While a getaway vacation is certainly nice, oftentimes the effort put into planning a vacation to an island in the sun takes so much organizing that it’s difficult to actually relax. And let’s face it, it also involves A LOT of money: airfare, hotel, transportation, food, drinks… it adds up. If you’re at all like me, a vacation HAS to be enjoyed in every moment to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth (and that’s a lot of stress).
Have you ever really asked yourself, “What if we just...stayed?”
I mean, think about it. A staycation can free you to do what a vacation can sometimes prohibit: rest. Just stop running around already! Chill out. That’s my staycation philosophy.
So how does one plan this escape? But just as with a traditional vacation, a staycation is an escape from the ordinary. We’ll address how to properly escape while staying at home by remembering the three pillars of a staycation: Food, Fun, and Forgetting about society!
You’re on vacation so OBVIOUSLY (unless you are really a person I cannot and will never understand), you’re going to want to eat some tasty food. And if you’re like me, you, unfortunately, do not have a French chef at your beck and call to come to cook for you all week. While this is sad, do not worry! You can still eat well if you take the following recommendations:
Take a break from the diet
While on vacation, unless you’ve got extremely important reasons, it is recommended (by me) that you scrap the diet. Vacation is a break from the ordinary, after all! Not that I’m suggesting that you have to eat poorly, but to enjoy vacation you simply cannot be obsessing about your food intake (unless you have insane allergies/intolerances or maybe you are a physique model, in which case I hope you enjoy having a perfect body).
Prep food in advance
So if you’re going to be relaxing, it might be good to know what your food plan is BEFORE your staycation begins so you don’t have to worry about it DURING your chilling out time. So set a budget. Make a list. Check it with any spouse/partner/kids who might be joining you on your adventure. And then: prepare by ordering food in advance (or knowing when you will order it) and looking up special recipes so you pick up the rest at the grocery store. Which leads us to…
Get food AND pre-prepared meals from the grocery
Yeah, we know you usually avoid the pre-prepared section at Wegman’s on account of it being $$$, but now is your time to dive in! Grab some sandwiches, or sushi, or even the fancy casseroles you’ve always smelled but never tasted. Along with the normal stuff for the recipes you printed out, this will be an easy way to make sure you’re set to eat all week. (And don’t forget the wine!)
Cook one or two FUN meals
Some people don’t like cooking, but cooking something with someone can always be fun if you don’t have anywhere to go and you have a good attitude. Pick one or two simple-ish recipes (or get fancy with it. Your call. GO OFF QUEEN!) and know which nights you’ll cook them and HECK, maybe even make a fun playlist to go with.
Use a food delivery service
Whether it’s Grubhub or Caviar or just a local delivery service, this is a fun option for a lazy staycation dinner. The technologies have made it just too easy to see what you like and order it! For the sake of the environment, I personally would recommend limiting this to one or two meals so as not to use so many take-out containers.
Try new things!
During vacation, it’s always fun to add an element of ~adventure~. As I said in the “take a break from the diet” section, you’ve gotta break away from the ordinary!
Things I’ve learned while trying new food:
Wow, passionfruit is so tangy!
Grits really aren’t full of little pebbles!
There’s a reason why they give you a bib when you eat Lobster!
Okay, wow. Food was a long section! Onward:
Um, if your vacation isn’t fun… you’re doing it wrong. So make it fun! There are lots of chill ways to have fun as well as COMPETITIVE or heart-racing ways to have fun. Pick your poison. Here are my suggestions:
Board games, card games, mind games(?): The point is games are fun! There are some classic two-person games: scrabble, chess, deciding whose turn it is to do the dishes (KIDDING!) as well as many a group game if you want to involve kids! If you have not played, I cannot recommend enough the tried and true option of Settlers of Catan! It’s just the perfect combo of chance, skill, and sneakiness.
Tend your garden
On a vacation, if you can, you should be outside!
I mean, only if you’re into it. But what a great way to stretch out your limbs!
Go to a theater show!
Whether you live near a city or a smaller town there are usually local arts groups who put on plays and musicals. It doesn’t have to be broadway to be a great show!
Go to a comedy show!
Same as above except for comedy. (And remember that this doesn’t just mean stand-up; improv shows are great fun too!)
So yeah, this only works if you have a pool. (Or if you inflate a kiddie one.) Do you need a pool? We can help! (Let us know on the contact page if you’re interested!) But yes: a pool is a great way to cool off and get some light exercise!
Window shop/stroll around town
Me oh my. When was the last time you took the opportunity to enjoy the place you live? I’m sure there’s a small shop owner that would be oh-so-happy to have you grace the shop with your presence. This is a small adventure, it’s true, but an adventure nevertheless!
The ol’ reading option
Yeah! You told your friends you were going to read more. Here’s your chance!
Forget about Society
Oh man, where to begin in this category? So much to say. First:
You just have to a little unplug, okay? Trust me.
PUT YOUR VACATION MESSAGE ON YOUR EMAIL! You cannot check work email on this vacay. Not allowed! It’s breaking staycation rules. But really, unplugging is key to getting rested and out of the constantly-on zone.
Now this will be hard. Very hard. To really do it is going to perhaps be annoying at first but once you get over the hump it will be worthwhile.
There is a 95% chance you are you are underslept. And while I just made that statistic up, there are myriad studies on just how exhausted we are and how 6 hours of sleep a night is simply not enough. So turn your alarm off and let your body catch up!
Why the heck not?! If you and your significant other have a chance to show one another how much you care, why would you absolutely not take that opportunity?
(And don’t do it to get a good Instagram pic.)
Cut back on television
Obviously this is optional, and I’m not saying you have to cut out the TV, but I am saying that watching television is not actually recharging… it’s just vegging. Plus, for the four-hundredth time, this staycation is about ESCAPING THE ORDINARY! So pick a couple of movies and maybe a show to watch a few episodes of and then limit it to that. And instead of binging three more seasons, take time to do something you’ve been telling yourself, “If only I had time to do ______.” This is that time!
Staycations have gotten a bad rap for not being glamorous or adventurous enough. What I say is that, instead, we have let society underestimate our creative abilities to craft an amazing (and relaxing) vacation in the comfort of our own homes. So… try it! I dare ya. And if it goes well, reach out and let GreenRoots know! We’d love to hear your story.