Staycation — What You Can Do to Vacation at Home

You see it in movies: scenes of friends on the adventure of a lifetime going to a beautiful city and finding romantic relationships, or some adventurous plot where the memorable trip makes the characters learn important life lessons allowing them to have self-realizations. My first thought when seeing these types of movies is “I wish I could go to wherever they are vacationing! It’s beautiful there.”

Apart from my vacationing dreams, traveling to a long list of places I want to experience would be a difficult and expensive task. Although it takes a lot of time and money to go to all the places you want to go to, staying in your town or city (or even at home) can allow you to be creative in making your own vacation spot which you can tailor to your own ideal vacation dream.

While at times television and social media can give you the facade of what a vacation should always look like, I instead challenge you to not only “unwind”, but “unplug” from your devices and disconnect from the online world as a way to focus on the present moment of your staycation.

Make It a Ladies Staycation

While spending time with all your friends during the summer months is ideally why summer can be so freeing and exciting, it’s at times like these where you want your girl gang to stay by your side for some fun and relaxation. When I hear a "girl’s day," I hear the word “relaxation”. Set up an area by a pool or on the grass with packed lunches containing any of your favorite foods and drinks. To make the vacation more tropical and relaxing, gather ingredients for smoothies and have yourself a calming day.

Embrace the Outdoors

Crammed in a building all day and not getting enough sunlight and freedom? Try gathering a few friends or more to get immersed in the nature surrounding you and go on a hike! This requires some planning for the items needed to bring on the hike and the hiking trail you plan to do. If you’re allowed to (and always check before you do) go camping in the area of your hike if it is offered! Make the vacation last longer with outdoor activities.

Choose a Theme

Alright, now is the time to bring out the good 'ole Hawaiian shirt from the 8th grade. If you like themed parties, then this is the perfect vacation idea for you. Gather as many friends as possible, turn on the music, and have yourself a party by the pool or locally where you can. Some themes to look out for are tropical, or country themed where you can decorate the area for the party and serve food made from the country you want to visit. Try to make the experience, almost like you're actually at your dream vacation spot!

Do you have a staycation idea in mind you liked above or thought of on your own? Before you jump right into vacationing here are a few things to consider for the perfect staycation: 

  1. Choose a start and end date. The best time to vacation must first suit your schedule! Finish any work due at least a few days prior so you’re ready to embrace your vacation free from any worries.
  2. Plan ahead of time. Depending on the type of staycation you choose, the amount of planning for it can vary. A one-day vacation compared to three days requires less money and planning for activities. However, if you find three days or more works well for your schedule, then enjoy it! Just keep in mind that you might not want it to end (but that’s not a bad thing)!
  3. Try to avoid everyday routines. That’s right ladies, I said it. You can have that leftover pizza from last night for breakfast if you wish to do so. It’s a vacation, right? Try something new that would deviate from your usual routine at home to make vacation life an even larger success. Wake up later than you would have, try biking to a local park or river, or eat that weird food that everyone has been enjoying. Your vacation is what you make of it, so allow yourself to take the opportunity to try something different during it.

Staying at home allows you to make your own vacation without having to spend the money and long nights planning months prior to your trip. I always enjoyed gathering ideas from Pinterest boards or online blogs to make time for relaxation really my own! While you’re there, check out Her Campus at UMass Amherst's Pinterest page to get even more inspiration for upcoming summer months festivities! 

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