Ode to the Summer Staycation

Image from lifeunsweetened.com

Summer is the season of the vacation. The highways are undoubtedly littered with vehicles going to and fro between home and the pre-determined relaxation destination. The point of a vacation, in most cases, is to get away, but there is a trendy alternative to packing up the car and hitting the road that will save exhausting travel time and a few dollars here and there, too. It is known as the staycation, which involves creating a fun, vacation-like atmosphere at home.

A staycation probably sounds boring, but giving it a chance is advantageous in more ways than one. It is no secret that this country is in a recession and budgets are getting tighter as prices continue to get higher. The average vacation is pretty pricey when considering the cost of gas, plane tickets, hotel rooms, food, souvenirs, and entertainment. Also, staying at home prevents the chance of unexpected flight delays or blowing out a tire in the middle of nowhere. There won’t be any backseat fighting between the kids, sudden weather catastrophes that force everyone into the hotel room, and long, exhausting travel time that drains perfectly good vacation energy.

I am not trying to put a negative light on vacations, because I thoroughly enjoy packing up and going to the beach. I am just trying to emphasize that staycations are perfectly acceptable alternatives that have fewer drawbacks and can be just as exciting. Below I have taken it upon myself to list a few ideas for planning the perfect stay-at-home-vacation.

  • Number One – Mentally disconnect from the phone and the internet.

It is not necessary to literally disconnect these things, but a vacation (even one that happens at home) should be a worry free time for eliminating stress. Let friends and family know that you are taking a holiday so that they won’t worry if they don’t hear from you. Turn off the phone, stay off the computer, and enjoy yourself. The point is to relax.

  • Number Two – Become a tourist in your own city.

Maybe you have never truly taken the time to discover what is right in front of you. Visit a local museum, art gallery, or cathedral. If there are popular locations in your town that you have avoided specifically because they are tourist attractions, then go experience them for yourself. It is amazing what you can find if you really look and maybe you will discover a new favorite hangout.

  • Number Three – Pamper yourself.

Sometimes when people get caught up in taking care of everything else, whether it is their jobs or just the everyday stresses of life, they forget to take care of themselves. Ladies will appreciate gathering a few friends together for an at-home spa experience. The women can take turns giving each other manicures, pedicures, and facials while snacking on fruit salad or chocolate covered strawberries. If something a little more private sounds preferable try a long, warm bubble bath while listening to relaxing music or go for a massage at a local spa.

  • Number Four – Have an outdoor adventure.

There are so many things to do while enjoying a staycation that don’t necessarily involve staying indoors. Have an old-fashioned picnic in the park. Pack a cooler with sandwiches, fruit, and drinks and take a few games to play if you are bringing along friends or kids. Playing catch, flying a kite, or throwing a Frisbee are great ways to have fun and stay active during an outdoor excursion.

Another fun thing to do would be to have an outdoor movie night. Rent a projector from the local library and play a movie on the side of a building or hang a sheet on a makeshift clothesline and project the movie onto it. This works best after the sun has gone down, because the movie will be easier to see in the dark. Set out beach chairs or lawn chairs and don’t forget the popcorn and candy. Invite friends for added fun.

There are also more common things to do like have a BBQ or throw a pool party. These may not seem like relaxing options, but they sure are fun.

  • Number Five – Create an atmosphere.

If you can’t afford to travel to the beach, then have the beach come to you. Go to the craft or party store and pick up cheap decorations. Give your home a temporary makeover by decorating with fake palm trees and seashells. Decorating the home with a tropical vibe will inspire you to act like you are on vacation.

Even if your staycation consists of relaxing on the sofa with a good book or participating in a 24-hour Netflix marathon, it is important to have fun and stay stress free. Traveling for vacations can be tough to afford or the whole thing can end up being more stressful than it is relaxing. Use these ideas or create your own ideas to come up with the perfect staycation. Whatever you do you’ll know that you don’t have to sacrifice anything, because it is possible to have a great time and relax without ever going far from home.

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