Can’t Travel because of COVID-19? Master the Art of a Staycation.

By Keaveny Hewitt 

Just because travel has been restricted because of COVID-19 doesn’t mean you can’t relax and unwind. Welcome to staycation—a new way of thinking about what it means to vacation. From kid-friendly forts made out of sheets to at home crafting, staycations are sure to keep you safe, busy and happy. 

When you go on any vacation, you plan. Whether that means getting time off from work, buying plane tickets or booking excursions, you have a clear schedule of what you’re going to do. Treat any staycation the same way. Maybe you’re staycationing on your weekend off, or maybe you’re using that sick day for a mid-week at home vacay—either way, you’ll want to plan ahead. After deciding your “when,” start planning your “what.” What do you miss most about traveling? What was the coolest thing you did on a vacation? What makes you happy? Jot down a list of what you would like to do to get some ideas flowing. Below are some potential staycation ideas if you’re feeling stuck: 

  • Give yourself a mani/pedi 
  • Have a movie marathon: you and your family members/friends each show your all-time favorite film
  • Have an at home “appetizer” dinner: cue the pizza bagels and pigs in a blanket 
  • Do an online or outdoors workout class
  • Photography tour of your neighborhood: walk around your neighborhood and try to take 20+ pictures of homes, plants or buildings that you like
  • Art night: cover your kitchen table in blank paper, give everyone some markers and get drawing 
  • Dance party 
  • Themed dinner night: dress up as your favorite celebrities/tv character, dress up in Black Tie attire or dress up in monochromatic clothes (everyone can pick their “color” out of a hat) 
  • Build a fort 
  • Cook a non-thanksgiving Thanksgiving dinner: bring on the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce… YUM! 
  • Buy your favorite childhood snacks so you can start reminiscing about the olden days 
  • Find some old magazines and newspapers to create a mood board
  • Some more staycation tips: 

One of the most special parts of any vacation is that it feels different, and like unexplored territory. Maybe the bed linens are a different color, or the hotel room smells like fresh roses. Whatever it may be, try to mimic that on your staycation. Rearrange how your bedroom looks, light a new candle or buy a fun decorative pillow. Make the space as relaxing and as “new” as possible. 

Covid-19 has made everyone feel like their life has been turned upside down. Our world is now often filled with fear and worry, and something as simple as a staycation can do so much for the body and mind. In an article titled “The Importance of Taking A Vacation,” author Shannon Torberg expresses how, “A number of studies have shown that taking time away from the job can have physical and psychological health benefits. People who take vacations have lower stress, less risk of heart disease, a better outlook on life, and more motivation to achieve goals.” Even when the world looks so different, it’s important to find moments of stillness where you can escape mentally. 

I vividly remember a staycation that my family took back when I was in fourth grade. Money was a little tight that year, so we decided to stay home for spring break, instead of traveling somewhere or visiting relatives. It was the “Great Staycation of 2010.” My parents changed our normal house rulesbedtime was later, we could move our mattresses to the living room to sleep, and we had way more desserts than usual. It was extremely memorable, and an amazing way for my family to bond. With the pandemic, many families have been trapped in the same space for many months, and may want to do anything but bond right now. However, a staycation could be an avenue for families to come together, relax and share some new memories. 

Whether you need a day off from work, or a week off, consider the power of a staycation. You don’t need to go far to give yourself a break. Forget the hotels and planes, and create your ideal staycation today!