Planning the perfect staycation

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Whether your summertime plans get upended due to travel difficulties, conflicting schedules, or, say, a global pandemic, there are still plenty of ways you can make the most of time off from work and school. “Staying home” for vacation—or staycations—are easy to plan, easy to adapt on the fly, and can range from simple and sweet to incredibly luxe. Here are some ideas to get you started that won’t break the bank.

1. Plan an at-home spa day

While spending the day at a spa could set you back several hundred dollars, an at-home spa retreat can bring you nearly all the benefits at a fraction of the cost. Create fun baskets for you and your friends filled with whatever theme you choose for your spa day. For a traditional self care day, your baskets could include terry-cloth slippers, skin-soothing masks, hydrating hand creams and bright nail polish. Looking for more of a hands-on experience? Stock your baskets with art supplies, crafting materials, or bright and colorful yarns with knitting needles. Have a squad of foodie friends? Load up baskets with gourmet goodies and stage a celebrity-style cook-off or bake-off—best of all, you can eat the results!

2. Play tourist in your own town

Chances are, between work and life and keeping up with your friends and responsibilities, you haven’t taken the time to enjoy the museums and cultural attractions in your own home town. Now’s the time to fix that! Search online for “things to do” in your city or neighborhood—you may be surprised at the local events and attractions that you never realized were right around the corner. Looking to avoid the crowds? Search for hiking trails in your area and hit them with friends during off hours—a great time to enjoy nature while getting fresh air.

3. Take a class, any class

We all have those thoughts of “one day, I’ll take that yoga class”—or painting class, or exercise boot camp. A staycation is a great opportunity to explore an interest that you may not have ever had time to pursue. Not sure what’s available for an in-person experience? Go online! There are more possibilities than ever for online learning, and you never know what might ignite a new passion.

4. Donate your time

If you’re looking to give back as well as refill your well, donating your time to a charity that speaks to you could be just the ticket. Especially during these chaotic times, charitable organizations need more help than ever. Whether it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen or delivering meals, helping to build homes, cleaning up the neighborhoods or simply checking in on people in the community, the gift you give of your time will be repaid ten-fold to you in the grace you’ll receive.

5. Enjoy nature

One of the best ways you can spend any vacation is to get back in touch with nature, either at a downtown metro park, at a nearby lake or river, or simply getting out into the fresh air. Lace up your walking shoes and explore the great outdoors!

Whether you’re looking for ideas to enjoy your staycation with friends or are going it solo, the lack of crazy logistics and hectic travel of this type of retreat can help you truly unwind and reconnect with yourself. So start dreaming up the perfect summer experience, and here’s wishing you a staycation for the ages!

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