10 Ways To Capture The Post-Vacation Feeling At Home

Vacations are important; they provide a mental reset to rejuvenate and reinvigorate you before you return to work. But according to Forbes, The Center for Economic and Policy Research has nicknamed the U.S. the "No Vacation Nation," indicating that workers are neglecting to take the time off they not only earn but desperately need. Without vacations, you may end up feeling burned out and resentful of your career, school schedule, or other obligations. 


According to Everyday Health, there is tons of evidence to support why we should prioritize taking time off. Vacations are directly linked to reduced stress, improved productivity, and better overall life satisfaction because they give people the chance to wholeheartedly relax before the pressures and constraints of the working world fall back on them.

As beneficial as vacations are, sometimes there are barriers outside of our control that affect them. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, severely impacted the travel industry as many people were forced to cancel their vacation plans (via Styl.Inc). Other times, not taking regular vacations simply comes down to money. If there isn't enough extra cash in the budget to splurge on a trip, it just doesn't feel like a realistic possibility. If these factors, or others, are keeping you from planning a vacation to your dream destination, know that there are brilliant ways you can recreate a post-vacation feeling at home. 


Recreate a spa experience

Ready to spoil yourself? Recreating a full-on, relaxing spa experience is easy to do with the right supplies, and mud masks and cucumbers are only the beginning. According to Vistana Signature Experiences, the first thing you should do is choose a room for your home spa. Bathrooms tend to be ideal. Once your location is picked out, special touches can make the experience more relaxing: add bath bombs, Epson salt, and essential oil drops to the tub; flower petals, baking soda, and chamomile are perfect in your foot soak; and pre-packaged face masks add convenience.


The perfect ambiance is key for a spa day at home (via Unpacked). Try dimming the lights and lighting candles or burning incense to fill your space with scents of vanilla, lavender, or coconut. The final touch is soft, gentle music — or nature sounds like birds chirping and raindrops — playing in the background. Create a playlist to enhance to calming vibe. Be sure to keep your journal or diary nearby for writing down your thoughts, feelings, and manifestations for the future.

Recreate a beach day

If you live in a landlocked state, recreating a beach experience at home might be just what you need. According to WebMD, there is a slew of health benefits that come from taking trips to the beach. It's a refreshing place that opens up your senses, provides sun exposure, and naturally lifts your mood. 


The first step in creating your at-home beach, according to BuzzFeed, is to play the sound of gentle waves crashing along the shoreline. Once you're in the right headspace, try wearing a beach-inspired perfume. Fragrances with hints of palm leaf, coconut, and sea salt are good options. If you're not into perfume, a few dollops of sunscreen will work also. After that, it's time to start decorating. String together seashells and drape them over your banister and place dried starfish on your coffee table. Run your fingers through a sand-filled zen garden or squish your toes in a kids' sandbox.

Having the right foods and drinks will also help enhance the beach vibes. Hot dogs with all the trimmings are a great choice (via BuzzFeed) and fruity cocktails (or mocktails) are always fun –– especially when they have cute umbrella garnishes. Finally, if you have access to water, whether it's in the neighborhood community pool or at the gym, enjoy some time there.


Go camping in your own backyard

As long as you have a backyard or patio space to work with, camping at home can make you feel like you're far away on an adventurous vacation. Pitch a sturdy tent, line up some comfy sleeping bags, and prep your ingredients for making s'mores. If you have a safe place to do so, Country Living recommends lighting a fire pit. It will keep you warm and that campfire smell just adds to the experience. Hang some string lights for extra twinkle and once the sun sets, sing along to your favorite childhood songs and read about creepy ghosts on Reddit threads. After all, a camping trip isn't complete without a few scary stories. 


Adding activities like a scavenger hunt, cornhole, and catching fireflies to your to-do list for the night is great if you've got little ones in tow. The Washington Post says dressing up in your pajamas, keeping a portable lamp or flashlight close, and having a good book on deck to read are a few more ways you can truly enjoy a night of camping in your own backyard.

Prioritize your sleep

When you're on vacation, you have the freedom to get as much sleep as you could possibly want. If you're really trying to capture the post-vacation feeling at home, prioritizing your sleep is a must. When you get deep sleep, you feel energized and ready to take on each new day. Of course, it might be hard to prioritize sleep when you finally have time to read chapters in your favorite book, scroll through your social media timelines, and binge-watch fun reality TV shows (via UNC Health Talk). Nevertheless, getting quality sleep is absolutely vital.


According to Wired, prioritizing your sleep is hugely important because a lack of good sleep heavily impacts your mental and physical health. People who have abnormal sleep patterns are more susceptible to diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

If you're not able to take time off work to go on an actual vacation, your best option would be to call it a night a little earlier than you usually would to give your body and brain a chance to rest. The earlier you fall asleep, the longer you'll be able to rest before having to start your obligations the following morning. This means you'll have to stop scrolling earlier than normal, even if there are a few TikTok trends that are really captivating your attention.


