Getting the Most Out of Your Staycation

Getting the Most Out of Your Staycation

We know, we know. Before you roll your eyes at us for even uttering the word “staycation,” please allow for some elaboration. In the age of COVID-19, when both collective and individual stress is at an all-time high, and normal coping mechanisms and escapes aren’t an option, a staycation is the hero we need.

Now, we’re not talking about the hotel-room-out-on-the-town-see-your-city-with-new-eyes type of staycation. We’re talking in your home, relax to the max, take care of yourself type of staycation. Read on for our day-by-day guide to a four-day staycation!

Pre-staycation measures

Clean your house. You want to wake up totally content with the order of your home. Clean from top to bottom, and your entire staycation will start on the right foot.

Go grocery shopping, and be sure to indulge in some treats you always want to grab but never do.

Let your coworkers know that you are really and truly out of office. Don’t answer that email or slack or text unless it’s an emergency.

Wash and change your sheets, and make sure all your comfy clothes are laundered, as well.

Update your watch lists with everything you’ve been wanting to watch but haven’t had the time to.

Get a new book and prepare yourself to actually read it.

Change up your home’s scent: grab some candles in a relaxing scent you don’t normally use, or get some palo santo to burn. Changing up the scent is a great and inexpensive way to change up your home to make it feel more like a getaway.

Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep every night during your staycation, and that you relax as much as possible!

First things first: limit time on technology

There’s mounting evidence that we, as a society, have become addicted to our smartphones. According to a study conducted by Provision Living, Americans spend more time on their smartphones than anyone else in the world—a whopping 5 and a half hours, to be precise. If that’s not enough to make you want to take a break from tech, according to the same study, 13% of millennials and 5% of boomers say that they spend over 12 hours every day on their phones! That’s 75% of waking hours.

That’s why unplugging is our number one guideline for a staycation. Limiting time on your phone can decrease stress, increase your focus, and contribute to your overall vacation mode. Who knows! Maybe you’ll even finish that book you started in January.

Day one: veg out and chill

Stay in bed late, pay a dog walker to exercise the pooch, watch a movie, order in, and just relax. Whatever that means to you. Let yourself do totally nothing, and, most importantly, don’t feel guilty about it. Everyone gets to have a do-nothing day! And spend that do-nothing day the way you want. Just make sure you feel relaxed, rested, and totally recharged at the end of it!

Day two: re-create your favorite elaborate restaurant meal

…and don’t forget dessert. Now, this is for the person who actually likes cooking. Spending the day cooking a lavish meal can feel so incredibly fun. Think of it like cooking Thanksgiving dinner but for nobody but yourself! Picture in your mind the restaurant foods you’ve been craving so badly, do some research to find the best (and most doable for you) recipes, and spend the day going to town!

Once you’re ready to eat, set the table, light some candles, and make it feel like you’re spending a night eating out at your favorite nice restaurant.

If the kitchen’s a total mess afterwards? Well, if you have a dishwasher, go ahead and load it up and forget about it. We don’t recommend leaving your dishes till morning, though, because that day will be dedicated to something else entirely!

Day three: take a day trip

Many of us live within a couple hours of some sort of natural destination. (If you don’t, I’m sorry! Just continue to veg out). Whether you go to the beach, take a hike, go for a tubing trip down the river, or just lay by a friend’s pool all day: take the time to get out of your house and get a taste of summertime normalcy.

Social distancing is done most safely outdoors, just make sure not to go anywhere too crowded. We highly suggest planning your trip for a weekday. Depending on when your staycation falls, a day trip between Tuesday and Thursday is best for avoiding crowds.

Day four: have a “spa” day

Foot soak
Who doesn’t have tired feet? This foot soak is so simple and so delightful, it’s bound to make you feel relaxed and pampered! Fill a large pot with water and heat until it’s about 98 degrees. Put a kettle on the stove and take off when the water starts simmering (about 180 degrees). Put a half cup of epsom salts and 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil in the pot of water, stir until the salts dissolve. Then soak, adding a little bit of water from the kettle when the water starts to cool down. Soak for at least 20 minutes, then follow up with a tennis ball foot massage (we like this one because it was designed by a chiropractor!)

Self massage
Before you raise your eyebrow, self-massage is an incredible way to ease tension in our bodies. We prefer guided massages, like this one from Rachel Richards. It might feel a little silly at first, but, honestly, your body will thank you for this one!

Gentle stretching
Stretching is one of the nicest things you can do for your body. Not only does it keep your entire body healthy, but it just feels so good. Our favorite form of stretching is yoga, because it gives you a full body stretch, and is often mixed with some positive mantras. This 25 minute guided gentle yoga sequence from Yoga With Adriene is perfect for vacation, and will have you feeling so, so relaxed.

Face mask
There’s a face mask for everyone, and many of us already have found our favorites. We personally love Farmacy’s coconut gel face masks, because you can put them in the fridge for an hour before hand and they become so refreshingly cool. Lay down in bed, close your eyes, listen to your favorite podcast, and just be. We love sheet masks because you can leave (most of) them on until the serum is completely soaked up, making for a longer mask experience. Sheet mask tip: put all that extra serum to use on your neck, chest, and arms!

Spa bath (or shower!)
We know not everyone has access to a bathtub, so don’t fret. Shower bombs exist, and they’re awesome. They turn your shower into a cloud of good-smelling steamy goodness, while turning into a luxuriously thick foam you can use to cleanse your whole body. If you have a bathtub, we suggest splurging on a fun bath bomb. Stay in for at least twenty minutes, chill out, light a candle, and listen to some calming music. A tip to make your bathroom extra relaxing: get a nightlight. That way, you can have a nice, relaxing setting without having to light 15 candles.

Hey, wait a minute: what about my KIDS?

Depending on how old your kids are, they may or may not be enthused by the idea of a staycation. If you have easily-excited-and-participatory aged children, might we suggest a pillow-fort day followed by a movie and build-your-own popcorn buffet.

Pillow fort
Pillow forts are fun for everyone involved. Gather pillows (the Coop Original Pillow makes a mighty fine pillow fort building block, if we do say so ourselves), couch and armchair cushions, and thick blankets (comforters work best). Use your sofa as one side of the square, then position chairs and bar stools as the other three sides. Think of these as your frame. Then use your couch cushions and pillows as the “drywall,” if you will. Fashion your fort’s entrance with two sheets to act as curtains, and use the biggest comforter you have as the roof. Let your kids do what they will with the inside of the fort—it’s time for their creative brains to thrive!

Hang out in the fort, read, listen to a kid-friendly podcast that won’t bore you (Myths & Legends and Dr. Gameshow great), and just relax. Have your kids pick out a movie for later that evening.

Popcorn buffet
Once the sun goes down, gather your ingredients for the popcorn buffet. We love this idea, because a popcorn buffet is an easy way for kids to get the satisfaction of going to an ice cream parlor whole at home. Our favorites toppings are M&Ms, bacon bits, oreo pieces, everything bagel seasoning, nutritional yeast, Reese’s PB chips + chocolate chips, smores style with graham crackers, marshmallows, melted chocolate for drizzling, and cinnamon sugar. It’s like a frozen yogurt bar for popcorn.

We love stovetop popcorn, because you can make a ton and control the oil content. Drizzle the popcorn with a little bit of cooled melted butter to make it able to grip the toppings… then, let the kids go wild!