16 tips for a great staycation!

Are you looking at July in the rearview mirror, without having taken a summer vacation? Wondering how you can squeeze a holiday into August without a huge time or money commitment and still do something meaningful? Just because plans don’t involve planes, trains or automobiles, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take a relaxing break from your daily routines, recharge and still feel like you managed to get away… that’s what a staycation is for!

Now really look forward to August with these tips on how to have a spontaneous, energizing (yet still relaxing) vacation without booking a flight or a hotel room!

Make your own vacation soundtrack. Download reggae and calypso to channel the islands, bossa nova for some Brazilian flavor, or French café and Italian bistro music to transport yourself across the pond.

Bring the spa to you. Go to the local health food store and pick out some favorite essential oils (KJ suggestion: lavender, lemon and chamomile) and treat yourself to a long, relaxing bath. Put a pitcher of water in the fridge with orange and lemon slices. Splurge and book an in-home massage.

Read to your heart’s content. Catch up on those books you’ve been stockpiling (digitally or otherwise) and don’t feel even a smidgen guilty about reading for pleasure in the middle of the day. (Check out KYLA JOY’s post of some of our favorite reads here.)

Take a nap. Enjoy the luxurious pleasure of taking a nap in the middle of a weekday! (That means you’re really and truly relaxing!)

Visit local museums. You know you’ve been meaning to. And how about that black & white photography exhibit you’ve been eyeing for weeks now? Many museums have free admission on certain days of the week, so check out their web sites for the relevant details.

Go see a movie. When’s the last time you actually went to a theater to see a movie? Go to an afternoon matinee – because you can! 

Check out local festivals, fairs and concerts. Look online for listings of what’s going on in your city. Look not only for farmer’s markets, but also for street fairs, church festivals, and summer concerts in the park.

Do a day trip. Visit a local national park. Head to that small town you’ve heard so much about and explore the local sights. In a major metro area, simply heading to the other side of town might count as a day trip!

Go camping in your backyard. Pop up a pup tent, unfurl the sleeping bags and make s’mores on the barbecue.

Try geocaching. A treasure hunt requiring no cash and no car! Download the official geocaching app and use your GPS-enabled phone to find your way to a specific location where the cache is hidden. (Learn more at www.geocaching.com.)

Go for a hike. Head to your favorite trail or pick a local spot you have yet to explore. Pack water, snacks, sunscreen and a hat. Use your phone only to take pictures of beautiful vistas and/or incredible close-up details. Not a hiker? Check your tire pressure and head out on a bike.

Hang out with the boys of summer. Does your town have a minor league baseball team? Tickets are inexpensive and it’s a great outing for date night or for the whole family. And you never know – you might even see the next Derek Jeter or Mike Trout!

Go on a picnic. Pack some fancy cheeses, crackers, fruit, and wine. Go with your significant other or grab a couple of great friends. Pick a beautiful park, lakeside or even the beach.

Go on a food adventure. Each night for dinner, plan on a different type of food (Thai, Ethiopian, Afghan, etc.) Mix up long-standing favorites with a couple of genres that are new to you.

Take care of the details like you would for any vacation. Put an OOO notification on your email. Consider stopping the snail mail for the duration of your staycation. Catch up on errands and chores beforehand. Get your house cleaned from top to bottom. Send the laundry out, just this once.

Let go. Don’t worry about making everything perfect. Leave room for spontaneity and discovery. And don’t start thinking about work before your vacation is over.