Extended Stay: 7 Unique Ways to Bring the Vibes from Your Best Vacay Home

published Dec 1, 2016
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(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

It can be jarring, to say the least, returning to reality after a glorious vacation. Whether you spent a week sunning yourself on the white sandy beaches of some tropical isle or shredding the powdery slopes at a ski lodge, holding on to your vacation-mind’s sense of zen can seem hopeless once you have to dive back in to to the daily grind.

You can’t stay on vacation indefinitely—but there are things you can do to bring those laid-back vacay vibes back with you so you feel like you’re on holiday even at home. Try these 7 tips to prolong your post-vacation bliss.

Find a Candle in a Scent Reminiscent of the Locale

I don’t know how they do it, but candle makers can capture essentially any scent in candle form. Perhaps you slept with your windows open at a B&B in Hawaii and the heady scent of plumeria filled your room. There’s a candle for that! If travel regulations allow, consider buying one made by local artisans for a truly authentic feel.

Give Your Bed a Resort-Style Makeover

One of the best parts about going on vacation is sinking into the beautifully appointed beds typical of resorts. High thread counts, crisp white sheets, down comforters, tons of perfectly fluffed pillows… ahh, it’s like heaven on earth. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to recreate this style at home, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg if you buy items from discount and overstock home goods sites.

Make a Playlist

Did you know there is an actual neural correlation between music and memories? A 2009 brain scan study revealed that the medial pre-frontal cortex—which sits just behind the forehead—is responsible for processing music memories, explaining why songs have the ability to “transport” us back to a certain place and time. So what are you waiting for? Make a playlist of music from your vacay to keep you mentally rooted in all of the replay-worthy moments.

Recreate the Culinary Specialty in Your Own Kitchen

True story: The last vacation I took with my grandmother was a Caribbean cruise (don’t hate—my grandma was a heck of a travel buddy!). And one day, on a remote strip of beach, we were served the most amazing conch fritters. Ever. Of all time. So we asked for the recipe, which was surprisingly simple. Now, on the rare occasion I make them, I’m filled with the same carefree joy I felt that day, drinking from a fresh coconut and eating conch fritters in the Caribbean with my grandma.

(Image credit: Emily Billings)

Stage a Special Trinket

Most vacations include at least one requisite souvenir—a stone from the riverbed you rafted down, a craft from the local market, a candle (if you ascribe to my aforementioned advice). So another way to infuse your home with vacay vibes is to incorporate one of those souvenirs into your décor in a way you’ll always be mindful of. That way, every glimpse of it will give you nostalgic feel-goods.

Use a Picture from Your Trip as Design Inspo

If you’re not the souvenir type, chances are you at least took some pretty pictures to upload to your Insta, right? So why not use one of those pictures as a muse? You can carve out a special vignette in your home to incorporate colors or clever nods to your vacay, even tossing a framed shot of your design inspo pic in the mix.

Pare Down

When you think about what really makes vacation so great, departure is the motif: a departure from your physical location, of course, but also a departure from all of the habits and rituals that bog down our everyday lives. To come as you are is the essence of any great vacation. We tend to go fresh-faced and fuss-free. We shed all the extra stuff, including our worries. Who couldn’t use a little more—or should I say less—of that in their life?