Are you spending your vacation time in the peace and quiet of your own home this year? With the rising costs of transportation and accommodations, a lot of people are preferring to go on a staycation. Which is great because going on a staycation means you don't have to go anywhere or spend a dime on hotels or airfare.
There is always a trick or two to getting the most enjoyment out of something. Here are 10 secrets to the perfect staycation!
1. Plan Your Activities
I know this sounds like the opposite of relaxing on your time off. But have you ever had a long weekend that just flew by? Did you feel like you didn't even do anything that was necessarily fun?
This post is all about getting the most out of your vacation. And to do that you need to make sure you don't let your time off of work completely go to waste.
You would plan activities if you were going on a vacation away from home. Just adopt the same concept for your vacation in home. Activities don't need to be set in stone to the minute. But a general guide will help you get the most out of your staycation.
2. Turn Off Your Devices
I won't lie. This takes someone with a very powerful will and a lot of self control. Disconnecting from social media and all the other smartphone distractions is like hitting a giant "OFF" button. You'll be anxious about it and probably go through withdrawals. But you can survive without your phone and it will feel glorious!
If your cell phone is the only way for someone to get a hold of you, just switch off your cellular data in your account settings. You can still make phone calls this way but won't be able to hop onto Facebook or Pinterest. (Contact your provider if you're not sure how to do this. For an iPhone go to Settings-->Cellular-->Tap Cellular Data off.)
3. Set Up Auto-Reply on Your Email
This is your time off. This is your "me" time. You shouldn't have to spend it answering messages about anything that will stress or bore you.
Set up an auto-reply message along the lines of "I'm on vacation for the week of July 1-8 and am unable to answer any questions or inquiries pertaining to [job description or company]. Please contact [your back-up person at the office] for any time sensitive inquiries. Thank you for understanding. Have a wonderful day."
Now you don't have to worry about any e-mails. Doesn't that feel good?
4. Buy the Things You Want, Not the Things You Need
I'm all about saving money. In fact, I'm really passionate about it! But there's comes a time and a place to spoil yourself a little bit and that time is now. Hit the outlets, mall, yard sales, or whatever else you're too busy to enjoy during the week.
I use vacations as a chance to pick up all of the clothing or shoes I've been desperate for all year. I just don't have time to try on 20 dresses looking for "the right one" during my regular life schedule. But I don't have any guilt during my vacation if it took me 2 hours to find the perfect shoes.
5. Learn a New Skill
A staycation is the perfect time to sign up for a new class or learn a new skill. Take a cake decorating class, learn how to cook the perfect steak, or even enjoy an instructional painting party.
Years ago, I used my college break to take dance lessons with my husband (then fiance). It was so much fun and we never would've had the chance to do it during our busy class schedules!
6. Kick Back and Relax in the Kitchen
If you love to cook, now's the time to knock your socks off trying new recipes and eating your heart out. I can relate because I love cooking and I love food. What I don't like is cleaning up after a big meal. There's the truth. It's not very mature but who cares?
Hire someone to come and clean if you really want to spend lots of time cooking. And if you don't want to make any meals, have those take out menus on hand and ready to go.
7. Set Up a Babysitting Swap
You love your kids. I love my son. We all love our children. But a little quiet time to ourselves would be nice.
Set up a babysitting swap with other parent friends in your neighborhood or in your baby groups. My recommendation would be to schedule your turn for babysitting the weekend before you have your staycation. That way you aren't spending any of your vacation time watching other kids and even get a chance to enjoy some peace and quiet in your own home.
8. Spend Some Time Being Healthy
You don't have to run a marathon on your staycation. (Unless of course you actually want to. In which case, go you!) But if you spend every waking minute lying on the couch eating Cheetos you are really going to suffer when your life goes back to normal!
Enjoy yummy food but don't gorge yourself at every meal. Get outside and run but don't push yourself into injury. Just find a few hours here and there to take care of your body so it can keep taking care of you.
9. Go to Bed, But Not For the Entire Staycation
Rest is so important. And if your schedule is usually jam packed like mine then you haven't been getting enough zzzz's to make you feel well rested.
I could sleep for 10 hours straight if my 13 month old would let me. But if I slept my entire vacation away I would be so disappointed. I would feel like I didn't actually do anything of significance and I'd be back at work before I knew what was happening.
By all means, enjoy some long nights of rest followed by a relaxing afternoon nap too. But don't sleep the whole time. Enjoy some other activities while you're on your vacation.
10. Bring the Resort to You
Part of the trick of really enjoying a staycation is creating a peaceful, vacation-like envirnment without actually going anywhere.
There are so many ways to make your home feel cozy. Start with a comfortable corner or nook where you can relax, read, write, or do anything else. Then follow it up with your favorite cocktail, go get massage from your local spa, and enjoy delicious take-out afterwards.
Just because you're not leaving the house doesn't mean this time shouldn't be special. This is a vacation, even if it's not a typical one. Rejuvenate. Reenergize. Leave all the worries of life behind even if you're never actually leaving the house.