If your travel plans have been altered or even called off, you might find yourself wondering what to do about your vacation — or if you should take vacation time at all. The good news is that you don’t have to cancel it. You don’t need to drive hundreds of miles or fly to faraway destinations to find ways to relax and recharge. No matter where it happens, a vacation is about taking time away from your routine and leaving everyday stress behind for a while. You can do that from the comfort of your own home by having a staycation.

A staycation can happen a few different ways. It might mean traveling a short distance or pretending you’re a tourist in your home town, visiting places you don’t usually go. Another kind of staycation is one that focuses on self-care. Taking care of yourself means you don’t even have to leave the house. The experience takes place right where you are, and you avoid the stress-inducing hassles that can accompany travel. No flight delays, overbooked hotels or bad weather can ruin a self-care staycation. Here are a few ideas to help you enjoy some time to yourself without ever leaving the house.

Connect With Old Friends

Luckily, today’s technology lets you see friends and family from far away, even if you aren’t there in person. Videoconferencing has become more popular and accessible than ever. If you feel like you haven’t had time lately to get in touch with loved ones, your staycation can be the perfect opportunity to catch up. All you need to get started is a device with a camera and microphone and an internet connection. This might be a good time to secure your online privacy. Consider using a virtual private network, or VPN, to mask your IP address and protect you from hackers and third-party snoopers.


Even if exercise isn’t your idea of a good time, consider adding some energizing activities to your itinerary. If a regimented workout is your way to relax, go for it — but if you need something more spontaneous, you have lots of ways to get moving. Take a walk around the block, or find a nearby hiking trail or scenic sidewalk. The weather doesn’t have to stop you if you plan. If you prefer the great indoors, investigate a new workout routine. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try Pilates or belly dancing; you can watch an online instructional video and learn without fear of public embarrassment. If scheduled movement isn’t your style, you can always throw routine out the window, put on some great music and have an impromptu dance party.

Get Lots of Sleep

Getting enough sleep each night shouldn’t be a luxury, but sometimes it is. When you’re enjoying a self-care staycation, taking care of your basic needs is a must. Get as close to 8 hours of sleep as possible, and if you need more, go for it. You’ll feel great and have the energy to savor your at-home vacation while also promoting your health. A warm evening bath will soothe you, and avoiding screens an hour before bedtime gives your brain a chance to wind down.

Try a New Recipe or Enjoy an Old Favorite

If you’ve been eyeing a recipe that you’d love to try but haven’t had the time to invest in it, your staycation can include a delicious new meal. Make sure you have the ingredients on hand so you won’t have to make a stressful, last-minute grocery run. If your recipe is freezer-friendly, consider making an extra batch or two so you can improve a future hectic evening by enjoying a taste of your staycation.

On the other hand, if you have a hankering for some comfort food you haven’t made in a while, a tried-and-true favorite dish might be the recipe for a delicious staycation meal.

While traveling to faraway lands is thrilling, scheduling downtime for yourself can recharge you differently. Life is about balance. If now isn’t the time to go on a travel adventure, you can rejuvenate right where you are.