweep away (read: hide) everyday junk. Who
wants to look at piles of bills and work stuff on vacation? Not you!
Pile it all in a box and hide it until your staycation is over.
14. Have the post office hold your mail. Or at least do yourself a favor and toss the mail in a box (see above) without looking at it. If you really were out of town, the world would keep revolving even without your checking your mail, right?
15. Hire a housecleaning service. Give
yourself the gift of coming home to a fresh, clean house without
lifting a finger. Consider having a housecleaner come at the start of
your staycation (so you can enjoy the week in a clean house) and at the
end (so you don’t have to face cleaning before returning to work).
16. Set the table with seaside finds. A
few cute new candles or a striped runner, along with piles of pretty
shells and rocks collected on the beach, are all you need to make your
dining table look like summer.
17. Set up a summer bar. Set
out some of your favorite drinks (alcoholic and not) on a pretty tray,
along with an ice bucket, glasses and a bowl of lemons or limes.
18. Cook and eat outdoors. It’s more fun, and it can require less cleanup. Win-win!
19. Try no-cook summer recipes. Think shrimp cocktail, ceviche, chilled soups, salads and icebox cakes.
20. Bring home fresh flowers. Scoop
up an armful of the most luscious blooms you can find at the farmer’s
market and plunk them in a vase. Repeat as often as you like.
21. Give your living room a summery makeover. Drape
a pretty beach blanket or summery coverlet over the sofa, or swap out
pillow covers. Tape postcards or summer snapshots to the wall with
colorful paper craft tape. Remove the heavy rugs and curtains, and set
out flowers and seashells.
24. Make a DIY resort at your favorite beach.
22. Squeeze fresh juice and make a homemade breakfast each morning.
Breakfast is easier to pull together than dinner, and it can be fun if
you rarely have time to sit down, let alone make a full breakfast,
during the week.
23. Or go out to breakfast every morning. Skip
the cooking and the dishes, and just head right out the door first
thing in the morning instead. Go somewhere you haven’t tried before to
spice things up.
bamboo poles (from the garden center) and white sheets or drop cloths,
and rig up your own tropical beach shelter. Bring a small shovel to dig
holes for the poles, a bucket to add wet sand, and assorted big clips
and clothespins to hold the whole thing together.25. Take pictures.
a vacation you tote your camera everywhere, right? Just because you’re
at home, don’t let that stop you. Take pictures every day — the act of
taking photographs helps us slow down and see things we would normally