Image courtesy of Jen P at Unsplash

The past year has been riddled with uncertainty and dread. The world has seemingly been caught up in a whirlwind of tragedy after tragedy that never seems to end its cycle. We have seen a global pandemic, the ugliness of Systemic Racism, and the reality that we live in a world that does not value or respect scientific based-evidence. 

The continued threat of Covid-19 around the world is seen through new spikes in cases and increased mandates to stay at home. While the globe turns, we still find ourselves at our jobs, working to keep our ends met and our lights on. However, through this lack of mobility, many have lost the excitement of a looming vacation. We have put on the back burner our PTO and our Travelocity bookings because we simply cannot go anywhere. 

How do we remedy the tremendous lack of geographical motion we are experiencing? It’s simple: A STAYCATION!

Now, this seems rather silly when you take into account many people still work from home, and in many parts of the world, they are under a stay-at-home order, but that does not mean you do not deserve to disconnect and relax. This article will list the top ten ways you can turn a vacation at home into a five-star experience! 

1) Schedule Time Off From Work or Projects You Have Been Working On. 

The first step in creating a vacation vibe is to schedule it in advance. When we go on big vacations or plan time away from our day-to-day, it is always scheduled. Not many people can jump on a plane and fly to Cancun on a whim; there’s planning involved. This may seem like a minute detail. Sure, in this day and age giving short notice is fine for a vacation, but is it enough time to wrap your mind around the situation at hand?

Planning not only gets your items prepared, but it creates tension and excitement. Spontaneous activities are fun, of course, but planning builds suspense. Give at least two weeks’ notice to your job, or if you are unemployed or self-employed, mark on your calendar “Vacation”. This will allow you to tell people who want to schedule things with you that are business-related that you will be on vacation. There’s nothing more exciting than having an excuse to get out of a tedious task. Likewise, this opens the doors to talk about your vacation and thus adding even more excitement! 

2) Prepare in Advance

When you go on a conventional vacation there are weeks of preparation (for most people). YOU have to pack your bags, find a dog sitter, and much more. For a Staycation, you get to omit these activities that cause stress for many people, but preparation is key for creating that vacation feeling.

Go through Pinterest, or throw “Staycation” into your favorite search engine and see what other people have done to escape from the comfort of their home. Find what works best for you and see what items you will need to make it happen? Do you need to collect a few books that you’ve been wanting to read? Do you need to stock up on essential oils and bath salts for that in-home spa treatment you’ve been dying to try? 

When you’ve figured out your “packing list”, start collecting the items you need. To make it a bit more fun, put them in a tote or suitcase so that while you are still working and waiting for the staycation to begin, you won’t be constantly seeing the items. You don’t want to be using up your Lavender Essential oil before it’s time to relax. (Of course, you can, if you are super in need!!)

3) Disconnect While on your Staycation

One of the most common themes I saw while researching this article was that those in their staycation continue to be connected to the world. Whether that be checking work emails, posting way too much on social media, or using the internet to look up information on a task that you left at work before your Staycation time. 

Of course, you don’t have to disconnect completely and live a one-week off-the-grid lifestyle, but it is important to put work aside and truly enjoy your time. If you find yourself opening your email, stop yourself. Set up strategic items/activities to which you can transition your focus if you are thinking about work. Place a book beside your computer with a note that says, “In need, give me a read!” Or, if you use your phone a lot for work, set a 30-minute alarm when you grab your phone and name it “Are you working? – STOP”. This will create accountability. 

You can also take this to the extreme if you are trying to actually disconnect from all technology. Turn your phone off and put it in a place that you do not often access. Perhaps a shoebox in your closet, or in a drawer that you don’t go to too often. This doesn’t work for everyone of course, because relaxation for some is to be on their phone playing games or using it for ebooks and audiobooks, but if it is an option for you, feel free! 

4) Do Your Activities!

You spent weeks preparing for your staycation. You planned a spa day. You planned to read. You even planned to rewatch terrible movies from your childhood, but what’s the point if you don’t do them. 

Take out your tote of goodies and do the activities that you had planned for yourself. This is paramount in a staycation because you have to fabricate experiences. There isn’t an excursion to the Aztec ruins, or a jeep ride through mud and crazy terrain, so you have to be the one to be your own tour guide. 

