By Amy Lynch |
At some point in our lives, we have all returned home from a long trip, walked into the office and said something about “needing a vacation from our vacation.” While traveling far and wide is often a worthwhile endeavor filled with horizon-expanding experiences, sometimes the best vacations are the ones that take place close to home.
These days, everyone is singing the praises of the “staycation.” Given the ability to make the most of every moment without the hassle of security lines, flight delays and other travel headaches, kicking back at home (or close to it) can be a much easier way to unplug and unwind.
Here are tips to help you enjoy some intentional downtime— either by yourself or with people you love, maximizing your fun without having to hop on a plane.
Make a Bucket List
Set the right tone for your time off. Think of all the relaxing things you’ve been wanting to do lately but haven’t had the time to try, and compile them into a list.
Maybe it’s trying the chic new Italian restaurant in your neighborhood, the luxury spa that just opened across town, or a three-season binge of a show you’ve been meaning to stream. Now, you’ve got a mini-bucket list of items to cross off while you’re logged off, and a bunch of specific activities to anticipate.
Digital Detox or Full Screen — You Decide
When it comes to vacations, people tend to fall into two camps: those who crave the opportunity to detach from their devices and those who embrace technology to heighten their fun.
Whichever side of the line you stand on, lean into it all the way during your downtime. If you want to commit to a full digital detox, give yourself permission with this evidence to back you up: Fast Company recently reported on an experiment showing the benefits of putting down your phone for a few days, including deeper sleep, improved memory and even better posture.
Or if you would rather use tech to enhance your time off, look into travel applications like Detour or Guides by Lonely Planet, which can help you discover hidden gems in your own city as if you’re visiting for the first time.
Download the ones you like best, and let them guide you around town, helping you explore amazing new places that have been right under your nose all along.
Pick a Theme
If you’re a sucker for a great theme party, consider doing the same for your staycation. If you’re turning a long weekend into a movie or TV series marathon on the couch, do it up right with movie theater candy, hot buttered popcorn and freshly-laundered blankets.
To enjoy a spa getaway without packing a bag, treat yourself to a $20 manicure or blowout at a local salon and look up some simple spa treatments you can make in your kitchen or pick up at the drugstore.
Go the Extra Mile
Maybe you’re hankering for time off and don’t want to travel, but the idea of vacationing in your own home doesn’t seem that exciting.
If so, the perfect solution could be just up the road. Look up local wineries, state parks or small towns with lots of charm in your area, gas up the car and take a day trip or two. Better yet, check into a local hotel where you can log off, chill out and let someone else make the bed for you.
No matter what kind of staycation you take, you’ll save not only money, but also time and energy — two precious commodities vacations are meant to replenish in the first place.