By Alena Kairys

Jul 14, 2022

Summer is the quintessential season to take a vacation, but if you’ve had to make household budget cuts recently, you may have to make the difficult decision of pausing or minimizing your plans. Staying closer to home this summer might just be the next best thing to having a relaxing getaway. Sure, maybe your home isn’t exactly like a vacation resort, but it certainly doesn’t have to feel like the same old, same old—here’s how you can make the most of your staycation.

Inside Your Home

Cleaning your home may sound like the opposite of relaxing, but how would you feel entering a dirty, unkempt hotel room? Probably not very relaxed, right? Before you start your staycation, treat your home to some vacuuming, wiping down, window washing, and basic decluttering. Straightening up your home is more than just freeing up space, it frees your mind, too. With clean windows, you can let the sunshine in or even a gentle breeze.  Starting your time off with a clean home means you’ll spend less time worrying about how much housework you have to do­­

Are you missing the foliage of a tropical paradise? Place a few real or faux plants around your home to mimic the lush jungle. Scent is a powerful tool that can mentally transport you; use it to your advantage by using cleaning products, fragrance diffusers, or air fresheners that evoke tranquility.

In your bedroom, consider using blackout curtains to emulate being in a hotel room—they may even help you sleep more soundly! Make it a point to make your bed each morning. After a long day of fun, it feels great to unwind in a freshly made bed. To make your bathroom feel more spa-like, replace your everyday towel set with fluffy white ones.

When you’re taking a staycation, treat it like you would a conventional vacation. Don’t worry about doing daily chores or checking work emails constantly. Changing your ordinary behavior will mentally make you feel like you’re taking a vacation, even if you’re staying near home.

In Your Backyard

Use your backyard to create summer memories during your staycation. A simple way to get into the “chill zone” is to hang an inexpensive hammock in your yard. Try bringing the activies you’d normally enjoy inside outdoors, like mealtime, reading, board games, and watching movies. For the more adventurous, break out your tent and sleeping bags for a backyard campout under the stars. It’s a classic way to enjoy the outdoors, no matter your age. A string of solar powered lights can make your space more magical whenever you’re using your yard in the evening.

Outside Your Home

You don’t have to go far to have an entertaining vacation. Staying closer to home means you’ll get to appreciate your town more. Why not take a day trip to check out new and old favorite activities and restaurants? Pretending you’re a tourist in your own city can lend itself to fresh, different experiences. You can make kayaking, hiking, biking or swimming a full-day excursion if you love being active outdoors. If a laid-back experience is more your speed, a picnic in a public park or beach can make the day more special. Many areas host free or low-cost events during the summer—find out what’s going on in your community and start making plans!

If you want your summer plans to involve fewer traffic jams and cancelled flights and more fun memories, staycationing is an excellent, cost-effective alternative. Even if you’re not leaving your ZIP code, a staycation doesn’t have to be “blah”; it just means seeing the familiar with a new perspective.

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