Taking a vacation sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? You get to kick back, relax and maybe take that much-needed nap by the beach. As much as you’d love to book a few nights at the all-inclusive resort in Mexico, the reality is that your budget is a bit tight, or it’s hard to round up the family together and agree on a place.
Sure, staycations are budget-friendly and easier to organize (you don’t need to wrangle screaming kids in the airport!), but that doesn’t mean it has to feel like one. Seriously, you can do some of the following things so that you can feel like you’re on vacation even though you’re not leaving your neighborhood.
Book an In-Home Massage
Hotels have spas, so why not get the same thing in your home. Getting a massage feels so luxurious, and you don’t even need to leave your house! If you want to go all out, consider doing an entire spa day — hire someone to do a family facial.
This option, of course, isn’t exactly the cheapest one. Instead, buy a few nice scented candles, head to the nearest Target and grab supplies for a DIY spa kit. To go even further, grab a playlist of songs you’ll find if you head to a spa.
Go ahead, light those candles, sit in your warm bubble bath, and relax.
Hire a Cleaner
The point of a vacation is so you can relax. Sadly, there’s nothing worse than having a messy environment, especially for neat freaks like me. Instead, hire a cleaner for your vacation — one time before your staycation and one the day before it’s over. There are plenty of affordable options available. Ask friends and family members for recommendations.
Try a New Restaurant in Your Neighborhood
Sometimes we get so busy in our day to day routine that we don’t take the time to explore our surroundings. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but for two years, I passed by a restaurant that looked interesting but kept forgetting to tell my husband about it.
Going to a new restaurant means switching up your routine, which can feel like you’re on vacation. There are tons of foodie websites that might feature new places that crop up, or check local flyers while you’re out and about.
Find Deals on Groupon
Getting out and doing stuff will make it feel like you’re not staying at home. There are some great budget-friendly activities on coupon sites like Groupon to check out. Maybe you can find tickets to the zoo for half off or heavily discounted tickets to a seasonal event.
Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a fun new activity you’ll want to do regularly.
Hire a Local Tour Guide
How well do you really know your area?
Hiring a local tour guide can be a great way to explore hidden gems in your city or to learn more about its history. It doesn’t have to be expensive either — I’ve found local walking tours in my area on Airbnb Experiences for as low as $15 per person!
Don’t Run Errands
Seriously, don’t do them. The point of a vacation is to step away from the stress of everyday life. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you need to cross off items from your to-do list. It can wait.
Now that you have a few ways to turn your staycation into a vacation, which will you choose?
Make it yours
There are no rules for how you plan your staycation. You can be active and do things you’ve never done before, or you can spend your free time on the couch with a good book or catching up on your binge-watching.
The goal is to relax and have a good time without breaking the bank or dealing with the hassle of actually going somewhere. For your staycation, do what makes you happy and try to focus on having a good time, relaxing, and recharging as you head back to reality.
—By Sarah Li Cain