When I was little I loved to play vacation at home on rainy days. I would get a beach towel and put it on the floor, open an umbrella, put on sunglasses, have my little portable radio, and read a book or color or play with my Barbie camper. I made up a whole vacation day in my head.

Sometimes when we get time off, instead of traveling, we want to relax in our own homes. It’s an affordable option that can be fun. Here are some tips for a grown-up vacation at home, a.k.a. staycation, whether you are by yourself, having a romantic weekend, or spending time with family.


  • Instead of spreading a beach towel on the floor like I did as a kid, try a more adult option. If you have a backyard, hang a hammock or swing or get some lounge chairs, something you can lie back on and relax.
  • If you have an outdoor area, cook and eat outside. This is perfect for a get-together with family and friends. Hang fun party lights or paper lanterns. Get colorful paper plates and cups so you don’t have any dishes to clean up afterwards.
  • Or set up a backyard picnic. Spread out a blanket, wrap up some sandwiches, put drinks in mason jars. It’s all about the mood.
  • Set up a tent in the backyard. You can use it to take breaks from the sun, put the little ones down for a nap, or just sit inside and play games.
  • If you are hanging by yourself, prepare a party cart. Have everything you need at hand, so you can relax and not have to get up for anything. You can have your drinks, snacks, napkins, magazines, an ice bucket, sweets, all at your fingertips.


  • If you don’t have an outdoor space, turn your bedroom into a hotel-like sanctuary, even if it’s temporary. Hang a string of white lights or set up a group of candles. Put on your best pajamas or night-dress and relax in your own bed. Add some soothing music, a small bouquet of flowers and a glass or wine or pot of tea.
  • Turn your bathroom into a luxury spa. Have soft fluffy towels at the ready. Get some scented artisan soaps and bath products, add candles, music, perhaps an orchid on the counter, a luscious robe and slippers waiting for you after your bath.
  • If you’re having a romantic staycation, arrange to have an at-home massage. You can relax and then not have to get in your car and fight traffic afterwards.
  • Have a candlelight picnic in your living room. Spread out a blanket, add some wine and cheese, romantic music, light the fireplace or candles.
  • If the weather isn’t cooperating, have a game night for the whole family. Good old-fashioned board games (not the electronic kind) are fun and inexpensive. Or pick a movie theme and let everyone choose one film. Make it a marathon. Have some popcorn, ice-cream, make a fruit punch.

The important thing is to relax in the comfort of your own home. Unwind without thinking about chores or housework. Put away your phones. Make your house festive, make it colorful, include the whole family, or enjoy time alone or with your mate.

Share your tips for having a vacation at home.