Tips for the Perfect Staycation

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How to make the most of staying put

This one’s easy: take pictures everywhere you go. You’ll discover little things you walk by every day that are beautiful or interesting in some new way.

Book a rejuvenating spa day, complete with a healthful menu for when you get back home. This is a great thing to do with one of those staycating friends — cucumber water, apples, and almonds make great spa-style snacks. 

Speaking of snacks… relish the fact that you are vacationing at home, and host a game or movie night, complete with fun and easy snacks. It can be a whole to-do, or you can take it easy and screen an old classic or play a card game everyone knows. Frankly, it doesn’t even have to be planned too far ahead. Just make sure you dust the board games off first, so you’re not left wondering what games you have and which pieces you’re missing at the last minute. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Greencolander)

Planning fun home-bound activities can really add to a staycation itinerary — make s’mores or have an inside picnic on the floor, with special additions like delicious cheese from a gourmet food shop and fresh baguettes. You could even write menus beforehand and ask the kids (should you have any around) to help.

In the same vein, host a festive dinner party for family and fellow staycaters — everyone can contribute something, from table settings to wine choices and the evening's playlist. Finish the evening off by opening a special bottle of something you've been saving and, where applicable, drink it by the fire.

If you’re battling inclement weather, catch a double feature in the middle of the day and let popcorn be your appetizer before a warm, comforting lunch nearby.

Waking up somewhere different would feel very vacation-like, right? So book a one-night stay at your favorite hotel and take full advantage of the perks that come with it — use the spa, swim in the pool, order room service, watch in-room movies, and have cocktails in the lobby’s lounge. You’ll feel far away in no time (especially since you’re not likely to run into anyone you know).

Bake something. We’ve all read recipes online that we save to make another time. Staycations are that time — get out your flour and sugar, buy some more butter, and bake up a storm. (Photo courtesy of Veer/Zidi)

Hit the subway, or hop in the car, and take a daytrip. No matter where you are, there are always towns to explore within a short distance where you can try a local specialty and shop in new boutiques.