Sometimes you’re able to travel worlds over – hiking breathtakingly beautiful mountainsides, feeling the sand between your toes on scenic beaches of white, lounging in a gondola with the love of your life while an Italian man sings love songs to you – and other times, you are too busy or too broke to make those trips happen. Enter: Staycations.
Staycationing is a really clever term for using up your vacation hours in a creative way at home. There are a couple of reasons one staycations.
#1 – Not enough time to take an actual trip somewhere due to other commitments and obligations.
#2 – Not enough $$$ to take the trip of your dreams, and therefore saving up for that dream vacation by staying home, all the while convincing yourself that you’re pretty much on a real vacation.
I recently had a staycation, and it was equally relaxing, fun and refreshing. Sure, it’s not as exciting as traveling, but still a nice break from reality.
In my case, my staycation was driven by a little bit of both reasons mentioned above, mixed with the fact that I was about to throw away a week’s worth of vacation if I didn’t take some time off.
So in case any of you find yourselves in a similar situation this summer, I thought I’d share a few staycationing tips with you!
Tip #1: Eat at Restaurants You’ve Never Been To Before
This one might be tricky if you live in a small town, but it’s worth a quick Google search, or pulling up your local UrbanSpoon site to check out the top rated restaurants and perusing through! Select a few you’ve heard good buzz about, maybe new, maybe long-standing restaurants you’ve never made it to, and dine out as if you’re in a whole new city!
Bonus for Tulsa-area readers – a few favorite dining ideas:
The Tavern (downtown Tulsa): Favorite food? Burger and fries with angry mac and cheese. Yum. And hit up Valkyrie or Hodges Bend afterward for amazing cocktails.
Celebrity Restaurant (midtown) – Established in 1963 – it’s swanky, it’s crushed red velvet, it’s live piano music, and it’s the best damn Caesar Salad you’ll ever have. Note: average age range of customers is 70+, and that just makes it even more perfect.
Tip #2: Enjoy Some Genuine Down Time
Whether it’s a Netflix binge on a show you’ve never watched, or selecting one or two books off of the list you’ve been keeping for years, now is the time to just relax and immerse yourself in it! When I’m on a real vacation, I tend to want to explore new territory and check out new things, so relaxing with a book is hard for me to do. When you’re on a staycation, this is the perfect opportunity to do this and not feel like you’re missing out on seeing the sights around you! It’s also great to enjoy the outdoors a little – lounge in your backyard and you can almost pretend you’re lying on a beach somewhere.
Bonus – Good Reads:
o Wild by Cheryl Strayed
o The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
o The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Tip #3: Do Something You’ve Never Done or Love to Do, But Rarely Have Time For
Love to bake, but never have time to bake AND do dishes? Try a new recipe you’ve been eyeing and then enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Big fan of cocktails? You have nowhere to be! Check out some awesome cocktail recipes and try your hand at bartending at home. Sip and staycation!
I also love to check out local events I’d otherwise rarely attend or miss altogether. Sporting events are always fun – hit up a minor league baseball game and partake in some $1 beer and hot dogs at the ball park! Or see if any of your local parks are showing movies or hosting art, beer or food truck festivals. Same with local museums, who often have special events or discounts, especially in the summer months. See if there are any live music shows happening around town (there almost always are!).
Been a while since you’ve been to a drive-in movie? Do it now! Save some cash by popping yourself some popcorn at home, picking up your favorite candy and drinks and drive to the theater immediately. Take in two movies for the price of one, and appreciate the nostalgia of days gone by while enjoying the movie from your car or lawn chair. So much fun!
Get a massage or mani/pedi! You get to focus on nothing but relaxing for an hour or so and leave feeling rejuvenated and pretty! Win win.
Go to a movie by yourself! If you’ve never done it, it’s pretty awesome. I used to be one of those people who was uncomfortable dining alone or attending movies alone, but everyone should seriously try it. I’ve been converted. Popcorn – that you don’t have to share. Candy – that you don’t have to share. And a gigantic movie screen to get lost in. Even better if it’s in the middle of the day and you’re one of the only people in the theater. Do it!
Bonus for Tulsans –
Follow Guthrie Green, Tulsa Drillers and Admiral Twin Drive-In on Facebook for regular updates on games, events, and movie showtimes! Guthrie Green also has outdoor movies in the summer, and Utica Square hosts “Fifth Night” every Thursday, which consists of a large concert in their parking lot, and it’s BYO drinks and food!
Love massages but hate spending lots of money? Do yourself a huge favor and visit Chinese Foot Massage at 71st and Sheridan. One hour, full-body massage…for $30. UNHEARD of. It’s important you know this is not your average massage setting – think large low-lit room with several massage tables, which I realize sounds reallllly weird, but I promise it’s the best massage you’ll ever have and you don’t even think about the other people in the room. Also important to note that unlike a usual massage, you are absolutely fully clothed (I recommend a loose t-shirt and athletic shorts for the best experience.) Also, you will not enjoy this if you tend to be sensitive during massages – this is seriously deep-tissue! It’s also heavenly.
Tip #4: Learn To Say No
When you’re on a staycation and somebody asks you to do something you don’t feel like doing, just say no! The whole point is to use your time for YOU, so stick to what makes you happy! If that’s going out with friends, great! If it’s eating ice cream in front of your TV, you grab a spoon and revel in it. Just don’t overbook yourself when you’re taking time off. You’ll feel exhausted instead of rested.
That’s all, friends – happy staycationing!
Have any staycation suggestions? Feel free to add them in the comments section below!