This past week I have been at my parents house dog sitting while they are on vacation.  At first, I was depressed to think of being left at home while my parents were enjoying themselves in sunny Florida.  But, I decided I better enjoy this down time before classes start-up again in a few weeks.   Being the type-A personality I am, I decided to come up with a game plan to enjoy my time at home…and thus…my ‘staycation’ was created…

Here is my advice on how to create you own ‘Staycation’:

1. Get in the mood 

Sure I was at physically at home, but I mentally shifted to a more relaxed state of mind.  Unplug from your usual email, cell phones, etc and focus to connect to living in the moment and enjoying yourself.   Realize that this does not have to be for a whole week … maybe just take one weekend or a day before things pick back up in the fall to step out of your routine and enjoy some fun, rest, and relaxation.

2. Use what you’ve got

My staycation was occurring on a limited budget so I couldn’t afford expensive meals, spa treatments, or anything like that.  However, I used the extra time to create my own 5 star worthy meals at home, at a fraction of the cost.  I couldn’t afford expensive shows or concerts, but I hit up the Glee movie with a friend..and was in 3D!  I set up a spa in my bathroom and gave myself my own mani-pedi and mask treatment.  Sure, it’s definitely not the same, BUT I enjoyed myself none the less!

3. Explore the area 

I don’t live in the area of my parent’s home anymore so I used this opportunity to check out places I had missed growing up or that had changed since I had been around. My friend Casey and I met downtown at a new frozen yogurt place and I also did some consignment shopping at stores I had always wanted to stop in.

4. Think outside of the box

Just because I was at home, doesn’t mean I couldn’t travel a bit!  I looked into day trips around the area and found tons of good options.  I thought about to nearby towns to do some shopping, hiking, or biking.  As I’ve done before, another idea is visiting a nearby lake.  State park fees are minimal and it only cost $3 for a swim pass!

5. Be open to new experiences

A great way to find out new activities or events is to check online for local events.  I found out there was a 5K race going on, so a friend talked me in to signing up for that.  There was also a local beer festival I just missed out on…things like these you might not always get to do if you are busy with your usual routine.

6. Don’t put pressure to do what you think you ‘should’ be doing

For many, a staycation would not involve so much activities.  However, I know I am happiest when I am busy and therefore wanted to fill my time with experiences and people I knew I would enjoy!  For you, a staycation might be sleeping in all day, lounging in your pajamas, renting movies, etc.  Or it might be a long bike ride followed by a picnic.  Maybe wine tasting at a nearby vineyard or shopping trip to outlets.  Gosh, the possibilities are endless!  Whatever you decide to do, truly own your time and enjoy it!

With all of this staycation planning..I think I need a few more days off….

So have you taken a ‘staycation’ before?  Are you going to fit in time for rest and/or fun before fall activities pick back up?!