A lot of us are going to be staying at home, or at least more local than usual, for our breaks this summer due to COVID-19 and all the issues that bring. Many of us may be feeling disappointed about the lack of amazing foreign holidays, especially when we’ve been cooped up for so long, but there is another way to look at local holidays that will change your perspective. Turn your home holiday into a stunning staycation and suddenly it won’t seem so bad – in fact it’ll feel almost as good as those foreign holidays you so love with the added bonus that you won’t have to send any time at all in airport queues. Sound good? Here’s what you need to do to ensure you have an amazing staycation this year…
Clean up the house
If your house is going to be the base for your staycation, the first thing you’re going to want to do is clean it up and make it as nice as the best 5-star hotel you’ve ever stayed in. Yes, this might take you a little while, but it will be worth it when your home looks and smells amazing – be sure to get some nice scented candles – your sheets are soft and inviting, and the place feels like a whole new home. If you have a garden, spend some time getting that nice and ensuring there’s enough furniture so you can all spend lots of time out there too. If the weather’s good, it’ll feel as nice as sitting on a Spanish terrace, especially if you’ve prettied it up with lanterns and fragrant flowers, etc..
Plan a sightseeing tour
If you’re going to be staying local, you’re going to want to make the absolute most of everything that’s on your doorstep. So, get online and search for every single attraction that you can easily get to in your area. You’ll probably be surprised how many things there are like little art galleries and themed cafes, that you didn’t even know existed. Make a list of them, and any local beauty spots of course, and then work out which ones you would like to see. You can then put together an itinerary and start exploring them at your leisure. Sure, it might not be the Louvre, but you’ll be surprised how much your local area has to offer.
Ditch the devices
Okay, so you might not be able to spend the whole duration of your staycation without glancing at your phone or watching a few cheeky episodes of your favourite show on Netflix, but make a really effort to switch off the devices and spend your time fully in the present moment enjoying a more relaxed pace of life. You’ll be surprised how refreshing even a few hours device-free can really be.
Treat yourself to fine foods
One of the best things about going on holiday is all of the amazing new foods you get to try at your leisure. You can recreate this during your staycation by buying slightly more luxurious foods than you normally would, trying new recipes from all over the world, or if you’re really looking for luxury and you can afford it, ordering out from the various world cuisine takeaways and restaurants around. Since coronavirus hit, more and more restaurants have started up delivery services, so it’s never been easier to sample everything your local area has to offer.
Plan a picnic
Some people spend whole staycations at home, but chances are you’ve had enough of not leaving the house by now, so you’re going to want to plan as many outside activities as you can. One of the best ways to enjoy a fun day out during your staycation is to plan a picnic. Picnic food is so easy to make, and in many cases can even be purchased ready-made, and even the most built-up cities tend to have some green space where you can lounge on a blanket and take in the view. Invite along a few friends pack some wine and you’ll have an amazing time dining al fresco.
Take a road trip
Another fun activity that will enhance your staycation is taking a road trip. Yes, the whole point of having a staycation is to stay at home, but there’s no reason why for one day you can’t jump into your brand new Bentley Continental GT or even your old banger, and head out a little further. We’re lucky in the UK that we’re never more than a short drive from another place with completely new landscapes and attractions to explore and you should make the most of this by heading to the coast, a pretty country park or maybe even a theme park if you’re feeling more adventurous. Make the whole trip part of the event by enjoying the landscape and playing fun road trip games, rather than making the destination the whole point, and you’ll have a wonderful time.
Have a home spa day
You might not be able to make the most of the high-end spas you would usually enjoy on holiday, but you can do a pretty good job of turning your home into a spa if that’s something you would enjoy. Light scented candles or diffuse essential oils for that soothing spa smell put on a face mask, and if you have a partner staying with you get him/her to give you an amazing massage. Your worry will fade away and you’ll feel so completely amazing that it won’t matter that you aren’t in Thailand at all.
If the weather is good, make a point of cooking and eating most of your meal outdoors. That way, you’ll get the same sort of al fresco feeling that you usually enjoy on holiday, and the fresh air and vitamin D will do you the world of good. Hang up a hammock, play some soft music and when you’re done eating, take a siesta – it’ll feel so good.
Take an online class
If you’re the kind of person who loves soaking in as much culture as possible while you’re on holiday, one thing you could do to create the same kind of feeling you get when traipsing around museums and art galleries is to take a class online. There are lots of free and paid for classes in art history, science, crafts and…well everything you can think of really, that can provide you with something stimulating to do while you’re holidaying at home. Give them a try.
Set up a tent
If you have a large garden, you could even set up a large tent or teepee right at the back and make like you’re camping. You’ll get to enjoy sleeping under the beautiful stars while being only a short distance away from all the amenities of modern life – what could be better?
Enjoy an outdoor movie
Another fun outdoor staycation activity, if you can get hold of a projector and cloth screen, is to throw your own outdoor movie marathon. You can cook up popcorn and your favourite cocktails and enjoy sitting on the lawn as your favourite movies of all time play on the big screen. Invite some friends over and have them bring their favourite movies too and you can make a really fun night of it discussing each other’s preferences and laughing over cheesy dialogue.
If you’re the type that loves to read a good book, make your staycation all about reading. Read when you get up, listen to an audiobook when you go for a walk, lie in a hammock with a book before your afternoon siesta and transport yourself to another world. There are far worse ways to spend a week, and not only might you learn something new, but you’ll be transported far further than the boundaries of your local area.
Work on your wellness
Now is the perfect time to work on your wellness levels and mental health. Look up yoga classes online, learn how to meditate, take time to write down your dreams and goals and spend most of your time relaxing. Think about your life and what is good and not so good and start implementing changes to your routine. Sometimes, a change really is as good as a rest and by taking your staycation time to work out who you really are you could transform your whole life for the better going forward.
Staycations don’t have to be expensive or Instagram perfect – they should be about taking some time out to relax and enjoy yourself as much as possible. They should also be about seeing your home and your local area in a new light, so if you do them right, they really could change your perspective for the better, not only for the duration but for the rest of your life – staycations are an amazing gift you can give yourself.
Have you ever had a staycation? What activities and practices did you incorporate to make it amazing?
**disclaimer; this is a collaborative post