A staycation could mean both a holiday spent in your home town indulging in day trips to local attractions or one spent at home having some fun. Staycations are an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. While you go on a long vacation sometimes, you can go on a staycation anytime you please. What’s more, they are super easy to plan without burning a hole in your pocket.
It is after I moved to Germany, watching the locals, I learnt to enjoy staycations. For instance, coming from India, I took sunny days for granted and for good reasons. But here I noticed, when the Sun makes its grand appearance in summer, the sunroofs of cars slide open, the best sunglasses and barbecue grills come on display in balconies and parks. People spend most of their time outdoors. It feels like an open-air summer festival.
Here are some staycation ideas for a better you.
1. Explore your neighbourhood
Big or small, every place has something unique to offer; it is up to us to discover and enjoy them in our own unique way.
Just walkable distance from where I live there is a pond teeming with water birds. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love watching them go about their daily business. And during the breeding season, it feels like a carnival, with the breeding plumage on display, courting rituals, and birds collecting nesting material. And out of the blue, there are chicks floating around surrounded by indulgent parents. It is nature in its purest form in an ordinary park.
Go on long walks to observe your surrounding from a staycation perspective. If feasible, carry a travel mug, and drink your tea/coffee while reading a book or listen to a podcast, or do another activity you enjoy at a new spot/location you discover.
2. Picnic at the park
Picnic at the park is something my husband and I indulge in all the time. Again, go on long walks, find a park or a lovely location, and have a picnic made of sandwiches, fruits, snacks, tea, coffee, juice, or whatever you enjoy and travels well.
3. Explore your town
In my childhood, a trip to the local zoo made me dizzy with excitement. With arrays of toy- stores skirting the narrow lanes, Birla Mandir in Hyderabad was my Disneyland. And visiting Birla Planetarium afterwards was like visiting the outer space, and I felt I was right in the middle of a galaxy.
Every city I lived in was a tourist location for someone not living there. Discover your city/town like you are there on vacation.
Things you can do are only limited by your imagination. Here are some ideas:
- Nature-watch, and you can do this sitting on your balcony if you have a few trees around you. Learn about the trees, see what birds feed or rest on them, notice the butterflies, bees, and other insects around you. I highly recommend reading “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben to better appreciate your surroundings.
- Read the local history and visit monuments connected to the local history.
- Go on a photo/architecture-walk.
- Visit temples, churches, or significant buildings.
- Visit new cafes, libraries, book-stores, shopping malls, whatever you fancy.
- Discover a new culture by trying new cuisine. Need inspiration? Read about my adventure eating Vietnamese food.
- Discover a beautiful spot like a lake, a hill, or your terrace to enjoy sunrise or sunset.
4. Have a staycation exploring new hobbies and acquiring new skills
New hobbies not only keep your creative juices flowing but also improve your brain functions. There is enough information on how taking-up hobbies such as learning music, a new language, solving puzzles, playing board games, and writing, among other things, improve memory, problem-solving skills, and prevents Alzheimer’s in old age to name a few.
Some new hobby ideas:
- Learn a new music instrument
- Take lessons in fine arts such as photography, theatre, sculpting, painting, creative writing, etc.
- Learn to dance
- Learn to meditate
- Create a vegetable, flower, or bee garden
- Take part in seminars or workshops in your area of interest
- Learn a new (programming) language
Gone are the days when you had to find the best teachers you could afford and travel far to learn a new skill. Best teachers are still indispensable; however, to dip your toes into a new field, the internet abounds with free resources and a combination of books, Google and Youtube are your best friends.
5. Go on a hike locally
Research the best hiking trails in your locality thoroughly and plan your hike. Go on a hike either on your own or with a small team. But make sure not to venture too far into the unknown.
6. Brainstorming date
Go on a brainstorming date with yourself or with a friend to solve a problem you are presently mulling over. It could be in a cute café or your backyard or on a long walk. But brainstorm in a place other than your usual location. According to Barbara Oakley, author of “A Mind for Numbers”, it helps your brain to switch from focused mode to diffused mode (when you are not focusing) and enables you to think better.
7. Binge read – one of my favourite staycation ideas
Announce to the world or your household that you are on staycation and curl up in your bed or flop on your couch with your favourite drink, infused with fruits even, and read that book you’ve been dying to read for ages.
8. Spa day
Staycation ideas list is never complete without a spa day in it. So, light a scented candle, play your favourite music and take a beauty bath, or indulge in a hair spa ritual or whatever else is your thing and have fun.
9. In-home yoga and meditation retreat
To reboot your mind, body and soul light incense or scented candles, play relaxing music and do yoga and meditate in small doses, two or three times a day.
10. Do nothing and don’t feel guilty
Finally, here’s one of the best staycation ideas! Another way to reboot your mind, body, and soul is by doing nothing and enjoying just being. “Wherever You Go There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn is another great book I recommend to master the art of just being.