Planning the ultimate staycation

Private Property South Africa
Veronica Logan

Staycations – staying home or “vacationing locally” rather than leaving town in search of good times elsewhere – are fast becoming a popular alternative to traditional holidays.

Although holidays can be a lot of fun, they can also be costly in today’s economy – and not to mention stressful! Staycations are therefore a great way to feel like you’ve been away without putting a foot outside the door. That said, taking a staycation doesn’t mean simply spending the week on the couch and if not intentionally planned, can allow time to run away from you. With this in mind, we’ve put together our tips for the ultimate staycation:

Plan ahead

Everyone knows that taking on an enjoyable holiday requires planning and even some prep upfront. Staycations are no different and with some forethought can be as pleasurable as going away. In order to maximise your staycation time, consider planning all your meals in advance. Choose a few family favourites, do all the shopping upfront and if so desired, cook meals beforehand for less time in the kitchen later. Similarly, get all your outstanding chores done before you officially start your holiday. Give your house a thorough Spring clean, get rid of clutter and update your bedding for that fresh, new vacation feel.

Switch off

Just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you need to be online. In fact, no matter where you choose to vacation, taking time out from those phones, tablets and computers is crucial to your overall ability to relax and unwind. Where possible, switch off your devices or at the very least, switch all notifications to silent and resist the urge to constantly check in on emails and texts. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to put on an “out of office” email or message even if you work from home!

Allocate activities to areas

The nice thing about taking a staycation is that you can bring elements of your favourite activities all together in one place. For example, if you enjoy relaxing at a spa, consider turning your bathroom into an aromatherapy spa for the day! Pick out some of your favourite scented essential oils, run a warm bath, buy a bath pillow and light some candles for a relaxing soak. Similarly, if you enjoy reading or watching films, choose a few of your wish list reads or watches and turn your most comfortable chair into a cosy reading or viewing nook with a few scatters and a throw along with a warm or cool beverage (depending on the weather!). If you love being outside, consider hanging a hammock or getting a lounger for comfortable outdoor relaxation.

Create some family fun

In all honesty, you don’t have to venture far to entertain the whole family. With a little bit of creativity, you can set up fun activities to keep everyone busy and amused. If you’re a family that enjoys food, put together a mini “MasterChef” competition complete with a mystery ingredient and pair up with your kids for a family cook-off! You can even get the family involved when planning your meals upfront and challenge each member to come up with a key dish. If cooking isn’t for you, plan a mini-carnival in the backyard and have a few games like ring toss, balloon darts or magnetic fishing set up around the yard – just don’t forget to keep the popcorn coming! If competitions aren’t your family’s vibe, why not set up a scavenger or treasure hunt. Come up with a dress up theme and set of clues for your family to decipher and follow around your home or neighbourhood. End off the hunt with a prize for each participant and include prizes for best dressed, fastest clue-solver etc!

Camp out in the backyard

Although this can often be seen as a “kiddies” activity, camping in the backyard can be fun for all ages! For kids, treat it as a bedtime adventure while for those who are kids at heart, treat it as a break from the norm. Set up a tent or blanket fort, dust off your sleeping bags, pack a thermos and some snacks and head out as the sun starts to set. Entertain the kids by educating them on their natural nocturnal surroundings and be sure to include some dedicated stargazing, whether young or old – just be sure to check the weather beforehand though!

With some creative consideration and planning, staying at home these holidays can be just as fun and as memorable as travelling somewhere new. Furthermore, you don’t have to spend a fortune on entertaining if you do stay at home if you take the time to come up with more entertaining ideas on how best to keep you and your family occupied. After all, they do say there’s no place like home and sometimes being home is all the holiday you need.

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