How to Take a Staycation

Need some time off, but don't want to spend cash on a luxury getaway? Here's how to staycation.

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The point of a staycation? To chill out and feel rejuvenated when you return to your usual routine. Here are some dos and don'ts for vacationing at home.

No housework.

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You heard us. Don't clean out the basement or the linen closet. Don't do laundry (because then you'd have to fold it and put it away). All of that is work—and you're on vacation. Before your staycation, make an appointment with yourself to clean the house (or pay someone to do it for you). This way, you relax in a clean, neat atmosphere.

Unplug from technology.

If you spend most of your days in front of a computer, or obsessively check your iPhone, do your best to unplug. Make some rules for yourself: Activate your out-of-office notification on your work email, and if you can, don't check it until your staycation is over (or make a deal with yourself to check it once a day, or every other day). Same goes for video games and the television—don't waste hours in front of the screen. None of these things refresh the spirit.

Get outside.

If it's winter, and you ski, visit a local day ski resort. If it's warm outside, go hiking, ride your bike, or treat your dog with extra-long walks. Bottom line: fresh air replenishes the body and mind.

Go places you've never been.

Hit a museum you've been meaning to visit, or take a day trip to a nearby town you've always heard about. Check the local papers. Is there an art show happening? A concert or a play you'd like to see? Do it. The idea is to get out of your usual routine.

Reserve one morning to stay in bed.

A staycation is the perfect excuse to lounge. Get into bed with a pile of magazines, a big novel, or just sleep in. Other ideas: Book a telephone talkathon with a friend who lives far away. And yes, definitely eat in bed.

Buy yourself something special—or go out for an amazing meal.

Since you're saving money on airfare and lodging, a staycation is an excellent excuse to let go of some cash. Is there a piece of jewelry you've been jonesing for? Or maybe it's time to book a table at the newest, buzz-worthy restaurant. Go for it—you're on vacation, after all.

Ryan Homes Tip: Don't overbook yourself so you're exhausted, but make a loose plan before you begin your at-home getaway. You don't want to start each day, with “OK, what now?”