Even if an out of town trip is not in the cards, a vacation can still be a time to rest and recharge. The so-called "staycation" is increasingly popular during these troubled economic times, and can be as enjoyable as a trip to a new destination. For those looking to take a break from work without spending too much money, a vacation spent at home can offer a much-needed boost if properly planned. Read on for our tips on how to enjoy a vacation at home.
The first step in planning a successful staycation is to assess what makes any vacation fun for you. Do you like to spend your days lazing on the beach or scouring every inch of a new town with a guidebook in hand? If lazing in the sun is your preference, search for opportunities close to home that allow you to engage in your favorite activity. Joining a local pool or buying a hammock for your backyard are less costly than a week at the beach, but allow for the same access to water and sun.
If touring around town is more your style, approach your hometown like a tourist, visiting sites and restaurants outside of your normal sphere. Check your local library or community center for information on the history of your town and possible areas of interest that you have not yet explored. The bigger your town or city, the more likely it is there is plenty to see that you haven't yet visited.
For those who love the hotel experience, there are lots of ways to incorporate that little extra bit of luxury into your staycation. Changing to summer bedlinens or a new scent can make any bedroom feel fresh; consider buying a few special items (lotion, bath products, candles etc) to help give your home that hotel feeling. Commit to making your bed every morning if you don't normally do it- heck, maybe give yourself turndown service every evening with a chocolate on your pillow!
If you want a little time away from it all but can't actually get away from it all, consider a self-imposed limit on contactability. Let your phone go to voicemail and check your email only once a day. Being hard to reach is often one of the best things about a vacation so take the steps necessary to distance yourself from your everyday life and responsibilities. After a couple of days of self-imposed distance, it becomes much easier to enjoy!
Depending on the length of time you have available, consider using a day or two of your staycation to handle small projects around the house that have been languishing. A couple of days of solid effort have have dramatic results, and the benefits of your labor will last long past your vacation. Don't overcommit though- you don't want to return to work more exhausted than when you left!
We would love to hear your tips for enjoying a vacation at home so please share your experiences in the comments below.
Image: Photo by Colleen Quinn.