Now, I know there are people that think of vacation and they only want to lounge around and just live their lives, but with a staycation the vibes are different. You are staying in a space that you are familiar with. Even the people that go on a cruise and just tan for five days are experiencing something new. The sun is different in the location that they are visiting. The accents of people are different. The scenery changes. So, staying placid at home is not the experience you’ll want. At least not for the entire staycation. So, do your activities and unwind. Create new experiences. 

5) No Housework!

Listen …You’re home, I get it. Yes, there’s laundry that could be done. Sure there’s a closet that could be reorganized…. Just don’t. If you were off on an Alaskan adventure deep in the bush, you would not be doing laundry or using the tactics of Marie Kondo. You need to step away! 

This is very important, don’t focus on what needs to be done, focus on life! You are in a place frozen in time where you are the Monarch. Royalty doesn’t do laundry or tidy the kitchen! No, they enjoy their lives! So, enjoy yours! This is your time to be rejuvenated and to relax. Be in the moment, not in the trenches of housework. 

6) Go Outside

If you are on stay-at-home orders you may feel you cannot leave your home, but guess what, your home is not just confined to the walls where you seek shelter, no there’s a vast world waiting to be discovered just outside your door. 

Sit on your porch and read, or simply observe nature. Listen to the sounds of life all around you. Did you spot a bird? Is there a spider’s web on a nearby tree? Staycation is a chance to see the true beauty in the mundane. How many times have you walked into your home and never noticed that there was a nail in the siding sticking out? When was the last time you saw a bird swoop down and catch its breakfast? You don’t need National Geographic to experience nature. You simply need to step outside. 

7) Call Up Some Friends (If You Can)

If you are not under stay-at-home orders, and your friends are vaccinated, invite them over! Enjoy the company of the people you love most. When was the last time you had a nice dinner with your best friend? 

We as a global society are worked to the bone and that has caused our personal relationships to suffer. They have been reduced to group chats and .gif strands. While this is a genuine form of communication and connection, it has been created by a lack of time and mobility. 

A staycation offers you the ability to be in the moment with those you care deeply for. Why not take advantage of this and truly reconnect with your besties?

8) Reconnect with the Divine 

Our lives are tormented with a lack of time, energy, and self-care. This lack leads us to a world where we only connect with our divine selves or deities of choice when we are in need of them or when it is convenient to our schedule. Now that you are on vacation you can truly reconnect to the spiritual aspects that you may have lost in your life.

So, take time for meditation, cast a spell, or sit at your altar in the presence of divinity. You could even practice a skill that you have not been able to use in some time. Try to read your tarot cards, practice dowsing, or even practice meditation without falling asleep from exhaustion. This is an excellent time to reconnect!

9) Build a Fort

On a staycation, you are afforded one of the most luxurious offerings that one could hope for: you are not in the world being seen by tourists attempting to set up the perfect spot to sit at the beach. There is no towel flapping where Tik Tokkers can film your struggle and post it for viral views. No! You are free! 

Take this time to do something fun, like building a fort out of blankets in your living room. Add some ambiance with a small lantern or string lights. In the solitude of your fort, this can be your indoor tent and an escape from the home that you have been stuck in for so long. Switch up your surroundings and enjoy this freedom! 

10) Bring the Destination to Your Home

One of the most photographed items on vacation is food and cocktails. When we think exotic destinations we think of their food and drink, so bring your favorites to your home. Turn on some music that creates the ambiance of where you’d like to go and order some takeout that boasts the best food from that region. 

My personal favorite destination is Cozumel, Mexico. So, on my staycation, I would order Mexican food from my local taqueria and prepare some strong margaritas, then sit back and watch something silly on the television. 

Pick whatever you want, or if you don’t have a local eatery with the food you are needing to make the perfect destination staycation, then you can always look up recipes and make it yourself. How fun would it be to craft a new meal that you’ve never made before?? 

Conclusion

Staycations are a new normal for us in an age of pandemics and fear. This list will help you prepare and enjoy the perfect staycation in your home with little to no effort. It’s all about creating memories from your own home! 

[Written by Sheldon Slinkard. @SheldonsBooks on Instagram.]

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