7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Staycation During COVID

Of all the years that you would need a vacation, this year is probably the time you need it the most. If you are bummed that your vacation plans have been postponed or cancelled as a result of the ongoing pandemic, don’t give up hope just yet. Despite not being able to go to the Bahamas or Paris, you can still invest in a relaxing vacation in your very own home or community — a staycation.

Staying home may sound boring to you, especially since that’s all we’ve been doing for the past few months. However, staycations allow you to better relax and decompress from the bustle of your everyday life compared to traveling to another region. No matter where you go, vacations are all about taking a restorative break from your busy schedule, and returning feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to jump back into your usual grind. Staycations have no extensive planning or travelling needed, which gives you more time to actually unwind and spend time with your family and loved ones. In fact, staycations can save you a lot of money compared to travelling abroad!

Whether you may be exploring more of your hometown with your family or curling up on the couch with a good book, there’s no doubt that you will come out of your staycation appreciating where you live just a little bit more. With that being said, here are some ways to enjoy your staycation amidst this pandemic:

1. Unplug

Turn all notifications off during your staycation to reduce stress.

The first step in starting your staycation is to take it seriously — that means disconnecting yourself from work and turning off most of your notifications.  When you embark on a week-long vacation out of state, you normally don’t take work with you. You focus your time on relaxing and creating new memories with your family and loved ones. With a staycation, remember to do the same as well!

It’s important to actually use your paid time off from work to NOT work from home. Don’t check in and worry about what you’re missing at the office. If you truly want to relax, treat your staycation like a typical vacation and leave the stresses of reality behind. Try to turn off all your devices and limit your consumption of social media. Use this opportunity to focus on yourself and spend time with your family and loved ones with no interruptions or a looming to-do list. After all, you’re on staycation!

2. Eat Like You’re On Vacation

Eat as if you're on an actual vacation during your staycation!

One of the best parts of any vacation is the food, isn’t it? During our typical day-to-day lives, we tend to eat the same things and dine out at our same favorite spots. Vacations are all about expanding our culinary horizons and caving into our indulgences — and the same should go for your staycation as well. Even if you’ve been trying to be frugal and not order so much take-out, this is the chance to treat yourself!  Order from your favorite restaurants or try something new and unexpected from restaurants you’ve never been to before.

You can also go wild at the grocery store and splurge on foods you do not normally buy, such as steak, lobster, cheesecake, or even some expensive wine. Not only is it a lot cheaper than ordering from a restaurant, but it will definitely make grocery shopping a lot more fun. So don’t feel guilty and treat yourself — just like you would on an actual vacation!

Create your own spa at home during your staycation.

3. Bring the Spa to You

With shelter-in-place still going on, heading to a spa may not be plausible. However, you can create your very own spa at the comfort of your home. Turn your bathroom into an aromatherapy resort by lighting some scented candles and selecting some essential oils or a bath bomb. You can even play calming music in the background while you add some rose petals into your tub for that extra spa feel. Indulge yourself in some skincare by putting on a facemask before sinking yourself into a warm bath and letting Mother Nature do her botanical best for you.

4. Change Up Your Scenery

Move things around to create the ambiance of a staycation

When you go on an actual vacation, having a change in scenery makes relaxation come more easily by refreshing your mind. Whether it may be redecorating or moving a few things around, changing how your home may look can bring all the feelings of a vacation into your own house. Transforming your humble abode into a staycation haven will look different for everyone, but here are a few simple ways to inspire you:

  • Try moving some of your furniture around to switch up your settings. When you’re at home, you tend to be accustomed to the same routine and view. By moving a few of your furnishings around, it can bring about a new perspective and feeling to your home. 
  • Pull out the nice sheets that you reserve for special visitors because you’re now a VIP guest in your very own staycation resort! You can invest in some extra-plush pillows to catch up on some good night’s rest. 
  • Add a vase of flowers to your kitchen, dining room table, or even your bedroom. 
  • Put snacks and drinks out in visible places — just like you would see at a hotel or an AirB&B.
  • Put the books you’ve been meaning to read on your nightstand or coffee table so you can actually start reading them!

5. Stay Somewhere New

AirB&Bs are a great way to have a mini vacation away from home.

Part of the excitement of vacations is the novelty of a new place. How can you bring that sense of fun and adventure to your staycation? If you’re looking to spice things up, staying at an AirB&B may be your ticket to a mini-getaway while also safely social distancing. A proper staycation is all about experiencing your city in a whole new light — and there’s no better way to do so than staying in a unique vacation rental. With an AirB&B, you can have easy access to amenities you may not have at home, such as a private pool, a spacious backyard, or a gym. In fact, you can even rent out an entire house for you and your family to enjoy without breaking the bank! By simply changing your environment, you and your family’s sense of exploration and relaxation will be greatly enhanced.

Need a better idea of how to plan your AirB&B stay? Feel free to check out our travel guide on how to look for a place to stay during these unprecedented times!

6. Camping

Camping is a great outdoor staycation actiity.

How many times have you gone on a big trip and was unable to bring your favorite pup along for the ride? With a staycation camping trip, you can bring your entire family and your pets for an adventure outdoors! Realistically, if you don’t have a campsite near you, heading to one far away from home is not optimal at this moment in time — especially if you have kids. However, you can still pitch your own tent and camp right in your own backyard! You can build your own makeshift campfire, roast some smores, and even tell ghost stories. There really is nothing better than sitting outside around a campfire, sleeping under the stars, and enjoying nature. 

7. Create Your Own Movie Experience

Although movie theaters are not yet open, drive-in theaters have begun to make a comeback as a safe alternative. Drive-in theaters are an entertaining social activity that you and your family can do together. In fact, beginning in August, Walmart will transform some of their parking lots into drive-in movie theaters for those who are nostalgic for the cinematic experience. Even if you don’t have a drive-in theater near you, you can still recreate the ambiance of one in your living room! To make things more fun, you can pick a theme — such as an Oscars Night or have a Harry Potter marathon — and decorate your space according to that theme. No trip to the theater is complete without popcorn, so remember to make a large bowl to snack on while you watch your movie!

Takeaway Thoughts

While choosing to enjoy your vacation at home may seem dull and boring, it truly does not have to be. With a bit of effort, you and your family can create amazing new memories without the added stress of an overpriced travel plan. What many people don’t realize is that a vacation doesn’t have to involve traveling — you can have a vacation right in your own backyard. The trick to enjoying a staycation is to deviate from your daily routines, try something new, and most importantly — have fun!

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