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6 Clever ‘Staycation’ Ideas to Really Unwind and Relax at Home

Ready for a break but not the bother of travel? Our experts share “staycation” ideas on how to enjoy a relaxing, rejuvenating vacation right at home.

Start with your dreams.

What is it that I truly crave? “To plan a revitalizing staycation, start with that question — and be specific with your answers,” urges lifestyle expert Francesco Bilotto. “Maybe it’s enjoying a fresh cucumber salad while wearing a fluffy robe… and bright coral polish on your toes.”

Daydreaming in detail shifts your mindset. “It affirms how much you’re yearning to escape the everyday and motivates you to silence your phone and commit to a real break.”

Beautify your space.

In a fraction of the time it would take to drive to a destination, you can dramatically up the relaxation factor of your home, promises interiors expert Laura Gaskill. Just stash “to-do clutter,” like unpaid bills waiting to be sent, in drawers or closets, since they remind us of uncompleted chores.

“To prime my staycation mindset even more, I’ll swap out a piece of art on my mantel for a print of a locale I love — it doesn’t take a drastic change of scenery to change how you see things and set the stage for relaxation.”

‘Resort’ your rooms.

“I like to say: Resort your room, beach your bath, and hotel your home,” laughs Bilotto. “Go ahead and move your coffee maker into the bedroom and arrange magazines by the bed.”

In the bath, set out a new, paper-wrapped bar of soap. “Bathtubs can be an escape in themselves — try scattering seashells around your tub. The same touches that make hotels so inviting will make your home transporting.

Theme your ‘travel’.

“Two of my favorite stay-home destinations are Disney World and Italy because it’s so easy to build an immersive experience,” shares travel expert Jenny Urias. “Start a magical Disney day by ‘riding’ the latest attractions on YouTube, then feast on Tonga Toast.” (Find the recipe: tinyURL.com/ycjegvhj)

More tempted by la dolce vita? “Start the morning with a cappuccino and a virtual walking tour of Rome, while savoring gelato.” Virtual getaways slash stress by more than 40 percent by forcing your brain to “fill in the gaps,” sparking creativity.

Indulge all five senses.

Select music and scents that capture your vacation vibe, says Gaskill. “When I wanted to re-create being in Hawaii, I discovered that slack key guitar music really set the mood. I also lit tropical-scented candles.”

Her 360-degree approach, which included tossing a colorful sarong on her chair, inspired her family to join in. “My husband put pineapple on the grill and we could almost hear the ocean waves crashing.”

Choose a souvenir.

Treat yourself to a little luxury that will help you remember your experience, urges Bilotto. “I’d pick an inexpensive frozen margarita machine to shift into island mode, or a cute espresso cup to channel Parisian chic. Maybe you’ve always wanted a backyard projector — now is the time to indulge.” It’s not how far you go, it’s how far you let your imagination take you.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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