Getting away for the summer… it’s dreamy. If you have kids, it’s the time of year when finding things to do with them or keeping them occupied is a priority — and exhausting. If you don’t, figuring out how to perhaps just get away — on your own, with a significant other, with friends, with family — to enjoy the fruits of Summer Solstice may very well be on your mind.
Rest, relaxation and rejuvenation are big on our “to do” list. They go hand in hand with getting enough sleep, enough exercise, and feeding our imagination and passion. This summer, we take a look at how to stay or fall back in love with the city in which you live, embrace your environment and escape for the summer without leaving your own backdoor… or, ya know, city/state sort of thing.
Here are six things we’ve discovered while staycationing.
Let someone else make the bed for a change
When’s the last time you looked in your own home town for a great hotel or a b&b, and not for out-of-town guests? There are some really lovely gems right where we all live that can take you away, even if just for a weekend, so you can relax in a whole new environment. This means all you have to do is book a place to stay, not get on a plane, no car rentals — although stay tuned — pack a bag, and go. By the way, this is about you being waited on. As much as we love home rentals and glamping, doing the b&b, small hotel/cozy inn route can be just as homey without the responsibility of cooking or cleaning up after yourself; and we all deserve a splurge on 5-star luxury for a night or two once in our lives. You do enough for everyone every day, and summer is a great time to let someone else take over so you can simply relax, rejuvenate and enjoy. So, embrace your inner Duke and Duchess of Sussex, stay in the penthouse suite of your town’s best hotel, and be decadently indulged in air-conditioned bliss.
Baby, you can drive ANY car
Renting a different car than your own does wonders. Imagine getting behind the wheel of something frivolous if your own ride is utilitarian at best or sitting heads higher than everyone else in a giant SUV if your daily is a two-seater. You turn on that engine, push on the pedal and roar down the open road for a day, a weekend, a week, whatever you like. It’s a small thing, but that little change can make you feel like you’re on vacation even if the only place you’re traveling is from the rental car agency to your house. Roll that window down, open that sunroof, pull down that convertible top on a sunny day and let the wind blow through your hair, across your head, through your beard, and drive into summer’s embrace.
Showing yourself some self-love is a daily thing, in our opinion, but we do fully realize you often may not have — or take — the time. When summer comes around, it seems to hit two speeds — either a slower, more languid pace or more harried. The calm can come from some businesses running on skeleton crews during summertime, freeing up some much deserved time for you. If your routine has changed in the hotter months, however, because of family coming from out of town, kids off of school, planning vacations — whatever the reason, you could be feeling a bit left behind. Take time out and get a manicure, indulge in a massage, go to the local pool and float, or even go all in and hang out for a few days in a local spa resort and schedule as many treatments as your pocketbook allows. This is an all in, all gender treat. No matter the time of year, you deserve some “me” time, even if it’s done with your significant other that turns into “we” time. Treat yourself well.
Explore new spots, and do new things
No matter where you live, there are hidden gems you’ve either always promised you’d go see, experience, travel that you’ve never gotten around to or places you haven’t been back to in years. Do it. Never been paintballing at the park down the street? Go for it. You’ve sent visitors to the revamped museum but haven’t gone back to see it since it was redone? Jump in your rented convertible and check it out. That iconic hole-in-the-wall restaurant that’s a fixture you never have the guts to admit you’ve never been to? Take your tastebuds over and pig out. Our hometowns are a wealth of great experiences just waiting to happen even for local us and a summer spent getting reacquainted with our own digs is not only eye opening but civic-minded. Ooh. How responsible of you. Love it!
Make your home your escape
Don’t want to leave home, as in your actual dwelling? Okay. We’re just as into staying at your own place as the next person, but try this twist — turn your house, apartment, cottage, whatever into your ultimate vacation spot by luxing it out for a couple of days. Hire a personal chef to prepare your meals then have them brought to you wherever you choose in and around your house. Bring in a maid service to make your bed, tidy up and turn down the sheets, even leaving mints on your pillow. Have fresh flowers delivered to your home weekly for a month and have a decorator place them throughout the house for you. Customizing your home escape experience can be as simple as having food brought in to a full-on “turn my house into a luxury resort for a week” extravaganza. The beauty of your house as a blank slate is that you can decide how you want to bring that to life, and using the entire summer is a great way to expand your imagination on the possibilities of how to turn your dreams into reality in as many different ways as you want throughout those three months.
Go off the grid
Turn off your mobile, unplug the televisions, put away the laptops, shut off the lights. Sit and listen to the night, read a book by candlelight, build a fire pit in the backyard and cook on the open flames. Pull yourself away from that “blue light” that makes it so hard to sleep and messes with your dreams. And you know as well as we do that getting poor sleep makes the being awake part that much harder. Maybe it’s one night a week or perhaps it’s the entire summer, but getting yourself off the grid is calming and brings your circadian rhythm back into balance as well as gives you the chance to relax — REALLY relax. With artificial lights gone and any interruptions to your ability to lay back, be in the moment, embrace the beauty around and in you, the sky unfolds for you and the sounds of summer’s song transport you. Each season has a different sound, smell, taste, and feel. Off the grid, you can truly experience summertime with all of your senses.
We live in a “gotta get it done NOW” world and have forgotten the small pleasures of “vacationing.” Planning a week-long travel-ganza with multiple stops, extra data for your phone for massive selfie-taking, and lugging four suitcases does not have to define a vacation. The Cambridge Dictionary proclaims “vacation” as a period of time to relax or travel for pleasure instead of doing your usual work or school activities. Summer is here and it’s the time of year when the world above the equator is set up for your idling pleasure, making enjoying the little things easier. But it seems as if that whole “vacation” thing is fraught with import and intensity.
You may be thinking, “How can I take a true bit of respite if I’m staying at home?” Well, think of it like this — in Europe, they don’t say they are going on “vacation.” They say they are on “holiday.” “Holiday” means “a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.” So, perhaps embrace a more continental view of your summer — after all, there are whole countries on the continent that shut down during the summer for relaxation.
Become the ultimate staycationer by discovering the beauty of finding escapist bliss and go on “holiday” in your own backyard.