While traveling is my preferred week off from work or school, sometimes the pocket book or life doesn’t allow for it. Thus, it’s important to know when and how to make the best of time at home, and this doesn’t mean cleaning everything.
- I suggest planning ahead, same as you would for any vacation, to make the most of your time. Start by getting your house organized, not spotless, to make the week relaxing and easy.
- Make a list of what you want to do locally. Maybe it’s just a few restaurants you have been wanting to try, or perhaps a new art exhibit. Make a list and plan out each day to see what you want. Plan it like you are a tourist in your own city and then see what seems like the best options.
- Keep it simple and treat it like an easy vacation, where planning is loose and you just enjoy little things. Think of it like a reset, and a chance to revive from the stress of life.
- Don’t over plan; make sure it’s legitimate down time and not a week of errands and running around town. Treat your stay like you’re not home to do the mundane and if you find yourself thinking about it, make a list to conquer it before or after.
- “Treat Yo’ Self” in the totally Parks and Recreation sense of the phrase; visit the pa, shop, spoil, just make it about you and make yourself feel amazing.
- Place your phone on “do not disturb” when you want to be left alone. Silence everything, turn it off, or unplug the internet and let the outside world melt away. Here is a news flash: The world won’t end if you are not constantly taking in information on it. I promise.
- Turn on some rain sounds and sleep like a baby. Do this every night after the staycation and I promise it will make you feel better rested on the long term.
I just realized my title sounds like you are going to booby trap your house or fill it with kittens for sneak attacks. I promise that is not what this is about, although the kitten thing could be fun.
While I love being on the road, I also enjoy being home and having down time. I should say that I NEED down time in order to refresh and recharge. It means that I snuggle my cat, read some books, watch some Golden Girls, and reconnect with friends.
This also means that I want my home to be somewhere that I can truly enjoy being and that means bringing some of the adventures home.
I love picking up treasures on my travels. Usually, especially as I get older, this means artwork or crafting of some sort. Sometimes it’s pottery such as the skeleton cat spoon rest from Mexico, or the Navajo-designed pottery egg from Santa Fe. Other times it’s my photographs that I get blown up to put on my wall. Other times it is souvenir books from places like Hampton Court Palace that I can refer to when I want a refresher on some facts and details.
Even without the crap from my trips, I have a home full of music, movies, books, and people I love. All of which add to the culture and richness of my life at home. I have furniture I like and décor that makes me smile. It’s a refuge, at my refuge, and full of things that make life rich.
This same filling a home with richness can come with or without wanderlust, just do it because it’s somewhere you spend A LOT of time at. Make it yours, make it comforting, make it a reflection of your happy place.
It is usually around the first of March that I begin getting antsy to get away again. I have usually been stuck at home for a few months; there are events with my stepdaughter and family, girl scouts and other obligations that have us running around Fort Collins like we’re in a marathon.
By March I am ready to get moving, to see new things, to get away from the monotony of life. It is this time of year that I plan out my adventures for the following 10 months of the year. As two months have already left us, I want to make sure the rest of the year is full of the best fun possible.
For those wanting to also plan out their best year, here are my tips for maximizing your time and money.
- Know how many vacation days you can afford
- This may be paid time off or non-paid time off, whatever it looks like be realistic on what you have and don’t have.
- Choose one place for a week
- Hopping around from place to place makes it hard to get the most from a vacation, instead narrow down on one spot you really want to go and then expand from there.
- Set a realistic budget
- Go through your bills for the year and see what you have left to work with. If you don’t have much, see what you can cut back on. Even if you limit your coffee habit, or trips out to eat, you can save a lot of cash.
- Stay close
- If you are short on time or money, choose somewhere nearby or cheap to get to. Flights to Las Vegas are usually cheap, or visit a National Park in your state. Find an AirBnB close by and bum out for a long weekend. Escaping doesn’t need to be hard.
- Plan ahead to maximize your time and money
- Planning ahead means you often get batter airline, hotel, and even activity rates. It can also mean you get to see things that booking last minute won’t allow. Research thoroughly, ask questions, and seek out alternatives to bigger budget activities.
- Visit family
- One way I have saved thousands is by taking time to visit family all over the world. Sometimes I stay with them, sometimes I stay nearby, but the best part is getting a local’s point of view.
- Make sure it’s fun
- Sometimes traveling is not for everyone, so make sure you are actually selecting things everyone wants to do. There is no reason to pay for everyone to go to DisneyWorld all day when only one kid wants to. Instead, take everyone to a cheaper activity everyone will enjoy.