Now that weather is turning colder, the holidays are approaching and everyone is making travel plans for the end of the year. Itineraries may include which relatives to visit (which to avoid!) or where to plan a relaxing vacation to (because you worked hard all year and you deserve it!). The truth is, not everyone can afford to travel during the holidays. Sometimes it’s a matter of savings, or time constraints, or some people just want to relax at home instead of bustling to go somewhere, and that’s understandable as well.
Personally I love traveling, but it’s not always in the cards for my family and I. Over the years I have had many amazing vacations to all-inclusive resorts, and I figured out how to enjoy similar experiences and indulgences at home on staycation. Never heard of a staycation? It’s a growing trend where you take time off of work and you stay home and relax instead of traveling and spending a lot of money. Think of it as the modern equivalent of a mental health day or mental health week, with advanced planning.
Speaking of planning, you have to do SOME planning for this to turn out extraordinary. Fabulousness rarely ever happens by accident. When I was working I used to dream up the most indulgent staycations that would rival the all-inclusive vacations I used to take. Itineraries would include excursions, themed dinner nights, plenty of R&R, and every staycation I would book a massage.
So, where should you start when planning your next splendid staycation? Below is my simple strategy for enjoying an ultimate luxurious staycation. Before you go crazy trying to do research and spend money I suggest you REIN it in!
N- Try Something New
These 4 categories are the secret to having amazing vacations and staycations. Let’s take a closer look:
Relaxing– Who doesn’t want to relax on a vacation or staycation? There are two ways to go about relaxing though- active and passive relaxing. I suggest doing at least one of each. Passive relaxing is easy- unplug from the world and technology, lounge around, veg out, and / or catch up on sleep. Active Relaxing includes going to a spa for some pampering, smoking cigars, golfing, wine tasting, doing yoga, etc.
Exploring– On a vacation one of my favorite things to do is signing up for excursions off of the resort. I always try to experience a sightseeing tour or immerse myself in a local cultural activity. It’s a nice reminder that I’m not at home and I should take the opportunity to explore my current destination. If you are on staycation you can do the same thing by exploring a nearby city, getting out into nature, attending a local festival, or planning an adventure from Groupon.
Indulge– Who doesn’t love a good indulgence? Whether it be delighting in food or drink, shopping, or enjoying spa treatments, everyone deserves a treat when they are on staycation or vacation. I mentioned before that I book a massage every staycation that I plan; it’s a splurge. I love it because it is such a special luxury for me that I don’t experience very often. Some people like splurging on calories at an amazing restaurant or bar, others on mani-pedis. If you are on a budget you can still bask in a little extravagance by having a DIY spa night at your house, or plan a whisky tasting for you and your friends.
Try Something New– For me, this is usually home cooked food, though it could be something educational as well. In resorts, there may be themed restaurants or themed buffet nights. On staycation I like to replicate this by trying a new exotic recipe or going to a new restaurant (preferably with a cultural theme so its something different and special for you). You could also take the opportunity to learn something new, like how to play an instrument or speak a foreign language.
By doing some planning, and implementing these tips, you can completely upgrade your next staycation experience. Not only will you feel well rested, but you will be excited that you did something with your time off instead of just laying around the house the whole time. Here’s to making your next staycation absolutely incredible! Cheers!