While many of us have mastered the art of the staycation (thanks, 2020), we’ve also been able to recognize the value of taking a break from the daily grind—even when said break doesn’t include a change of scenery. And there are other advantages of taking a staycation, too: saving money for future trips, the pure joy of sleeping in one’s own bed, the absence of jet lag, and so on.
The true key to taking a staycation, though, is to go all in. Like a vacation, you can’t do a staycation halfway and expect to feel refreshed and recharged. If you’re planning a staycation soon, use these four tips to maximize your experience.
1. Toss the to-do list
We all have chores, recurring obligations, and habits that make up our daily lives. The first step to a successful staycation is to break those routines. Just like you would do before you left for a real vacation, get your house and calendar in order before the staycation officially starts. That means knocking out any cleaning projects that might tempt you during the break and kindly backing out of any activities that are part of your routine.
For many of us, our smartphones have become the most addicting obligation we have. We’re always getting notifications—whether about a new like on Instagram, a new email from a client, or a breaking news story.
To that end, make sure a digital detox is part of your staycation. Shut the laptop, turn the notifications off on your smartphone, and ditch the alarm clock. It might make you uncomfortable at first, but once you settle in, you may be surprised at just how relaxing it is to not be constantly reacting to a notification.
3. Think like a tourist
Now that you have time for activities and time away from technology, the question is: What to do with it all? A great place to start is with local experiences that you’ve likely overlooked merely because they’re nestled in your own backyard.
Oftentimes, tourist destinations are popular for a reason—reasons locals take for granted. Think like you’ve never been to your own city before, and find some spots to check out. Try a new restaurant you previously overlooked because you have your regular rotation of dining destinations. Museums, historic sites, and walking tours are also great for seeing the same place from a new point of view.
4. Embrace a beach mindset
If you spend a couple of days of your staycation exploring, be sure to balance it out with some downtime. One way to ensure this happens is to embrace a beach mindset. Something about the sand and sea gives us permission to nap, read, wander, and play. Now, simply do the same things from the comfort of your living room. Give yourself permission to binge watch your favorite shows (as long as that’s not already part of your routine), read a few books you’ve been meaning to, and drift off for a nap when you need it.
The whole point of a staycation is to recharge—and a little lazing can go a long way.