Staycation: Get away without going away

'Healthy Living'

Staycation: Get away without going away

It’s August and you haven’t taken your summer vacation yet?

No worries — there’s still time for some R&R, even if you think you can’t afford it (nearly a third of workers blame finances for not using their time off).

Think staycation.

With a little creativity and the right mindset, you can experience a lot of what you’d travel far and wide to find — without lost luggage, crowded hotels and maxed-out credit cards. Even if you don’t live in one of the best cities for a staycation (or even if you do live in one of the worst) you can still have a great getaway without going away.

Follow these three steps:

  1. Get in the right mindset. Make it a “real” vacation. Resist the urge to check in at work and don’t invite interruptions by telling co-workers, “I’m not doing anything so call if you need me.” Set your out-of-office message on your email and phone before you leave. Which leads to …
  2. Limit technology. Take a personal or family pledge to check email briefly only once a day, pocket cell phones and unplug video games. Don’t let your digital devices be crutches for boredom. And that’s why you should …
  3. Mix planned and unplanned time. Adhering to a strict itinerary may seem too much like, well, work. On the other hand, a totally blank calendar may leave you aimless and bored. Plus, some fun stuff takes a little advance planning. Here are some relatively low- or no-cost ideas to try:
  • Visit parks, museums, zoos, aquariums, historic sites or art galleries in your area or within a couple hours’ drive.
  • Read the latest best-seller or catch up on movies for free from your local library.
  • Treat yourself to a massage or new hairstyle at the spa or salon.
  • Going camping — in the back yard.
  • Check out that new restaurant or pub you’ve been meaning to try.
  • Up your game with a few golf or tennis lessons.
  • Learn a new hobby or skill — painting, photography — with a class at a community college.
  • Host family or friends for a game or cards night.
  • Hit the pool, lake or beach.
  • Tackle a home improvement project you’ve been putting off.
  • Try a new food or recipe every night.
  • Cross something off your bucket list, like sky-diving (yes, a tandem jump is pricey but think of all the money you’re saving on gas and hotels).
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