Vacations: We all need them. However, we can’t always afford them or make enough time for them. What to do in this situation? I mean, other than suffer in agony. How about doing a little something called the staycation? Staycations are vacations you take inside your own home and can be accomplished even if your home is also where you work (aka the last place you want to be when you think about vacations). Here are some tips to help you transform your place into the perfect vacation destination.
Make an itinerary
Just like you would when traveling abroad, have a schedule in mind. Plan when your staycation will take place and make a list of things you want to do, even if the activities are as simple as “walk around the neighborhood” or “watch an entire season of Breaking Bad.” Every town has touristy things locals refuse to do, like the Hollywood Wax Museum in Los Angeles, the Titanic exhibit in the Luxor in Las Vegas or the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. Doing touristy things will help you feel more like a vacationer.
Take advantage of the yard
If you have a backyard, take as much advantage of it as you can. (If you have a common area in your apartment complex, same idea.) Try to plan activities, or even camp out for the night. Don’t do any chores! No raking up leaves or cleaning gutters. These are not the kind of backyard activities you do on vacation. Invite friends and barbecue or lounge on the lawn and read a book. Spend quality time in your yard, on the lawn or front porch, etc., and it’ll feel like you’re far away from your responsibilities, even if they are actually just a few feet away.
This is the hardest objective to accomplis, but keep your interaction with phones, laptops, iPads and whatever else you use to access work emails minimal. Maybe in your itinerary you can plan to check email once a day while on your break. Of course, binge watching anything on Netflix is an exception to this rule. Instead, maybe take staycation time to focus on activities that are simpler and don’t require technology. I kid you not, I recently completed a puzzle and found it to be way more exhilarating than I thought it would be. Focus on activities like crosswords, puzzles, card games, reading… Even meditation if you’re able to do that.
You’re on vacation. Why cook? Treat yourself to some takeout from your favorite places. Get your meals made for you, like you would on a real vacation. Order from new places to mix things up.
Explore your city
Plan a day trip. Wake up early and explore a new place you haven’t had time to visit while working. Anything from a hiking trail to a new mall in the neighborhood will work. See your city with new eyes and find a greater appreciation for where you live. Almost any activity will lessen the ever-dreaded vacation FOMO. Hey, why not even buy yourself a postcard or souvenir to commemorate?
There you have it, some grade-A tips for planning the perfect staycation. Every staycation is different, of course, but maybe these tips will inspire you to get excited about taking time off work. Don’t let an inability to travel take the fun away. Focus on the positive: no long plane rides or stuffy airports. No need to pack, or realize you forgot your passport. No need to spend half your savings, either. And guess what: Right now, lots of people are planning to travel to where you currently are.
Staycations offer plenty of benefits. The most important is peace of mind.
Sonia Stevens is a writer-comedian who picks apart the absurdities women face daily. Email her at Sonia.Stevens@ynotcam.com.
Wait… You’ve never seen Breaking Bad? You must.