Whether you’ve cancelled a European trip, a cruise of a lifetime, decided against Disney crowds, or postponed that National Park visit, it’s going to be okay. In fact, it may be the about-face needed to shift your perspective on what is required to get some R and R. After all, why do we vacation? It’s a way to put daily chores and work aside, explore new surroundings, experience foods and traditions of other cultures, but mostly we do it to recharge our proverbial batteries. You may be thinking, “I’m home on the weekends and its anything but relaxing.” That’s because you aren’t in vacation mode. With a little planning and the right outlook, organizing a stay-at-home retreat can produce the exact rejuvenation you need.
Staying home may not seem like the obvious choice for a vacation destination, but there are a lot of creative ways to turn the familiar into something new by using the same planning techniques that you would for more distant travel. Start by figuring out how many days you will be away from work. Plan out each day with the same attention you would give any vacation booking: decide who will watch your pets (and maybe your kids); think about both daytime and nighttime activities; set the stage by sprucing up indoor and outdoor spaces; and establish rules for how you will handle unexpected phone calls or visitors.
Set a Budget
As you would with any vacation preparation, set a budget. If a financial shortfall is the reason for staying close to home, then outline how much you are willing to spend so that you can plan activities and meals accordingly. If, however, you have the resources, but it was circumstances outside of your control that led to your your staycation, list out how much you would have spent on airfare, ground transportation, food and drinks, excursions, souvenirs, and other expenses. You’ll see where the money would have gone and what you have to work with, which will open up your budget for other possibilities.
Be a Hometown Tourist
From museums to hiking trails, there are likely a number of local hidden gems you can visit during your staycation. Perhaps there’s a country road you’ve been curious to drive down, or an art district you haven’t fully explored. Consider your town from a visitor’s perspective, by conducting Internet research to see how a tourist may be guided to the hottest spots or best kept secrets in town. Even if you’ve driven by a shop or scenic location hundreds of times, looking at it through a new lens can expand your appreciation for your hometown.
Tempt the Taste Buds
One of the highlights of a vacation is the food options. Let’s face it, nothing derails a diet like taking a holiday from your normal routine, because we can forgive ourselves for indulging “just this once.” So, food will be an important part of the planning process. Don’t want to cook? Then choose some restaurants you’ve always wanted to try, perhaps ethnic cuisine, a rowdy bar, or a fine-dining establishment. Or consider taking your “travel” crew to a cooking class, or arrange for a chef to teach you in your own home. You may be surprised at how enjoyable it is to prepare food in your own kitchen when you have the whole family participating under the guidance of a professional. Another option is to set up your grill and vow to only eat outdoors. You get to choose, just like you would if you’d traveled somewhere far away.
Organize an At-Home Spa Day
Nothing says vacation like a Swedish massage or a moisturizing foot wrap. While you can schedule time at a local spa during your staycation, you may also think about bringing in a professional masseuse or therapist to your home. Find out how much space they will need to set up their table(s) and supplies, and choose a room inside your home, or better yet, in your peaceful yard or garden, to receive a relaxing spa-inspired treatment.
One of the best things about down-shifting to a stay-at-home vacation is the mindset it puts you in. You stop thinking about your home for all its utilitarian functions, and start looking at the possibilities for making it an oasis. Vacations get you outside where you can relax in a shaded hammock, dine al fresco, or dance under the stars. By investing unused travel monies into your backyard, you can create your own vacation paradise. Think outdoor kitchen, outdoor theater, or outdoor lounge. Suddenly you can see your backyard as an untapped wonderland for entertaining, relaxing, or even…vacationing. And the best part is that, unlike money sunk into a long-distance trip, your investment will continue to pay dividends well into the future in the form of increased property value, expanded living space for your family, and, yes, as the destination for your next stay-at-home vacation.
For more information about how StruXure can help create youvery own oasis, please contact us at struXure.com.