After an hour of binge-scrolling through ‘wanderlust’ Instagram accounts curated by travel writers, models and people who aren’t you – you’re now debating whether or not you can use those last remaining personal days for a vacation.
Well, you don’t really need to. “Staycations” are the perfect thing for normal people who don’t have the time or the funds to consistently travel to exotic places.
To get you started, here are five essential tools for your fall staycation.
1. Alcohol, but the fancy kind.
It’s fall so mulled wine must be on your list. It’s not difficult to make (here’s a recipe) and it goes great with literally any cheese and bread. Don’t let your staycation turn into a binge-drinking session, however – the hangover is not worth it. A staycation is more about taking time out of your busy life to settle down and re-boot in the comfort of your own home – not party like its 1999 (RIP Prince).
If you don’t drink alcohol, here’s a great non-alcoholic recipe for mulled cranberry, apple and pomegranate juice. It’s a tasty alternative.
2. A fort – because obviously.
Yes, you can be a kid again. All it takes is a quick look at Pinterest for inspiration and a whole lot of pillows, blankets, and clothespins to make this dream a reality. Adding some tea-lights, or decorative string lights to any fort also gives it a cozy feel perfect for fall weather.
3. A Netflix account or if your old school, a great book.
Let’s face it, watching TV or reading a book is just about the most relaxing thing you can do when it’s cold (unless you’re emotionally invested in a show like Game of Thrones). However, don’t fall into the trap of wasting hours trying to pick a movie to watch on Netflix, or searching for a book at the bookstore during your staycation. Think about it before your getaway starts, and never worry about it again.
4. A planned outing – your city is waiting.
Even if you’ve lived in the same city your entire life, there’s definitely something you haven’t done or seen yet. Now is the time to explore like a tourist. For suggestions, look at the blogs or websites meant for newcomers to your city – often they’ll have suggestions that you’ve never thought about. Sometimes, just taking a walk through your neighborhood armed with a camera, a warm scarf, and your favourite tunes can be the best way to go. You’ll be amazed at the things you never noticed right in your backyard.
5. Comfort food.
After a day of exploring, give yourself a break from that “healthy” lifestyle you try to follow and indulge in some of your favorite comfort foods. Order in from that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, or cook your mom’s recipe for baked mac ‘n cheese (or use this one). This is your vacation!
Don’t feel bad if you can’t take time off to go to Banff, or spend thousands of dollars to surf in Fiji, because you can have a vacation anywhere. It’s not about how far away you go, it’s about taking care of yourself and enjoying every moment no matter where you are. (Be sure to fill your Instagram account with pictures of you sipping mulled wine and eating brie in that sick fort you made though!)