Taking a holiday at home isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t go about it intentionally. However, in these unsettling times, being able to appreciate our home and the neighbourhood where we live have never been so important. Instead of dreaming of a holiday abroad (that can be stressful as well as expensive), why don’t you turn your den into a family escape? Whether you call it a ‘Staycation‘ or ‘Holystay’, organising such an ‘In-House Retreat’ will give you a fresh perspective on being confined at home for you’ll realise there is always something beautiful around the corner to discover, even in your backyard. Think of your place as your sanctuary: enjoy yourself, feel peace and recharge your batteries. We’ll tell you how.
Have a relaxing, quiet day
On the first morning of your home escape, forget alarm clocks, sleep in late and have a lazy breakfast. Encourage the family to do quiet play and to just relax around the house: put the world on hold so everyone can get ready before starting the staycation and experiencing the real fun. Take a nap in the afternoon, if possible, skip the news and play some soft background music throughout the day.
Take up a project in your house
In the midst of relaxation and fun, you can also spend a day tackling a useful project in the house. Pinterest and Instagram are full of creative ideas, you only need to decide which space or item of the house to concentrate on. Get the whole family involved, plan your project well – whether painting and reorganizing the living room, refurbishing the backyard porch, changing the curtains, lights and tapestry in the kitchen or cleaning out the attic – and assign duties for everyone. Kids can help with simple things like organizing their toys or choosing new colours, items and furniture. You will be amazed to see what you can create together!
Camp in your own backyard
Setting up a tent in your own yard is a fun way to entertain the kids and get them excited about an activity. Sleeping out in the open air will guarantee better rest for everyone and you can roast some marshmallows on a small campfire or do a sing-along in the evening, either playing the guitar or some background music from your phone. If your own backyard is not very big, try searching for a local campsite: they are often not too expensive and will offer the opportunity to get to know other local families as well. Setting up the tent and dividing the intimate space and experience together will get everyone to bond.
Learn a new skill
Staycation is also the perfect time to learn something completely new as it’s never too late to master skills. Always wanted to know how to knit a scarf or play the piano? Bake a 4-story rainbow cake or play Sudoku? There are online resources and videos that teach pretty much anything these days and you can do a lesson per day, perfecting your skill little by little. How about learning to make great cocktails? Watch a few tutorials and then sit down to sip your DIY drink while colouring a mandala. You can find hundreds of relaxing, calming patterns online.
Release your creativity in family art sessions
Drawing with watercolours or pastels, doing a collage with pieces cut from magazines or doing a stained-glass project are all crafts that you can easily do at the house. Using recycled materials like used toilet-paper rolls or cardboard boxes, old magazines and newspapers, glass jars and plastic bottles not only helps you do a good deed for the planet but also allows for your creativity to blossom. If you are scarce on materials or ideas, you can contact a local art gallery, art school or community centre that offers courses for all ages. Kids are naturally creative and for middle-aged women and men painting, pottering or sewing can unleash resources we never thought we had!
Cook something different each day
One of the most enjoyable activities on a vacation is eating well, so why should staycation be any different? Since you have the commodity of your own kitchen, search for some easy yet new and exciting recipes, hit the supermarket or the local farmers’ market and enjoy shopping together for the necessary ingredients. Every family member can propose and prepare one course each day and the little ones can help set the table. Planning the meals will get everyone involved and excited about cooking and eating together. And nothing prohibits you from going to a local restaurant a couple of times when you don’t feel like cooking.
Visit a famous museum or library online
You’d be amazed at how many museums, libraries and galleries you can visit online, from the comfort of your own sofa! And the perfect thing is, every family member can choose their favourite sight, from natural history museums to art, science and space exhibitions. You can also borrow e-books online from all over the world.
Organize a luxury spa or hotel experience at home
Enjoy a sumptuous, lazy day taking care of your body. Start off by applying a soothing face-mask and an invigorating hair treatment, followed by a long, warm bath with fragrant, relaxing bubbles. Make sure the water is warm enough to stay in a good half an hour. After the bath, wrap yourself in a soft, cotton bathrobe and pamper yourself with an aromatic herbal tea or a sparkling glass of champagne. Try a foot-massage rolling a tennis ball under your feet from the heel to the toes. Stretch your body following an online yoga lesson and have a light, nutritious dinner. Spend a relaxing evening in candlelight with soft music and prepare the bed with luxurious bed linen for the night.
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