We, Indians, had rejected the concept of staycations too early. Now here we are in the midst of a solid work-from-home regime, not knowing how to tame our pent up desires to travel. Of all the things that saw a surge in Google searches, one on top was “how to staycation”. So we thought we will break it down for you.
A short recap
When the world suddenly decided to change realities for the death-fearing mortals, companies around the globe were quick to announce a work from home policy until further notice. Now three months into this new work culture, we are all at our wit’s end. To put it in honest and simple words, it is not really work from home anymore, it is living at work. And given the uncertainty facing us, we are all going to be home until the end of this year or at least till the aliens tell Americans how to kill this virus.
Most of us have now robotically programmed our bodies to wake up 5 minutes before our first call with the team, sit in front of a machine all day (that seriously does more harm than any good), gobble everything that can be chewed and digested, and when we finally get done with the day’s work, we reward ourselves with some more screen time.
By locking us all in, some in cramped spaces and others in isolated corners, the virus has assured us all of a mundane routine we cannot escape. Public discourse, just like the virus, includes words that are newly born – home quarantine, new normal, social distancing. And not a day goes by when you do not find yourself using these. Science says that routines, although maligned, give meaning to our lives and offer us good mental health. So when the virus broke, our daily routines were tossed out of the window in no time, leaving us unprepared for what lay ahead of us.
In a normal world, most of us would have taken three trips already to neutralize the lethal blows of COVID 19. But with international and long haul domestic travel still out of bounds, you can relax and enjoy some time off at a nearby staycation in your own city. A few hundred kilometers from home, in the middle of a forest or a mountain, overlooking an endless tea or coffee plantation, offering a song of the birds and a colour palette of nature, but just as safe as home.
As locals, we never really give our own city a chance to make us feel like tourists. With so much lying under our nose, we walk past these places daily, wearing our ignorant bliss, not deeming necessary to offer a second glance. For most of us, a short break involves a trip to the unknown, faraway places; getting on planes, trains, even ships. But believe it or not, it largely deprives us of a very real, authentic local experience available right in our backyards. So here’s a chance to make your staycation feel like a vacation in our own city.
How to Staycation
In case you are wondering, how to enjoy a staycation, or what do people do in staycations. Here’s a little something for you to get started with. Think about what makes you happy. Think about all the things you wanted to do, but could not because of work and other responsibilities. Maybe make a list of those things before you head straight to your staycation. And if it helps, here are a few activities you could choose to help you prepare for a ball of a time in a staycation.
1. Take a nap
We know—what a boring idea to start the list with. You must be thinking this is not how you plan a fun staycation. But hold on, it’s free, it comes easy, and also makes a world of difference. So start your staycation with a little rest and relaxation in the form of a nice, long nap. How many times do you get the chance to close your eyes and catch some zzz’s in the middle of the day? You can even take a snooze outside on a hammock.
2. Have a spa day
It can be as glamorous as decking out your whole face with a moisturizing face mask and cucumber slices or as simple as just soaking your feet in Epsom salt. Whatever you do, just focus on how you can relax on your staycation.
3. Read a good book
How many books do you manage to read in a year? Sure, you’re always wanting to read one, but there never seems to be enough time. Now’s the perfect chance to dive into a good read—or several! Hop up on a hammock or sit by the pool or lawn or lay out a blanket under a tree and unwind with a good book to take home some great staycation memories.
4. Get outside
Take a hike outdoors or enjoy a peaceful walk inside the resort. You may even want to grab your running shoes to work in some exercise! Did you know walking actually helps to reduce stress hormones in your body? Just getting outside for some fresh air and moving your body can really help you relax and unwind. So get that circulation going and spend your staycation stress-free!
5. Camp out in the backyard
If the resort you are staying in permits, then prepare for the big camping night. Pitch a tent, light a fire pit while creating fun family staycation memories. Brownie points if you tell spooky stories and sing around the fire. When it’s time to call it a night, have everyone crawl into the tent and sleep under the stars (or you can sleep in your comfortable beds too).
6. Have a movie night
This is your perfect time to handle a marathon of movie series (Dark Knight, anyone?) or introduce your kids to iconic classics for the first time. But don’t forget the snacks! Grab some popcorn, chips and candy, and there you are all set for a great (and really cheap) movie night.
7. Take up a DIY project
Do you have a DIY project that you haven’t been able to get to? Use this free time on your hands to learn something new! It could be the pottery class at the resort or dessert making course. Maybe a cocktail crash course at the resort. Sky’s the limit. You’ll feel accomplished and motivated at the end of your staycation.
8. Plan a game night
Monopoly, Secret Hitler, Catan, Scrabbles—these games never go out of style! Dust off the board games and carry them to the resort. Sit around the pool or lawn and enjoy an interesting board game. When was the last time you played a game or two with family? Plan for a great family staycation time by ordering snacks, drinks for the game night, and some old Hindi music for the hopeless romantics in the group.
9. Watch a theater production
Hold on, we know what you’re thinking— a theatre production when the world is shut down? The magic of the internet has made life easier. BroadwayHD is streaming a ton of Broadway shows (everything from Oklahoma! to Romeo and Juliet). And they have a seven-day free trial, that’s plenty of time to watch a few things while on a staycation. Oh, and if you can have a projector setup provided by the resort you are staying in, you are in for some real fun! Nothing like the charm of a projector set up under the night sky.
10. Order in a special meal, splurge on all things delicious
Some find cooking relaxing, but others cannot cook to save their life. No matter where you fall, it’s important to give yourself a break and enjoy a special meal that you don’t have to cook. Swing by the resort restaurant and order their specialties. Be nice to the cook and maybe he will give a little tour of the kitchen or have food delivered from your favorite burger joint. And that’s how you have a great staycation!
11. Go canoeing
If you live within close proximity to a river or any water body, get out there on a canoe or a paddleboard to relax on a staycation—maybe even a surfboard if you’re near the beach! Do it your way.
12. Have a date night
Even if you’re with family, you can still take some time out to have a romantic staycation with your spouse and sneak in an inexpensive date. Have a nice dinner by the pool or light up the room with candles and order food in. End the night with some stargazing and a glass or two of wine.
Whatever it is that you decide to do, take care of yourself.
Happy Staycationing to you!