Walk around your neighborhood

Imagine for a moment that you're in a foreign country with unfamiliar roadways. You'd most likely choose to walk as much as you can to take in the ambiance. You can do the same thing in your own neighborhood. Remind yourself of what it feels like to be a tourist exploring on foot by taking a one- or two-mile walk. Keep your eyes peeled to see if you notice amazing things you've never paid attention to before. You might run into a kind neighbor, have the opportunity to pet a friendly dog, smell fragrant roses in a garden, or even admire interesting homes and cars.


There are health benefits linked to walking, as well. According to Mayo Clinic, going for walks helps you maintain a healthy weight, prevents various conditions, and improves cardiovascular fitness.

If you're not a huge fan of walks, think of it as a primer for your next vacation. Whether your next trip is to Europe, Disney World, or on a cruise ship, The Washington Post reports the best way you can prepare for it is to take walks that will build up some endurance.

Cook cuisine from a different country

If you're comfortable exploring international recipes, you can feel like you're traveling around the world without even having to leave your kitchen (via Taste of Home). Have a location in mind that you would like to visit one day? Cook a traditional meal from that country. For example, if you're interested in traveling to Italy, search for recipes for fresh, homemade pizza and delicious fettuccine alfredo. Cooking and eating these meals will make you feel like you're there.


You don't have to be a bona fide foodie or food blogger to get excited about trying foods from other cultures. If you're only willing to eat food from countries and cultures you're familiar with, you're limiting yourself from experiencing some of the most amazing delicacies available from around the world. After all, food is something that connects people from different places all around the globe (via Toast Fried). 

Find a restorative practice

Going on vacation means you're taking time out of your busy schedule to relax and unwind. If you're stuck at home and unable to actually travel anywhere, restorative practices can put you in the right mind space. Meditation, yoga, and breathwork are only a small taste of restorative practices to consider. 


According to Art of Living, meditation is beneficial because it leads to enthusiasm, inner joy, and peace. It brings your brain to an alpha state which promotes healing from the inside out. If you're feeling weighed down by anxiety or you feel that you're in need of some clarity, meditation is one of the best ways to solve those issues. Yoga helps improve strength, balance, and flexibility (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). When you practice yoga regularly, it relaxes you, helps you sleep better, and gives you more energy. 

Breathwork is a holistic practice that's been around for thousands of years, according to WebMD. It has an anti-inflammatory effect that quickly elevates your mood.

Visit an unfamiliar local exhibit

Local exhibits, museums, and art shows might open your mind to a feeling of curiosity and wonder. Travelers always have their eyes peeled to take in new, unexpected sites all around them. This is likely because when you're on vacation and you're in a new place, nothing looks familiar, which means everything feels exciting.


Hill Aerospace Museum encourages people to visit museums since they are known to preserve artistic, historical, cultural, and scientific artifacts. Another highlight of visiting museums is that they provide informative and visual explorations that you wouldn't be able to see elsewhere. 

One of the easiest ways to feel like a tourist in your own town and keep your mind stimulated is to attend an art show, a local exhibit, or a museum. They help expand your horizons, inspire you artistically, and create an open dialogue about different unique subjects (via CultureOwl).

Create a vision board for future trips

Vision boards help you lay your dreams, goals, and aspirations. When you can visually admire the places you see yourself traveling to, you begin to naturally manifest those places into your reality. Manifestation is key for people who want to create brighter outcomes for their future. If you can imagine it in your mind, it is believed that you can eventually experience it in the real world. 


According to the Taleghani family of travel blog Consistently Curious, creating an inspiring travel vision board is important if you want to remain optimistic about your vacation aspirations. Along with adding images of your dream destinations, you might also consider adding uplifting phrases and motivational quotes.

It's not always easy to embody the inner power required to stomp out negative thoughts (via Wanderers of the World). Sometimes you have to go out of your way to keep your thoughts as positive and happy as possible. When you create a vision board filled with images of the exciting places where you want to travel, it helps you remain electrified and passionate about your upcoming plans –– even when you're stuck at home.


Watch a show or film set in your dream vacation spot

Close your eyes. Where are you envisioning yourself? If Paris is your ultimate travel destination and you imagine yourself visiting all the time, an easy way to embody the feeling of being there is to watch shows and movies based in Paris. For example, binge-watching "Emily in Paris" on Netflix will give you some insight into the food, fashion, and culture in France.


Additionally, some of the best international movies and documentaries will open your eyes to different cultures in ways that are absolutely wonderful, according to Top 10 Films. International films genuinely help people understand what foreign cultures are like, especially if they include real-life scenarios and thought-provoking content (via Scubby).

Taking time off to recharge yourself is essential to maintaining balance in your life. When you're not able to take your dream vacation, recreating a post-vacation feeling at home is the next best thing.