Sometimes a real vacation just isn’t in the cards, we get it.
Not every year can be filled with amazing adventures around the globe, but that doesn’t mean you have to waste your vacation days on forced random days off. A staycation doesn’t need to feel like a punishment, and if you’ve gotta keep local, you might as well make the very most of it, right?
First off, figure out why you’re staycationing
If you’re using your precious days off to keep it local, you should have a good reason, and if you don’t stick true to that reason, you’re defeating the purpose of staycationing in the first place.
If you’re planning a staycation because your budget won’t allow for a trip abroad this year, than obviously keeping true to your budget is priority number one.
If your staycation is solely to explore and appreciate your own country, then getting outside and avoiding Netflix is what to focus your energy on.
And if you’re staycationing to do nothing but veg out and #treatyoself, than obviously being too ambitious is counterproductive.
Figure out what you want out of it first, then plan accordingly.
All vacations require some planning – if you don’t plan you typically waste precious time and procrastinate – so plan your staycations too. We all know how fast time slips away from us on a regular weekend at home, and if you assume time will slow down for you on a free Tuesday you’re in for a rude awakening.
If you’re checking your emails, working on a project or texting your work friends for your whole vacation, you might as well be working from home. There’s nothing wrong with a lil’ airplane mode on a staycation, and even though roaming fees aren’t a concern, your data limit will thank you at the end of the month, too.
And if it’s your family, friends or S.O that you really need a break from, airplane mode doesn’t discriminate on a staycation… Everyone needs some distance every once in a while, and logging off accomplishes that quite nicely.
Make food a priority
If you were on a real vacation, you’d probably be splurging on the best and tastiest foods around, so why wouldn’t you do the same at home?
There’s just something about good food that makes any day feel extra special, so finding and trying all of the foods you’ve been dying to try magically makes every staycation day that bit better.
You wouldn’t be eating homemade toast and PB for lunch on vacation, so don’t punish yourself with mediocrity on ANY day off, regardless of location. Tasty things are one of the best parts of a vacation, so make it happen.
Don’t stay home
We all need a day or two of vegging out with snacks in bed and an internet connection every once in a while, but is that really how you wanna spend all of your time off? Unless vegging out is your #1 priority, getting out of your house is crucial, and it’ll help make your staycation feel more like time off and less like time at home.
Even if it’s simply wandering around downtown, or reading a book in a park with a coffee, you’ve just gotta get out there. Treat your home like a hotel, and nothing more.
Try what the tourists do
That local thing you may think is super cheesy when you see tourists in action may actually surprise you when you experience it for yourself. It’s amazing how many of us steer away from the main attractions that tourists come to see, and it can actually give you a newfound appreciation for your hometown when you see it from a tourist’s perspective.
Splurge where it counts
If you think about your staycation financially, you’ve already saved money on accommodations and transportation, so that gives you a lot more wiggle room to spend your vacation dollars where they’re needed – pricey and extraordinary activities.
Maybe it’s a 24 carat gold facial, a helicopter ride or a 5-star dinner, but whichever way you choose to #treatyoself, do it guilt free and keep in mind all of the money you saved by taking a staycation in the first place.
Don’t be responsible
If you’re planning on doing spring cleaning, cooking dinner every day and washing everything in your laundry hamper, that’s fine, but don’t call it a staycation. Vacations aren’t for chores; they’re for enjoying yourself, and even if you wanna be a responsible adult, save it for the weekend.
If there’s stuff you really need to get done, dedicate some time at the very beginning or end of your staycation, and don’t drag it with you throughout the week.
Fix the FOMO
Remember all of those things you opted out of, and then wished you’d said yes to the next day? There’s no better time to re-do those cancelled plans in your hometown when you have a whole bunch of time to yourself.
Obviously not everything might be still available, but there may be even cooler things to do now than there were then. Utilize your local newspapers or websites to find out what’s happening during your staycation, and make some awesome plans.
It’s amazing what you can get up to when you don’t have the “I have to get up early tomorrow” excuse to use, and it’s a great time to join your rowdier friends on the weekly weekday shenanigans you normally opt out of in favour of your PJs on a work night.
Staying home doesn’t mean you have to stay at home
Unless you’re living in Vatican City, there’s probably a lot of your country that you haven’t spent a lot of time in – if any at all – so why not try another city on for size?
It’ll be familiar enough that you’ll still be comfortable, but far enough to drag you out of your bed and into a new adventure. Who knows, you may even find a new place to call home in a year or two.
Keep reminding yourself of what you’re doing
You’re not at home, you’re on vacation, and just reminding yourself of that can help keep your mind in vacation mode. A mind on vacation mode is a mind enjoying itself, and that’s exactly what you wanna do.
Even if you’re doing nothing, you’re not at work or at school, so it’s automatically an upgrade. And if you want to keep reminding yourself of all of the tasks you’d be doing and stress you’d be experiencing if you weren’t on vacation, go ahead; whatever works to keep your mind in vacation mode.
Vacation days are precious, so regardless of what you do on your staycation, make it good and make them count.