Staycation Nation: How to Have a Vacation During Quarantine

The easiest (and safest) way to vacation in quarantine? Make it a staycation. But don't feel disappointed—we've got the ways to make it fun and fulfilling.

The bad news: You may not have the freedom (or the funds) to stray to an exotic location this year. The good news: Travel is a mindset. We asked Candy Lee, a resident expert at Travelzoo, how to create a satisfying staycation, which can be anything from borrowing a friend’s cottage to staying put in your own house while adopting a vacay mindset.

Prep Ahead

“Psychologists have run fascinat­ing studies about how to maximize the benefits of a vacation, and one of the most recommended tips is to try to get every last drop out of those ‘anticipation moments,'” says Lee. “The joys and benefits of a vacation don’t just lie in the trip itself but also in the days and weeks leading up to it, when you’re excitedly making plans.”

Find which places around you are open—think restaurants, museums, and parks—and maybe treat yourself to a new item of clothing for all your gallivanting. Try a fabulous sun hat, which will be put to good use no matter where your staycation takes you.

Make a New Routine

“If you normally get up at 6 a.m. for work and have a morning coffee before dashing out the door, per­haps your new routine is to sleep in until 8 a.m. and check out a new local coffee shop for a specialty latte,” says Lee. “Or, instead of making din­ner, treat yourself to a home chef session or order in from that place that normally feels too fancy for your everyday life.”

Make Time for R&R

Pack your lunch into a picnic basket and head to a beautiful park (while keeping physically distant, of course) and soak in your surroundings. Studies show that any exposure to nature immediately lowers your stress levels, reduces your heart rate and activates your parasympathetic nervous system.

Connect With Your Senses

There’s no better sensory experience than food and all of its colours, tastes and aromas. Try a new cuisine or sign up for a virtual cooking class to learn how to make a new dish yourself.

Check Out the Art and Culture Around You

Visit a new art gallery you’ve been meaning to stop at or pick up a new type of book—something you wouldn’t normally consider.

Disconnect

“Make arrangements to cut off digital communications,” says Lee. “Tell your friends and family that you will be away and check your phone less frequently.”

Stay Present

“My biggest piece of advice is to stay present,” says Lee. “Plan lots of rest and relaxation and fun new activities to stretch your mind, and really make the most of every moment. That way, when your staycation is done, you can go back to your regular life feeling fully refreshed and excited.”

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