I love traveling, but it’s not relaxing. When I go somewhere new, I don’t want to lie on the beach, I want to see things! Why pay all that money if I’m not going to get the most out of it? So sometimes I want to relax at home – and I imagine you do too. Maybe it’s time, maybe it’s money, but everyone needs a staycation sometimes. I’m going to help you do it right. First, take a day or two off work so you have a long weekend – you don’t need a full week if your vacation involves actually relaxing!
Create Your Own At-Home Spa
I always have a spa day. Always. Sometimes it’s the first day, sometimes the last, but nothing relaxes me more than some pampering. Invite some friends over and take care of your skin. You can buy a lot of fancy products, and sometimes that may be the better option, but you can do a lot of it on the cheap too. I like this magnetic face mask (it also comes in gold!) for zits and impurities or this bubbly one for a deep clean, and I think they’re worth spending the money on. For a body wrap, use this mud, some old towels, and some saran wrap, and get all the gunk out of your skin. You can buy an exfoliant, but I prefer just mixing brown sugar with some oil – it works really well, and it is basically free – plus it’s good for your face and your body. Throw a bit of essential oil in there (I favor Jasmine and vanilla) and it’ll smell amazing while you use it. Give yourself (and your friends) manicures and pedicures – use a big plastic tub to soak your feet, then scrub with the brown sugar exfoliant, put on some lotion, and paint your nails. You can even hire a hairstylist and/or a masseuse to come out for that extra-luxurious vibe (it’s not as expensive as you think)!
The other part of a great at-home spa day is the food, drinks, and entertainment. Some people go for relaxing music, but I prefer movies. Throw some light movies on the t.v. (I like classic teen movies like Clueless or Easy A, or comedies such as The Sweetest Thing). Then use these recipes to complete your relaxing day – you want light, healthy, and fresh!
- Nonalcoholic: Infused Water
- Cocktails: Lavender Lemonade, Melon Ball Sangria, or Blueberry Vodka Mojito
- Breakfast: huevos rancheros and a smoothie bowl bar
- Lunch: strawberry walnut salad and black bean-mango tacos or fish-mango tacos
- Dinner: Salmon with salsa and rice or linguine with artichokes
Picnic At The Lake (Or Beach Or Pool)
Spend some time laying out by the water. I prefer the lake, because you can also rent a jetski or kayak if you want, but choose your favorite. Pack a great book (here’s some of my suggestions!). load a great playlist onto you phone, and bring a picnic. Make sure you bring sunscreen so you don’t burn, but other than that, you can get out of the house for free and still be lazy for a day! Here’s some picnic recipes to get you started.
Have A Board Game Night
I feel like people don’t play board games enough. Like, somewhere along the line, they became sorely underrated, so let’s fix that. Invite some friends over for a board game evening. There are so many great ones out there – Ticket To Ride, Cards Against Humanity, Plague, and Root (I haven’t played this yet – it just looks so interesting!).
Embrace A New Creative Hobby
A staycation is a great time to start a hobby. You have hours to learn how to do something, you can make a big mess, and you can wander the craft store. Try soapmaking, crocheting, scrapbooking, or making perfume. I like to try my hand at dessert decorating (I’m not very good yet) and I’ve also made jewelry or I paint some things. Keeping those creative juices flowing will actually help you in your job, and you may find a new interest that you love!
Go On An Adventure
This is one of my favorite things. It’s fun with a friend (just one, too many people is too many opinions) or alone. Basically, get in your car and start driving away from your town. Avoid highways at all costs. Every 10 minutes, make a turn – first left, then right, then left, then right. Stop when you’ve hit some adorable little town that you’ve never been to. Find a little antique store or coffee shop, and ask the employees what there is to do around there, or just wander up and down Main Street.
I’ve done this so many times (sometimes by accident) and found the most adorable towns, and ended up going back to them! They’ll have small town festivals you’ll want to attend, or the best blueberry pie you’ve ever eaten. The thing about small towns is everyone knows everyone – if the natives are rude, it gets around, so they tend to be nice – and everything is a bit more personal. It’s a nice and relaxing break from everyday, busy life.
Eat Around The World
This works best if you have the money to buy from restaurants, but you can do this for cheap at home too. Basically, for every meal, pick a country – and not a common country, but countries you’ve never been to and aren’t known for their food. Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Luxembourg (this is how I tried Afghani food!). Assign them a meal, pick a recipe (or find a restaurant), and try some new cuisine. If you go to a restaurant, let the waiter choose what you eat. If you’re cooking at home, don’t look at the ingredients before you pick – pictures only, or have a friend pick for you. The idea is to get way out of your comfort zone and try new things.
I’m a huge fan of staycations – partly because I’m broke, partly because I’m so anal at work, and active on vacations, that I desperately need time to stop. I often use my vacation days individually for a lot of three day weekends, rather than one block, because it’s the perfect way to rejuvenate. I hope these ideas help you like they help me!