It looks like this year Grinch (that goes by another name) didn’t steal our Christmas. He stole our summer.
As pandemic keeps unrolling around the world, international travel or sometimes even cross-state won’t be a particular boon. But after several weeks in strict confinement, most of us do crave for some fun holiday time.
So here are some staycation ideas you may want to try out this year (I’m already doing that!) as an alternative to everyone’s bellowed summer vacay.
Camping and long road trips may not happen this summer. But you can still enjoy the wilderness of your backyard (especially if you didn’t tend to it much lately). Get your rusty camping gear out the garage. Grab that grill to make sausages and s’ mores. Stay till late with a flashlight — yell some songs, remember your guitar skills, read some spooky stories. Get unglued from your gadget and stare at the night sky for a change.
Don’t have a tent or a backyard, or both? Fret not! A terrace, big enough balcony, or even a living room can host your amazing blanket fort. This video from Buzzfeed shows how to assemble an Instagram-worthy blanket fort if you are an adult millennial. Again, dim the main lights, pop some candles or fairy lights, turn on some “wilderness” white noise, and pretend that you are sipping that beer miles and miles away from home.
As hotels and resorts remain closed, renting a boat may be a good alternative ‘accommodation’ option. And no, you don’t need to charter a yacht (unless your budget permits, of course). Research more affordable options in the nearby marine or at the lake. See if any bored captains won’t mind taking you and your small crew for a ride. You may negotiate a good rate this summer as there won’t be as much demand in most hotspots as usual.
P.S. If it’s your first time on a boat, it’s best to browse some best boating apps to learn more about trip planning, navigation, and basic safety precautions on the water.
The lockdown has worn down most of us. If you don’t have the energy levels for swimming, driving and hiking, you should absolutely give yourself a proper spa day, full of pampering and indulgences.
Here are some quick (and budget-conscious) ideas for an at-home spa day:
- Lighten up some deliciously-smelling candles or diffuse essential oils. Lavender, rose, ylang-ylang and bergamot oils are known to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Put on a clean and comfy PJs set or a fluffy robe.
- Prep some healthy “spa waters” — cucumber, mint, lime, strawberry, or coriander infused icy cold pitcher.
- Line up your treatments du jour. You can go with a set of masks, try out new serums, give yourself a face massage or try out a new homemade body scrub recipe that you’ve pinned ages ago.
- Also, clip those nails of yours and put a bunch of rich cream on your hands to compensate for all the aggressive hand-washing.
- Slap a new treatment or hair mask onto your mane. Or try some new blow-outs.
So your invitation to the Cannes Film Festival didn’t arrive this year. Huh, who needs it, anyway! You can host an amazing film festival straight from your couch and judge every movie as much as you want.
Line up your theme for the weekend — all the Star Wars movie or best Hitchcock thrillers — whatever your jam is. Pop some popcorn in the microwave, prep some more quick snacks and pour yourself a big glass of wine as the premier is about to start!
Remember that small cafe in Nice, serving the best soccas in town? Google for the recipe. Try to cook the same meal and recreate the atmosphere at home. Or maybe it’s the sticky mango rice from a street hawker in Thailand that still makes your taste buds tingle? Or how about cooking a lavish set of Spanish dishes starting with a roaster of tapas and finishing with a huge paella?
Even if you are not a great cook, you can still trick people into believing the opposite. One of the easiest ways to do so is to prep killer margaritas and get everyone slightly boozy before serving your not-as-perfect main course. You are welcome for the tip :)
If you now need to recover from a recent food come or just shake off the leftover pandemic anxiety, do some yoga. You can either organize a solitary “tour” of meditation, stretching and mindfulness with the following agenda:
- A pre-game of healthy smoothies
- 30-minute online yoga session
- 15-minute guided meditation break
- Another half-hour of journaling, coloring or drawing
Or if you are craving company, grab that yoga mat of yours, call up some friends, and head to the nearby park or another lush area. Social distance yourself on the grass and have a group stretching session before gossiping over a bunch of homemade smoothies. How’s that for a plan?
For those poor souls stuck with kids at home, here’s another staycation idea to try — make those munchkins to put up a show for you. An at-home talent show is a nice alternative to watching the same stuff on TV.
So round up your kids in the morning and announce that they are up to compete tonight. They must pick a new skill — learn a poem, master a trick, prep a short dancing routine — and present it before dinner time to the strict panel of judges (aka all the adults in da house).
Be sure to brainstorm some prizes in advance, too. And reward every contender or the sole star (if you have one child) of tonight’s show.
Look, if either of the above sounds too tedious for you, it’s okay too. You can also try some quick and simple mini-staycay mood boosters to recharge your batteries. Read a good adventurous novel or one set in a foreign destination. Have your lunch on a blanket, pretending that you are at an indoor picnic. Prep a cup of ice coffee the night before and place it on your bed stand. Fill your day-to-day with small delightful things to offset the drag and uncertainty most of us are still dealing with.