Relax, Catch Up, Enjoy

Top 7 Things to Do on Staycation

by | Apr 26, 2016


Alas, there are times when your budget, timing, or responsibilities may keep you from having that incredible two weeks diving the Great Barrier Reef, and may force you into a vacation where you just stay home. (Shriek!!!)   This doesn’t mean that your time has to be drudgery or any less lively than time at an exotic destination.  And, I can guarantee you that it will be better than a week at your mother-in-law’s house.

A Little Sparkling Wine Out in The Garden

A Little Sparkling Wine Out in The Garden


As much as I love going to new places and experiencing new cultures, there are times that I really need a “staycation” because often, what I really want to get out of my time off is to feel more relaxed, less harried, and like I’ve personally benefitted from the use of my vacation days. One way that I’ve found that helps me reach all of these goals is to prioritize time in several areas while also allowing time for rest and spontaneity. Here is my list of the 7 best activities during a “staycation.”

Biking Along the Napa River Marsh in California

Biking Along the Napa River Marsh in California



Even though experts say it may take 3-4 months to establish positive habits, (negative habits stick instantly!) a staycation can be a great time to start a new exercise routine. You have 7-9 days to get started and feel the positive effects.  This may be just what you need to get moving, work the bugs out, and make you feel just good enough to keep going even when you’re working.  During my last week off, I had a goal of exercising six mornings during the week.  I wanted to go to the gym three times and take my dog on a vigorous morning walk for the remainder of the days.  Honestly, I had mixed results, but did go back to work feeling healthier and more ready to continue those habits.  One of the best features of the Staycation is that you can do more pleasurable and relaxing types of exercise such as a hike in the woods or a scenic bike ride without as many time pressures.

Hiking Along the South Yuba River in Northern California

Hiking Along the South Yuba River in Northern California


I think we all have those nagging organizational or household tasks hanging over our heads that we never get around to, like cleaning closets or weeding. (In my case, deleting 3000 emails, organizing computer files, and giving my fridge a deep cleaning.)  Picking just a couple of these things during a staycation can be a great way to boost positive feelings and make you feel more relaxed in your home.

Make sure you only schedule a finite amount of time for these tasks. Also don’t get involved in a two-day cleaning of your garage or backyard.  Choose small jobs that can be done completely, and that give you a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Set the time, do the job, admire your results, and then move on to something fun and rewarding!

Happy Rainbow Brooms to Make Cleaning More Fun.

Happy Rainbow Brooms to Make Cleaning More Fun.


This is one of the best things you can do on your staycation! How many times have you heard a friend from out of town mention a traveling exhibit at your local art museum, and you reply, “I had no idea!   Haven’t been there in 10 years.”  A Staycation is the time to do a little research and find out what’s going on close to home.  See a play, visit a park, eat at a new restaurant.  Call a friend (or a doggie) to go along!

During my latest staycation, Diane and I took a day to go on a beautiful wildflower walk at South Yuba River State Park. We followed the hike up with dinner at Lefty’s Grill in Nevada City.   This day couldn’t have been better, and didn’t cost anywhere close to the amount spent getting myself to an exotic location.

Hike to Admire the Profusion of Wildflowers at South Yuba River State Park in Northern California

Hike to Admire the Profusion of Wildflowers at South Yuba River State Park in Northern California


Just unplug and read! Reading a novel for pleasure transports you to other places or cultures.  Reading for personal growth inspires!  I chose two books for my staycation; Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.    Both were instructive and Anne Lamott is drop dead funny!

Scientific research is showing that reading is one of the best things you can do for your brain. It’s great for mental stimulation, memory, increasing vocabulary, and enhances your ability to relax during stressful times.  Reading an actual book is better than reading from a screen. (I say this while understanding you are reading a screen now!  Please continue.)

Just Pull Something Juicy Off Your Bookshelf and Enjoy.

Just Pull Something Juicy Off Your Bookshelf and Enjoy.


Friendships keep us healthy and happy. At least that’s what all the current studies show.  I always try to take time a couple of weeks before my time off to set up opportunities to see friends that I neglect due to my work schedule.  I think about these friends and what they like to do.  We might go to a brewery or I could make lunch for us.  I can tell that my friends feel gratitude for my reaching out.  Everyone is busy and taking time out to visit and laugh is great “pick me up.”

Hang Out with Friends, Watch the Big Game, Catch Up, and Have Fun!

Hang Out with Friends, Watch the Big Game, Catch Up, and Have Fun!


Meditate, breathe, commune with nature, pray, give to others. Just like exercise, a stay-at-home vacation is a great time to form new habits that will allow you to stay self-connected, promote a feeling of well-being and increase your willpower when depleted.

I’m a fan of the Buddhist writer Pema Chodron. One of the things I do is keep the book, The Pocket Pema Chodron in my bathroom.  (What’s a post on our blog without the mention of a bathroom.)   There are 108 short teachings in this book.  Each takes 1 to 2 minutes to read and brings your thinking back to what is essential and basic, especially if you have a meditation practice.  Also, here’s a great tip we discovered recently.  Get the “Insight Timer” app for your phone.  It’s free and there are great guided meditations, meditation groups you can join, and many other features.  We love this app here at Where’s The Bathroom Travel!

Finally, the aforementioned author, Anne Lamott wrote this: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.”

Do Whatever Sources You Spiritually to Recharge and Be at Your Best

Do Whatever Sources You Spiritually to Recharge and Be at Your Best


So, this time you stayed home. Use some of your time to plan your next vacation away!  Forget about Candy Crush and celebrity gossip! Use your time online to research your destination.  Look for bargain airline flights or cruises.  Find the restaurant you want to make sure you don’t miss in Paris. We recommend:

  • (of course!)

The experts say one of the most, if not THE most therapeutic part of a vacation is the anticipation of it.  This is really true!  Have fun and make your Staycation a time to dream!

On the Beach at Cozumel, Mexico

On the Beach at Cozumel, Mexico


Please let us know what you do during a staycation.  Write a comment below or follow us on Twitter and tweet your recommendations.  We definitely want to hear from you!

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Top 7 Things to Do on Staycation

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Yal-Ku Lagoon on the Riviera Maya

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Akumal on the Riviera Maya

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Xcaret Park, Riviera Maya

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Tankah Tres Beach & Cenote Manatee

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Great Eats by Arenal Volcano

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Aktun Chen on Riviera Maya

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Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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