6 Simple Staycation Ideas for a Relaxing Home Retreat
Buying airline tickets. Boarding the dogs. Packing bags, packing the car, then packing the whole family into one hotel room for a week. Coming home at the end and needing “a vacation from your vacation."
If the hustle, bustle, hassle, and cost of travel has you dreading summer vacation, you’re not alone. More and more people are looking for alternatives and are discovering that vacation-time doesn't always mean you have to go somewhere. Sometimes your own backyard is the best place to be if you follow a few basic ground rules for planning a staycation that’s fun and memorable.
Turn off the Phone
If you were out of town, the calls on your landline would go to voicemail, right? There’s no reason to do less when you’re planning a staycation. Turn off the ringer and let the “machine” catch those messages, then deal with them when you return to the real world.
While you may not feel that you can ignore your cell phone, you can certainly set limits to ensure that you don’t spend all of your time at home on the phone. Perhaps set aside an hour a day to respond to urgent calls, then keep the ringer silenced the rest of the time. Think in terms of your accessibility on a vacation away from home -- if you wouldn’t answer the phone while riding Space Mountain, you don’t need to answer it while on staycation.
We often find that long car trips or plane rides mean being consumed by phones and tablets, while time at home is taken up with video games and computer time. Make a deal with your family to reduce or eliminate screen time during your staycation at home. If it’s hard to get everyone on board, try changing the wi-fi password to “encourage” everyone to comply.
Ensure you replace all of that screen time with fun activities like board games, outdoor play, or local field trips so that everyone stays cheerful. If the weather is nice, try to spend more time outdoors and away from all of those screens. Have lunch on the deck or even plan a family campout in the backyard.
Tune Out of Work
If you normally work from home or if you feel that staycation is a perfect opportunity to catch up on some overdue projects you’ve brought home from the office, resist that impulse. Make your home office off-limits, put an autoresponder on your email, and give yourself permission to tune out work during your vacation at home. It will give you a fresh perspective, a much-needed mental break, and an opportunity to reconnect with your family. After all, they’re the ones you’re working so hard for!
Let Chores Wait
Similarly, it will be tempting to catch up on long-delayed chores around the house, like yard work, painting a room, or cleaning out the garage. But a staycation is not an excuse to put everyone to work. Forget the chores and relax and renew along with your family. Or if you really want to give yourself a treat, hire a maid service to come in and do those chores for you and give your home a thorough cleaning. Then you can really kick back and enjoy your staycation.
Should you really feel the need to dust a few shelves, consider turning cleaning into a game for the whole family with 5 easy tips to make cleaning fun (and easy).
Turn Off the TV
It’s easy to let time slip away when you’re binge-watching a show or entertaining the kids with cartoons. But that doesn’t make for memorable moments, and you may find yourself more tired than before when you’re up late staring at the TV. Instead, consider unplugging the TV during your vacation at home and tuning in to each other.
Create arts and crafts with the kids, play cards, or just go for a bike ride around the neighborhood. You may be surprised that when your staycation is over, some of those new better habits — like an after-dinner walk or time spent reading instead of staring at the screen -- will stay with you and your family.
If you want something that is guaranteed to last, try your hand at a larger DIY project — like an easy and beautiful backyard firepit — that your family can enjoy long after staycation is over.
Enjoy the Moment
Don’t think of your staycation as simply a way to save money or a way to avoid the frustrations of travel. Think of it as a chance to enjoy your home without the pressures of daily routines, schedules, and responsibilities. Plan a spa day in your beautiful Master Suite with a facial and a long soak in the tub. Spend a day at the community pool or playground complete with a picnic lunch. If you can, consider exploring all your city has to offer. Lots of cities, like Tampa, have hidden gems that you can explore at little to no cost. And, if you want to stay closer to home, try cooking out and having dinner outside under the stars. Make your staycation memorable and meaningful.
With a little planning and forethought, and these staycation tips, you’re sure to create a relaxing home retreat that helps to reconnect you with yourself and your family.
Contributed to Your Home blog by Christy Edgar Murdock
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