Not all of us have the time to fly off to some new destination for vacation, but we don’t need to splurge on a hotel stay just so we can say we did a “staycation.” You can recreate that amazing experience right in your very own home. Here are some ideas to get you started. Enjoy!
1. Start with some mood lighting. Turn out the harsh fluorescent lights and if you can, replace them with ambient lighting, which will instantly relax you and create a peaceful mood. Better yet, stock up on candles. According to ApartmentTherapy.com, “Dim candlelight will instantly relax you, and the soft flickering is essentially hypnotic in lulling you to sleep.” For the bedroom, opt for tea lights that are less likely to fall over and start a fire, but pillar candles are still ideal for the dining room.
2. Create a comfortable, special seating spot. Identify which spot in your abode is the perfect place to curl up with a good book while sipping some tea or wine—be it in your bedroom or your living area. If there’s not already a comfy chair in that spot where you can do just this, you may want to invest in one (perhaps a chaise lounge?). Add a cushy throw or a soft coverlet or quilt, make sure you have your reading light, and you’re all set!
3. Line up your staycation reading. Now that you’ve identified your seating spot for reading, all you need is a stack of books for your binge-reading. Make it a good mix of classics you never got around to reading in school, a bestselling novel they’ve turned into a blockbuster movie, some light chick lit, and an inspiring memoir. As RealSimple.com puts it, “An armchair journey is a trip, too, when taken in the company of an evocative writer.”
4. Stage your own three-day film festival. Not a bookworm? Binge-watch movies instead. RealSimple.com suggests picking “a theme―When Smooth Men Ruled the Silver Screen, Road-Trip Movies, The Five Biggest Tearjerkers―then bump them to the top of your Netflix queue.” Or just use this time to catch up on episodes of your favorite TV series. Complete the experience by stocking up on your favorite movie snacks—you’re on vacation, so allow yourself to binge on buttery popcorn, a huge bag of potato chips, your favorite bar of chocolate, and maybe even some cherry soda—before you turn out the lights and dive in.
5. Turn your space into your favorite destination. You may not be able to go to that place as often as you want, but think of the elements that remind you of your favorite vacation spot—the view or scenery, scents, colors, the architecture and decor—and add them to your home. Here are some ideas from Time.com: “Love the beach? A grass umbrella, beach chair, fluffy towels and seashells can make you feel like you’ve escaped. Is your ideal vacation filled with quiet reading time while submersed in nature? Style a cozy reading nook next to…scented plants like rosemary or lavender. Adding reminders of your favorite hotel or vacation spots can help you extend your holiday time without leaving the home.”
6. Have breakfast in bed. Do you enjoy breakfast in bed in your fancy hotel while on vacation? Replicate this luxurious practice in your own home on weekends—even if you may have to prepare it yourself. Invest in a foldable bed tray, then fill it with easy to prepare breakfast fare: a glass of orange juice, a cup of your morning brew, cheeses, little bottles of jam, a bowl of cereal, sliced fruits, bagels, and maybe even a croissant or two. Carbo-loading is best done in bed!
7. Bring home your favorite destination for dinner. And while we’re on the subject of food and turning your home into your favorite vacation, get take out from a good restaurant that offers the cuisine of your favorite destination—like chili crabs and cereal prawns that you first tried in Singapore, buttery lobster rolls that originated from the East Coast, Tim Ho Wan’s famous barbecue pork buns and siomai that remind you of Hong Kong, or some pad thai noodles and pork satay that bring to mind Thailand.
But who says you have to leave the house for dinner? A staycation will not be complete without ordering in—just have your chosen cuisine delivered to your doorstep. Call for some pizza and pasta to remind you of Italy—or even Chicago and New York!
8. Drink fancy water. We don’t mean those ultra-expensive bottled water they give you at luxury hotels, but if you think that helps remind you of your favorite vacation while at home, then go right ahead. But what we mean is this idea, which RealSimple.com got from Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico: “Fill your prettiest pitchers with ice water and slices of lemon, orange, or cucumber. Place them (each with a glass) at various strategic points around the house and in a shady spot outside. Then, as you go about your day, stop often to take a long, cool, flavorful pull”—like you would if you really were at your favorite resort!
9. Create and play your vacation soundtrack. Are you the type who creates playlists for your trips? If not, recall the songs that defined your favorite vacation and played throughout your trip—be it to a beach destination or some cosmopolitan city where you enjoyed wining and dining. Whether you already have a vacation playlist or have yet to curate one, playing the songs you listened to while on your trip is another great way to bring your vacation home—like all those EDM tracks you danced to at that rooftop bar in Singapore while you’re crafting your own cocktail at home, or those Bob Marley hits that were playing all over Boracay while you read that book in your outdoor sitting area. Maybe even look up that soothing ambient music you heard while on your Bali yoga retreat and play that while you do your morning stretches.
10. Go on a yoga retreat in your living room. Yoga classes are a popular activity in any vacation, especially on some exotic island destination. So why not add this activity to your staycation at home? Spread your exercise mat and towel, play your yoga retreat soundtrack or better yet pop in a yoga DVD you can follow, and you can begin stretching your way to relaxation.
11. Turn your bathroom into an aromatherapy spa. A long, warm bath is the perfect way to soothe your muscles after your yoga session—and a must in any staycation. Shop for essential oils like calming lavender, romantic rose oil, or energizing peppermint and bring out your favorite body scrub. Lucky you if you have a tub at home: just draw a luxurious bath, sink into it, and soak for 30 minutes to an hour. Otherwise, burning aromatherapy oil while you scrub and lather in the shower is a great alternative, too.
12. Book a massage therapist who makes house visits. After your luxurious bath, won’t it be great to get a massage? But since this is a staycation, you need not leave the house. Research online if there are any good massage therapists who make house calls in your area, or just ask friends for recommendations. Some spas can send you one of their therapists with a bit of extra charge, as they normally would at hotels.
13. Give yourself a relaxing facial and foot massage. If you’re not comfortable inviting a stranger into your own home for a massage, just recall those soothing strokes the facialist did at your last spa session and do it for yourself while you apply luxurious serums and creams on your face. Leave on a face mask for 20 minutes, and as you let it soak, try this tip from RealSimple.com : “Put a tennis, squash, or golf ball on a hard floor and roll the sole of each foot back and forth over it, concentrating on the instep and the ball of the foot, just below the big toe, where lots of tension can gather. Do this for five minutes while you read or just gaze out the window.”
14. Have your own plush white cotton or terry robe. Don’t you just love the soft, warm robes they provide in fancy hotel rooms, which you sometimes wish you can just pack in your luggage? Just go ahead and buy yourself one! Think of how satisfied you’ll feel each time you slip into it: when you wake up, while you sip your coffee or tea, after your luxurious bath, and any other time you feel like it.