A staycation is the kind of vacation that you spend at home instead of traveling all the way to different destinations. They’re great for saving money, avoiding the physical and mental hassle of traveling, and simply enjoying the relaxation of your own home.
However, making a staycation feel like an actual vacation is an art form that very few people are well-versed in. You can’t just binge watch Netflix for ten hours straight for your staycation period every day and call it a job well done. You’ll go stir crazy after a while.
A real staycation is where you do things that you might have done on an actual vacation, and those are the hardest to plan when you’re simply bound in the understated familiarity of your own homes. So below, we’ve compiled a handy guide on how you can create the best staycation experience right at home:
1. Recreate your favorite destination
If there’s a specific destination that you like (and don’t just limit yourself to nationally here), then you can create a wonderful staycation experience by bringing to your home.
If it’s London that you like, then bring on those classic fish and chips and go on a half day binge of your favorite English show. If there’s some extra cash in your bank account (especially savings that you were going to use on the trip) then simply open up your computer and order yourself some goodies and souvenirs from there. You might even dress in culturally appropriate clothing of that area and even play a traditional game.
You can also try to recreate the environment, but if that requires too much effort, then just stick to the food, the television, fashion, and the shopping.
2. Indulge in an outdoor activity
You spend most of your days outdoors when you’re exploring a vacation spot, so it’s only right that you do that at home as well. Camping is a good go-to, especially if you have a big enough backyard. If you don’t, then try to set up your tent in the balcony or terrace – beside the window can also be a good compromise, if yours is too small.
The idea is to extract yourself from the mundanities of everyday life and enjoy a unique experience that you might not have indulged in otherwise. Create a small fire and roast some smores in your backyard. Have an alfresco or picnic meal in the garden. Decorate your tent with fairy lights and enjoy a candle-lit dinner if you’re indoors. Disconnect from your phones and spend some time with yourself – or in the company of your loved ones, if you’re doing this as a family.
3. Do a spa-day at home
There’s nothing like indulging in a homemade spa day to get yourself out of the everyday routine funk. Just start out by filling your tub with hot water, bath bombs and salts, then enjoying a luxurious hour or two simply soaking in its comfy embrace. Read a book and enjoy some wine while you’re at it. Put up some scented candles and eek in some aromatherapy as well.
Once you’re done with that, it’s time to do a home facial or a DIY mani/pedi. All you need are the ingredients and some instructions to get it right. Alternately, you can put on a face mask and do some R and R while it soaks into your skin. A foot mask is also a great choice if a DIY pedicure is not your cup of tea.
4. Break out your forgotten vacation activities
A staycation is a time to relax, and the best way to do that is to break out all your favorite vacation activities and do them right at home. For example, if you love sunbathing on the beach, then put out a beach towel in your backyard, put on your bikini, and enjoy some dappled sun. You can even get a sun lounger, use a kiddy pool or hire a hot tub to get the full experience. To cap things off, you can pull out your favorite beach read and enjoy a calm few hours going through it.
5. Disconnect and enjoy some great sleep
Whether you live alone or with a family, it’s imperative that you disconnect from your virtual as well as physical accompaniment to really get the full staycation experience. So, pick a day where you switch off your phones, put an auto-reply on the email, and set some boundaries with the family – then enjoy a full day of rest.
You can sleep for as long as you want – no tugging on the I’m-gonna-be-late string at the back of your mind. No disturbing social media notifications. No pressure to reply to text messages from family and friends. Just rack up the air conditioning and tuck yourself in and stay in bed for as long as you need. You’ll certainly feel fresh and ready to tackle the rest of the coming days with gusto after this!
6. Experiment with your green thumb
If it’s one thing that everyone unanimously agrees can reduce stress and increase hope, it’s gardening. A staycation is one of the best times to experiment with your green thumb. Just get some easy to grow plants from your local nursery or an online plant store and get to work.
For all the skeptics out there, it’s a known fact that growing plants requires patience and care, but it is also accompanied by a sense of healing and accomplishment – even when it’s just a tiny seedling or a simple bud that blooms.
Here is where you can get clever with the type of holiday you love the most. If you missed the coast, pick up some shrubs and plants to recreate a coastal garden for that seaside feel. If you love the tropics, head for the tropical plant section to create your tropical paradise.
7. Do a readathon
If you love reading books, then use your staycation to do a readathon. Make a pile of every book that you’d been putting off reading because of your busy schedule, cozy up in your favorite spot, and start the reading.
It’s best if you put a lot of snacks nearby because you’ll just keep telling yourself to read one more chapter even when the munchies hit! You should also have a reading lamp at handy so as not to stress your eyes too much. And if you need a break from words, then just put something up on Netflix until the urge to get back to the book takes over you!
8. Enjoy the “It’s-5 o’clock-somewhere” mentality
We always hesitate to reach out for drinks during work weeks. But a staycation is the perfect time to get your party on. Curb those inhibitions and enjoy the “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” mentality for a day.
You can do that by filling up a trolley with your favorite drinks and some wine/margarita glasses. Experiment mixing with cocktails and let the internet be your guide! You can take your portable bar cart anywhere in your home, be it an outdoor deck, a poolside, or even just your expansive living room. Put on some music, dance to the beat, and indulge in your favorite cocktails – it could be a great party of one!
9. Movie night gathering
If you want to spend some quality time with your family and loved ones during your staycation, then hosting a movie night is a great option. You can create a blanket fort for the kids to watch from and huddle up on comfortable floor arrangements right there with them to get the coziest experience.
Don’t forget to load up on the snacks. Pop corns are always a great go-to, but you can also get nachos, garlic bread and some pizza to make the whole thing feel all the more authentic.
If you have the space in the garden, you could set up an outdoor cinema for the evening with a projector, screen and speakers near your outdoor seating area. Your very own outdoor theatre in the garden, clear sky and good weather permitting.
10. The turn-down bedtime ritual
Perhaps the most enviable thing about vacations is how cozily your hotel room is made up. But no worries – you can do the same on a staycation with the turn-down method.
It’s basically an extensive checklist that leads you through the process of creating a wonderful ambiance to simply lie down and enjoy a comfortable staycation sleeping experience at night.
So, these are some of the ways you can create a staycation experience at home. We hope this guide helps you design the best vacation right in the comforts of your own home!