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Staycation — a linguistic blend of ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’ — entered the public lexicon officially in 2009 when it was entered into the dictionary. Since then, this holiday at home option has become increasingly popular as would-be travellers realise that you don’t need to escape to a private island to get that holiday feeling.
The stress-free staycation provides all the rest and relaxation minus the hassle and expense of travelling. If you have some time off on your hands, but you’re not able to jet off to the destination of your choice, don’t worry. This is how you can plan a staycation that feels like you’re soaking up those holiday vibes from the comfort of home.
The last couple of weeks before a big break are usually filled with all that life admin that needs to be shored up before you’re officially checked out. Planning for a staycation is no different.
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re free to fill up your time with the mundane tasks of everyday life. Plan for your staycation by ticking all those items off your to-do list. Answer emails, return calls, pay bills, and give the house a good clean before you’re officially on holiday.
Turn your bedroom into a hotel room
New, fresh and a little bit luxe, the hotel room is a sure sign that it’s time to cut loose and enjoy the free time in the days and weeks ahead. While you’ll have to skip the daily housekeeping service, there are steps you can take to make your own bedroom feel just a little more luxurious.
Break out your best sheets (or indulge by ordering some online) and make the bed complete with hospital corners. Toss a couple of extra pillows and a throw blanket on the bed, and add some fine chocolates and a scented candle to the bedside table. All it takes is a few minor tweaks to make things feel just a little bit more special.
Recreate a spa experience
If relaxation is at the top of your holiday list, you can’t beat a spa experience. Luckily, recreating your favourite treatments at home is pretty easy. Start off with a long soak in the tub. Make sure you add your favourite scented candles, a drop or two of essential oils, and a rejuvenating face mask to boost the tranquillity. You’ll also need your favourite drink, of course!
Once you’ve achieved peak relaxation kick back on the couch or pull up a lounger in the sun, a good book in hand. The rest of the day is yours to do as much or little as you please.
Transform your garden
If you have kids, or even if you don’t, getting outside is a great idea. The back garden is a blank canvas that can be transformed into a number of family-friendly adventures. If you and the kids enjoy the rugged outdoors, set up the tent for a night under the stars. Roasting sausages on the BBQ or over an outdoor fire pit is a great way to add a bit of extra authenticity.
If you’re more into easygoing afternoons in the shade of a palm a la secluded tropical island, hang a hammock so you can kick back with your family, swaying in a cooling breeze while you read a story together or chat about favourite holiday memories.
For those that have a little extra spending money, you can even create an outdoor cinema for a movie night. It’s easier than you might think thanks to technology. All you need is a projector, king-size white sheet, laptop and a decent Bluetooth speaker. If you want to make it extra special, hang some fairy lights in the surrounding trees or bushes for added ambience, grab a couple of bean bag chairs and pop some popcorn for the feature film.
Learn something new
One of the great things about travelling is seeing and learning new things. Just because you’re holidaying at home doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the enlightenment. Dedicate a day or two of your at-home holiday to trying something new.
The options are endless here, from knitting to online cooking classes from the best chefs in the world. Get the kids involved by learning a new language together with the help of an app. Or take on a crafty project that everyone can participate in, such as quilting, painting or photography. Just make sure it’s within budget and easy enough to do at home. Who knows, it might become a regular hobby you can all enjoy on a regular basis!
Take a (virtual) tour
You may not be able to travel to the world’s most iconic sights in person this holiday, but you can still spend your staycation exploring. Virtual tours offer the next best thing when it comes to seeing the sights, and plenty of top spots offer their own versions.
You can go on safari in South Africa with the help of the SANParks webcams or go underwater to watch for beluga whales at the Georgia Aquarium. You can even tour your favourite theme parks with Disney World and LEGOLAND offering virtual walk-throughs of their parks and hotels.