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December 14, 2017

Staycation…Prepare Your Home for Some Downtime

You’ve got some time off coming to you, but a road trip isn’t in the cards right now. Maybe you’re a little short on cash or family demands are taking center stage. Perhaps you’re traveling a lot for work and the idea of more time away from home just isn’t appealing. No matter what’s going on right now, you’ve got an amazing option open to you – a staycation! Spending your vacation at home is becoming quite fashionable these days. With travel costs rising and the everyday frustrations of missed flights, tight connections and reservations that vanish into thin air, more and more homeowners are deciding to relax and kick back in the ultimate comfort…the comfort of their own homes. If you’re looking for ways to ensure that your staycation is an opportunity to chill out and recharge, use some of our handy hints and tips to “interruption-proof” your home. Take Time to Stop Time One of the best ways to slow down the pace of your life is to make sure that you’re not marking the passage of time. One of the biggest mistakes staycationers make is to schedule a stream of appointments and errands that require that they be in a certain place at a certain time. By filling their “off hours” with requirements, they’re defeating the very idea of “time off”. Once you’ve cleared your schedule, hide your clocks in drawers or closets, drop watches in drawers and don’t look at them for a couple of days, at least. Put Messages on Hold Record new messages for your phones stating that you’ll be out of pocket for a few days and encourage callers to leave their information for a return call on a certain date. Let callers know that you can be reached in an emergency through a friend or a relative who can drop by or get through to you by another means. Then resist the urge to check your messages. End of the Road for Email Use the “out of office” function to let people know you aren’t responding to emails until a set time. You can use the computer for games or shopping, if that’s your favorite way to relax, but make Outlook or Yahoo off limits. No News is Good News One of the best ways to “check out” is to avoid picking up information from news outlets. Radio, TV and newspapers bring you back into the daily whirlwind of what’s going on in the outside world. A few days in a cocoon away from it all can do wonders for your outlook. If you’re feeling brave, you can even leave unopened mail on the hall table until you “return”. Create your vacation soundtrack to play instead of turning on the TV. Your favorite music will lift your mood – why not get everyone dancing? Order In…Everything! Why cook for yourself when you can order pizza, Chinese, or dinners from local delivery services? If you enjoy cooking and find it relaxing, order gourmet food packages from companies such as Blue Apron or Omaha Steaks and prepare your favorite cuisines at your leisure, without the hassle of a grocery run. And while you’re at it, hire a maid service to come in for the days you’re vacationing. They can turn your home into a hotel by making up the beds, tidying up after you and running a load or two of laundry. You can even hire a masseuse to stop by if you need a little extra relaxation! No Kidding… And for a real treat, arrange for an overnight babysitter at least once during your staycation. Whether the kids head out to Grandma’s or over to a friend’s house, a “date night” for mom and dad is a great way to reconnect and rekindle a little romance. This is a bonus that you probably wouldn’t get if you packed up the family and headed out for your vacation. And your kids will love a sleep over – it gives them a change of scenery and new experiences as well! Camp in Your Own Backyard Nothing beats camping out under the stars, whether it’s in a tent or simply in a sleeping bag. Your lawn awaits…just add some snacks, scary ghost stories and bug spray. TIki torches, lawn lanterns, chimineas or fire pits help set the mood and provide extra light for safety. Indulge in Your Favorite Hobbies Read that latest bestseller you just bought, or re-read an old favorite. Allow yourself a few hours of uninterrupted game play, whether it’s a Monopoly marathon or a video game tournament. Binge watch an entire season of a TV show you’ve let slide, or finish knitting that scarf you started for your Dad. Whatever it is that you love to do – but never have time to do – now is the time! Out for the Day Don’t rule out the local element…often people haven’t visited nearby sites of interest. Tour historical sites nearby, spend the day at a local amusement park or water park, go skating or take a hike through a national park. A day trip adds a little interest to your downtime, if it’s something you can do on your own schedule. Make sure you don’t have to arrive or depart at a certain time, and leave plenty of wiggle room for distractions, diversions and detours along the way. With a little planning and a lot of flexibility, you can create your own satisfying and relaxing vacation, no matter where you are!

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