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Friday, July 17, 2009


Robert Brault said, “Appreciate the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Take a moment and think close to home. Magazines keep touting “staycations” as an alternative for folks who can't travel far. I don't agree. Staycations are a lot of fun, and they can be done almost any time. As with every vacation, planning and preparing will be the key. Here are some tips for a great vacation at home.

 Forget any chores you have. Forget the lawn, the flowers, the apartment, the laundry or anything else that you might do as household routine. Prepare as if you're going away—laundry is done so you have what you need on your “trip.” I like to leave my home clean with fresh linens and towels awaiting our return home.

 Forget your phone. That means your cell phone as well as your landline. You're away. People will leave messages to which you can respond when you “return home.”

 Decide beforehand how you'll do your meals, and make sure you've shopped beforehand. Rob and I like to have breakfast and lunch at home and go out to dinner. Try to dine differently. Picnic. Have your breakfast in bed. Have complete meals delivered, but don't limit yourself to dinner. Try breakfast or lunch, or pick up a prepared lunch to take with you. Whatever you do, make it unique and special.

 Plan daytrips. If you're fortunate enough to be near a beach, pool, lake, park, or other natural area, and the weather is right, take advantage of it. Try kayaking, hiking, or fishing. Rent a boat or ride a bicycle. If you're a golfer, try a new course. If you're new to your selection, take it slow. But you may find yourself a new hobby. Google the names of nearby cities or towns, and you'll probably find places to visit you never knew existed. Visit museums and special indoor attractions too. Do things you've always planned on doing but always easily put off because they're so close to home.

 Relax. You're on vacation. Make sure you have a good book to accompany you.

 If you take travel photos, take them now too. Treat your time as special, and you'll see it will be.

A staycation can be any length. Sometimes a weekend is a perfect length. It's actually a pretty good thing to take periodically. It gives one time to focus on what is important. Remember Dorothy said it best, “There's no place like home.”

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