I might be in the minority but I can’t think of a single vacation that wasn’t stressful. Not that I didn’t have a good time, see some great sights, or eat fantastic food, but it was stressful. The planning, the comparison pricing, the driving, the flying. There are a million things to do before and during a vacation to ensure that you and yours have everything they need.
I mentioned it to Greg and he agreed. Vacations are fun, but they’re not relaxing. If I work all day long, I’d like to be able to take a vacation that lets me forget about answering messages, to-do lists, and work.
That’s when I realized the only time we ever relaxed was when we took a ‘staycation’, that mini vacation within a few miles of home base.
Because we’re responsible for animals (both indoor and farm animals) every day, we can’t stay away for long periods of time. Staycations are the answer for us.
Staycations are way cheaper than a regular vacation. No flying, no rushing, and no cramming suitcases. Staycations are also flexible. No one is keeping you to an itinerary.
Now that we’ve paid off the surgeries for the bionic dog and got the new kitten off to a healthy start, I plan on far more staycations.
These mini vacations can be whatever you want. If you hate to cook, eat at your favorite restaurants. If you hate to clean, hire a housekeeper for a week.
If you’re like me and hate to spend money, look for cheap or free entertainment. Don’t forget to Google for discounts or coupons for the places you want to try. Many places, like museums, zoos, and fairs have at least one discount day so make that your day to go out.
Ideas for a staycation
• Arboretums (One of our favorites!)
• Fairs or festivals (there’s always one within driving distance–just Google)
• The zoo
• Ballgame (you pick your kind of ball)
• Fishing, boating, canoeing
• Ice skating
• Amusement parks
• Spa day
• Hit a flea market
• Go sight-seeing in your town or a nearby city
• Take an art or cooking class
• Do a walking tour in a pretty neighborhood with a great coffeehouse or pastry shop at the end of the tour.
• Do a food tour (What kind of food would you like to try? Try a different ethnic style of cooking every day.)
Usually our staycations only last a couple of days. I get too anxious if work gets left undone for too long, but that’s long enough to relax at a museum or a botanical garden. I always feel inspired afterward.
You can also staycation at home. Start by doing a little planning first. What I do is make sure I have plenty of premade dinners in the freezer. Just defrost and bake. Or buy your meals ready-made, like rotisserie chicken, ribs, or pizza.
Make sure the laundry is done and the house is clean. You don’t want anything distracting you while you’re on home-vacation. Binge watch your favorite shows or movies. Cozy up with that book you’ve been wanting to read uninterrupted.
If you have kids, send them to camp, grandma’s, or plot a little staycation of their own with kid-appropriate food and activities.
• Before a staycation or even a vacation, I make sure the beds are made with freshly laundered linens.
• Do a little aroma therapy with some lavender scents in the boudoir and bathroom.
• Light those candles in the dining room when you have dinner.
• Splurge on that rib roast, rack of lamb, or decadent dessert.
• Don’t forget the wine, or your favorite beer.
• Sleep late.
• Take a nap in the middle of the day if you feel like it.
• Turn off your phones.
• Unplug from social media. Trust me, the same rabble rousers will still be there when you get back.
• Above all, be nice to yourself. This is your vacation. Private, indulgent, and totally yours.
Have you ever taken a staycation? What did you do? Did you find it less stressful than a regular vacation?