Sometimes we fancy a holiday, and sometimes we can’t have one because, well, we just can’t afford it. As depressing as it can feel when there’s holiday adverts everywhere, and your friends and family are talking about where they’re flying off to next month or next year, there are ways to give yourself a little vacation without denting your bank balance or taking out a small loan.
The staycation is the next best thing. No, you’re not actually going to be going anywhere, but you get the advantages of a holiday without having to pack, pay an expensive taxi to the airport, or spend two hours crammed uncomfortably close to a stranger on a plane whilst they hog the shared arm rest.
If you feel like you need a break, and have a few holidays left to use up at work, the staycation might be exactly what you need. Of course, there are a few things you need to do to make sure that your personal vacation is equally as relaxing and enjoyable as an international trip…
Forget Your Routine
If you want your staycation to be as authentic as a true vacation, you need to abandon your usual routine. If you usually wake up on your day off, go downstairs, grab a bowl of cereal and sit in front of the TV for half the day before bathing the dog and doing laundry – don’t do any of these things!
Before you start your staycation, do any household chores that might need doing, and go shopping to buy something nice for breakfast. Perhaps fruit and pancakes or croissants, wake up and treat yourself to something you would never usually indulge in for breakfast. If it’s nice weather, sit outside and enjoy your breakfast outdoors. You need to forget the ‘normal’ and crank it up a notch, just like you would on a holiday.
Avoid Work and Emails
If you were waking up in a beach hut in the Bahamas, you wouldn’t immediately check your emails when you got up in the morning, you’d be too busy relaxing and enjoying your free time to bother with the stresses of everyday life. Well this is the attitude you should have on your staycation. As hard as it might be, refrain from checking your emails or contacting colleagues with work related issues. Shut down your computer and turn off notifications on your mobile if you struggle to stay strong. Set your work aside and take the time for yourself.
If there’s a local restaurant you’ve been dying to try, treat yourself! A vacation usually involves going out for some delicious food and new cuisine, and this shouldn’t be any different! Don’t be afraid to spend a little, you’re already saving money by having a staycation, and you still deserve to treat yourself. Take a walk and visit an ice cream parlor or dessert shop you would usually just walk straight past. Food is at the heart of any great trip, and for your staycation to feel authentic, the same should still apply!
Be a Tourist in your own Town
Often when you’ve lived somewhere for a while, you forget the beautiful sights and tourist spots it has to offer. Spend some time visiting your local attractions; you might be surprised how much differently you view things when you actually take the time out to appreciate them! Maybe you’ve never actually visited your local museum, or actually strolled properly through your local park. Being a tourist in your own home can be extremely fun, make a list and work your way through it!
When we’re on vacation everything seems worthy of a picture, the local monuments, the taxi driver, the stray cat that keeps begging for food whilst you’re out having dinner. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures on your staycation! Yes you might still be at home, but you’re doing the things you wouldn’t usually do, and you should document the time you’re spending taking the time out for yourself and it’ll truly help you to notice all the beautiful things you might normally miss in day to day life. Planning and taking a staycation is a great thing to do, and you might want to look back at these memories at a later date!