Home for the holidays: Awesome staycation ideas

Feeling frazzled but no budget or time for a weekend getaway? And while the Pinterest vacation of your dreams is not exactly in reach, a staycation can be just as (or even more relaxing)  Payflex outlines the best ways to kick back, relax, and bring that ‘Out of Office’ vibe to your own home. 

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Travel virtually

Always wanted to see the Sydney Opera House, tour The Louvre,  walk the cobbled streets of Spain, or see the Great Wall of China? Thanks to technology you’re able to visit almost any place on the planet in the blink of an eye without even leaving your couch! And with no long queues, expensive entry fees, and expensive tourist paraphernalia,  travelling virtually could be even better than the real thing! 

 Plan a day trip

If you’re feeling antsy to get out of town, consider taking a day trip somewhere nearby. This can be a fun way to explore a nearby area without having to worry about booking an overnight stay. Even a quick drive to an unfamiliar suburb of your own city can be a fun adventure. For Joburgers, try the Lion and Rhino Nature Reserve or the Upside Down House. Cape Tonians, go on a big 5 game drive at Aquila Private Game Reserve, visit the penguins at Boulders Beach, or get a crew together and enjoy the winelands. Another great idea is the Cape of Good Hope. NB: Don’t forget the road trip snacks! 

Get outdoors

Getting outside and explore the great outdoors.Not only can you stay close to home, but you can also explore areas that offer beautiful scenery.  Immersing yourself in nature is also known  to decrease stress significantly and boost serotonin and happiness.Whether you prefer walking, running, riding or hiking, ensure you are well equipped by wearing the right clothes, bringing safety equipment and keeping hydrated. 

Go glamping in your backyard

Enjoy the great outdoors and sleeping under the stars without leaving your house by glamping in your garden. Decorate your space with fairy lights,  throw pillows and  bean bags. Don’t forget the snacks, wine, a summer Spotify playlist, and your portable speaker. A crackling campfire video streaming in the background can also create an atmosphere of authenticity. Plus, if you and your fellow campers don’t want to sleep in the tent, you can always head inside at bedtime (Major perk to be able to sleep in your own bed!). 

Be a tourist in your own city

How well do you know your own town or city? Sometimes we’re more familiar with faraway places than the attractions on our doorsteps. Spend a day, weekend, or even a whole week playing tourist in your own city.  Try the hop on hop off bus for a brilliant way to see your city, visit museums, local attractions, or historic areas you’d usually reserve for out-of-town visitors. A staycation is the best time to act like a tourist and go explore the hidden gems in your hometown.

Eat al fresco

Just changing up where you eat can feel like a fun adventure. Fire up the braai, pack some sandwiches for the beach,  or lay down a blanket on the grass and have a picnic. And while there is no scientific evidence to back it up, food just tastes better when enjoyed outside.

Indulge in an at-home spa day

Self-care is a must, especially after the rollercoaster that was 2020. Skip the expensive spas and relax with an at-home spa day. There’s plenty of ways to convert your home into a makeshift spa. Think a very long bath, scented candles, aromatherapy oils, and a sheet mask. 

Learn something new

While learning new things should be high on all our agendas, the hectic pace of our daily lives means there’s never spare time to sit down and delve into the things you’re passionate about. What better time to do it than now? Whatever your passion, the internet is brimming with online tutorials, classes and courses. Get signed up and get learning! South African born GetSmarter offers a range of incredible short courses, while internationally, Coursera offers online courses you can finish in a day. You can stream online courses from the world’s best in everything from cooking to acting with Masterclass (Think Gordon Ramsay, Martin Scorsese and Dr Jane Goodall). 

Get crafty

Disclaimer: This will only be appealing if you’re one of those people who really enjoys at-home projects. Tackle a major DIY project you’ve been putting off for months. There’s nothing more rewarding than creating something yourself.  Try your hand at diamond dot art or a jigsaw puzzle, learn how to knit, or even unleash your inner artist by experimenting with watercolor paints. It can feel amazing to accomplish something of significance.

And… exhale

Sometimes doing nothing is the hardest thing to do!  Binge a TV-series on Netflix or watch a great movie, escape with a great book, or cook some of your favourite comfort foods.  This year’s been tough enough. Be kind to yourself and take some well-deserved time out.