While jetting off to some sun-soaked island may sound like a dream come true right about now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: This time of year is actually the best time to stay home and relax. Who wants to deal with lugging a suitcase, standing in a mile-long security line, and eating airport food all for the sake of a few days of R&R? Truth be told, you can get the same sort of relaxation without ever having to leave your couch and shove yourself into an uncomfortable middle seat on the plane. Below are nine ways to master the art of the staycation, because vacation isn’t a place—it’s a state of mind.
Consider checking in to a hotel
Even if you’re staying in your own city, waking up to a change of scenery may be exactly what you need to feel like you’re in an entirely new place. Plus, hotel sheets (and hotel sex) are usually more luxurious than what you have at home. Find a hip hotel in your area with amenities and restaurants that will make the stay feel miles away.
…Or Hygge it up at home
The Danish concept of “Hygge” is creating the feeling of being cozy and comfortable, two very important factors in a staycation. If you decide your staycation involves staying in your own home, grab the coziest blanket you can find, light some scented candles, read a good book, and settle in for a whole lot of nothing.
Plan a just-for-fun activity
While regular Saturdays are for chores, staycation Saturdays are for doing whatever the hell you want. Check out that museum you’ve been meaning to get to for the last two years, or go see a movie at the actual theater (as in, one that isn’t located in your living room). Do something that you don’t normally have time for.
Embrace the staycation wardrobe
Sweatpants and chill. Full stop. On a staycation, you have permission to wear all of the most comfortable clothes you own (or nothing at all).
Ditch the phone
Like a vacation, a staycation is meant to for me-time (or, if you’re coupled up, us-time), so silence the chatter from the outside world and put your phone on airplane mode for the weekend. Instagram will still be there when you tune back in on Monday morning—I promise.
Spend some time outside
Seasonal depression is real, people, which makes getting outside (yes, even when it’s cold) extra important this time of year. Use your staycation as an excuse to take a long walk in a neighborhood you may not have explored before, or hop in the car and head to a nearby hiking trail to get your exercise and your fresh air in one fell swoop.
Wine and dine yourself
Since you’re likely planning any sort of staycation weeks in advance, you have plenty of time to book a rez at one of those hard-to-get-into spots that you’ve been dying to try. Or, if you’re feeling more of a “sweatpants in bed” kind of night, hire an at-home personal chef (yes, that exists) to whip up your favorite home cooked meal in your kitchen while you hang out with the new season of Stranger Things.
Go big with brunch
There is something about sleeping in and treating yourself to a crazy-indulgent breakfast that just makes a vacation feel like a vacation. So, lounge around in bed until you get hungry, then go out and order as many pancakes as you can stomach. Or even better—convince someone to bring you breakfast in bed, room service style.
Buy yourself a present
Because what’s a vacation without a souvenir? You deserve it.