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Having always loved to travel and explore new and different destinations, I also find it very therapeutic and restorative to plan and enjoy staycations from time to time.
While there will be weekends and weeks of vacation time that beckon your passport and preferred mode of transportation to be used simply to step away from the every day routine and broaden your perspective and heighten your appreciation, there will also be times when you may want to stay at your own home, sleep in your own bed and leave the car in the garage (however without all of the responsibility that typically may nag when you tend to choose to do so).
Whether the checkbook needs a breather or you do from all of the busyness of the just-finished holiday season, January tends to be a great month for planning a staycation. So why not give it a try?
Once you’ve decided on which day or days you will be carving out for your staycation, make sure to do a few things the day before to ensure that you able to fully enjoy yourself.
The day before:
*Clean the house (or have the house clean, if you are fortunate enough to have this service in your area). A regular weekly cleaning, nothing deep or intense. By creating a clean, organized, uncluttered environment, you will be better able to fully relax and simply enjoy your home.
*Finish any chores that need to be done, even if it means completing them ahead of schedule. In order to feel like you are actually on a vacation, remove the tasks that may be tedious, but necessary – put out the trash, take the recycling to the depository, etc
*Do a bit of light grocery shopping so that you can enjoy a lovely breakfast in the morning. If you want to shop for the entire vacation you can, but, as you will see below, that may be something you enjoy doing, so it simply depends upon your preference.
*Purchase fresh flowers. Some of the most welcoming reservations I’ve made whether at hotels or bed and breakfasts tend to have fresh bouquets or a thoughtful extra touch to welcome their guests upon arrival. Do this for yourself as well.
Now for ideas on what to do on your staycation:
1. Lose track of time. After all, that is what a vacation is all about. Enjoy yourself, slow down, breath a bit deeper and go at your own pace.
2. Read with abandon. Unless I’m on vacation, I never seem to have time to get lost in a book that is entirely of my own choosing, so I thoroughly enjoy just plopping down in my favorite chair and reading to my heart’s content. Maybe you prefer flipping through a stack of the latest fashion magazines or catching up on your favorite websites and blogs, whatever you prefer, indulge.
3. Dine locally. Depending on whether you want to cook on your vacation or not, you may want to dine out at a favorite local restaurant or check out a new restaurant whose review in the local paper piqued your interest.
4. Spend time with those you love. Depending upon schedules, enjoy spending time with those you love – spouse, children, friends, family members, etc. Don’t make it into a grand ordeal. Keep it simple and low key.
5. Attend a matinee. For some reason, the time of day in which a matinee is shown is ideal for me at least. It tends to be when I’m wanting to relax, have finished my morning productivity, and simply want to observe something as I don’t feel all that energetic and am waiting for my second wind. Not only will it save money, but it will leave the evening free to partake in other plans.
6. Peruse local markets, boutiques, bookstores – take your time. Depending upon where you live and the season, take the morning or afternoon to peek into favorite clothing boutiques and try a few things on or make a list for your favorite meal and shop for the freshest ingredients at the local farmer’s market. Since you have time, why not stop into a consignment or thrift shop and scan the racks for treasures?
7. A nap if you feel like it. Listen to your body and let it tell you what it needs. If it needs an afternoon nap, take it, and revel in it.
8. Hop on a bike and take a ride round town or in the hills. If you enjoy pedaling, but can’t seem to find the time like you’d prefer, use your staycation to roll about town or if you’re more adventurous, traverse a nearby trail.
9. Enjoy a stroll outside – forget that it’s exercise. Even though it is a vacation, try to include a bit of physical exercise. Do something that you enjoy so that you can get lost in the activity and stop counting the calories. Not only will you feel rejuvenated, but you’ll feel better about doing something that supports good health – no guilt!
10. Watch a favorite old film or rent a new release. Perhaps you’d prefer to stay at home and not venture outside at all (especially if the temperatures are frigid). Rent one or more movies, make some buttery parmesan popcorn and call it a day.
11. Attend a show (theater, opera, museum). If you are lucky enough to live in a metropolis or town that has creative art offerings, why not attend a show you’ve been eagerly waiting to see?
12. Let music fill the room and discover calm or become energized. I recently received a record player, and I can’t tell you how much enjoyment I receive from placing an old vinyl classic jazz record on the turntable, sitting down and simply getting lost in the tunes. Normally during a busy week, this may not be possible, so if you too enjoy music, find time during your staycation to let it fill your home.
13. Buy something for yourself to commemorate your “staycation”. While children enjoy receiving gifts and toys, adults do too from time to time, and since typically when you go on vacation, souvenirs are purchased, why not buy that blouse that fit so beautifully in your favorite boutique or a brand new set of wine glasses to enjoy your favorite bottles of wine in at home?
14. Journal to let out questions, fears, hopes and plans running around in your mind. Often when we slow down, our minds have time to wander, which for some people exactly why they don’t want to slow down. I can almost guarantee this will happen, but it’s happening for a reason. Don’t stifle your thoughts, but instead unburden yourself. Write it down as a way of dealing with it or at least addressing it. Sometimes just putting pen to paper to make sense of what our mind is saying is all that is needed. Often for me, it is when I slow down that my creativity blossoms. Always have a pen and paper handy for such occasions.
15. A bubble bath. Need I say more? Oh, well maybe. Add a glass of wine or champagne, a candle or two, the music of your choice and unwind.
16. Do something that makes someone else smile. There is nothing more uplifting than knowing you have helped make someone’s day a little brighter. Whether it is unexpected or planned and no matter how small, try to do something for someone else to brighten their day. I can assure you, it will brighten yours as well.
However you choose to enjoy your staycation, bon voyage!
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