Travel is one of my very favorite things. I love the opportunity to shake things up a bit and experience something new. Most of us can’t vacation as often as we’d like so I’ve been thinking about how to keep the vacation vibe even after you come home from a trip. Or perhaps vacations aren’t possible for you right now. I know we’ve had to forego much of our usual travel due to the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean we can’t imbue our lives at home with some of the fun and flavor of a good vacation. With a bit of creativity we can create some of those same feelings right in the comfort of our own home and community.
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How to Keep the Vacation Vibe After You Come Home
Returning from a wonderful vacation can be a real let-down but it doesn’t have to be that way. Take some time to really consider what you enjoyed about your trip and then try to recreate some of the same feelings and experiences at home or in your own community. Here are ten ideas to get you started:
1. Declutter and simplify your home
A week in a hotel room or condo will demonstrate just how little we actually need. I had a true epiphany about this on a vacation to North Myrtle Beach. We stayed in a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo (we had lots of timeshare points and that was what was available). David went out one morning to rent a golf cart for us to use the rest of the trip – which is a really fun way to get around! By the time he returned I had made the bed, wiped down the bathrooms, cleaned the kitchen, swept the floors, tidied up and started a load of laundry. I was struck by the realization that my usual daily housekeeping routine would be greatly reduced if we lived smaller and simpler.
Obviously this is something will likely take some time to accomplish but if we had less to maintain at home it would be easier to have a bit of the vacation vibe year round. If, like me, this is a goal for you, consider taking photos of your accommodations the next time you travel. Or find some photos online. Print them and post them somewhere in your home as a reminder of how much simpler life can be.
2. Enjoy some special meals
Dining out is one of my favorite things about travel. I enjoy cooking but it’s so nice to experience different cuisines. While dining out may not be something one can afford to do all the time it might be worth it to budget for at least an occasional meal out.
Or plan some special meals at home! Try new dishes. Look for “copycat” recipes for your favorite restaurants. Set the table with the “good dishes”, have some nice music playing in the background and enjoy a leisurely meal.
Are there certain food treats you typically only have on vacation? While we don’t want to overdo some of these things, consider occasionally treating the family at home. How about a fancy brunch on the weekend once in awhile?
3. Plan to do something fun and/or relaxing each day
We can’t vacation every day but we CAN include a bit of that vacation life in each day. Something as simple as a cup of tea or coffee on the porch can take us out of the daily grind. Think about vacations you’ve taken and make a list of things you can do at home to mimic that laid-back vibe.
4. Upgrade your bedding
Is there anything more luxurious than a well-made hotel bed with high quality linens? If your sheets and pillows have seen better days consider an upgrade. I adore freshly laundered, crisp, cool cotton sheets. Bonus points if they’ve been line-dried.
I know this is controversial but I’m very much in favor of sleeping between sheets. Yes, I am a firm believer in top sheets. I want the bed smoothly made with hospital corners. I also love ironed pillowcases. Yeah, I may be a bit “extra”.
If you need a tutorial on bed-making, here is a good one:
5. Enjoy travel movies
Make some popcorn and escape somewhere exotic for a couple of hours via a travel movie or documentary.
6. Meet up with friends for coffee or cocktails
I’m a decided introvert but even I can enjoy the stimulation of being with other people. Granted, there are limits for me but it can be quite enjoyable with the right people. Make plans to meet up with friends for coffee on a weekend morning or after-work drinks on a Friday evening.
7. Go to the movies or a museum
Alone or with your family, make time to go to a movie, museum or other attraction in your area.
8. Enjoy dining al fresco
So much of what is enjoyable about travel is the opportunity to get out of our usual patterns of life. If the weather is nice, consider having dinner outdoors. Now, if you live in someplace like Southern California, chances are this is a no-brainer and something you do regularly. But if that’s not your habit, consider making a point of it occasionally. Anything that gets you out of your usual routines can feel special and give you those vacation vibes.
9. Read travel books
If you can’t go somewhere in real life, you can always go there in your imagination. Immerse yourself in a good book set in a favorite location or someplace new to you. Whenever I’m pining for New Orleans or Paris, I can always pick up a book set in one or the other and visit awhile.
10. Establish a pre-dinner “happy hour” ritual
As a child growing up in a teetotaling family, I was intrigued by the pre-dinner drinks Samantha and Darrin often enjoyed on Bewitched. It seemed so grown up and civilized. Whether it’s something alcoholic or a nice glass of iced tea or sparkling water, consider instituting “Happy Hour” at home.
Get out your prettiest glasses and enjoy a few minutes to relax together as a couple or family before dinner. If you have very young children who need to eat quite early, you have a couple of options. You can feed them first and get them settled before enjoying a drink with your spouse. Or just have Happy Hour as a family on weekends when you have more time. Even preschool-age children will enjoy being served a special drink with their parents. Make it feel very special by letting them drink from a fancy glass. It doesn’t have to be your expensive wedding crystal, though. You can pick up pretty glasses at antique shops or thrift stores. Add a cherry or slice of citrus fruit for extra appeal.
Do you have any other suggestions for creating a vacation vibe at home? Leave your favorite idea in the comments below. And then let’s all give ourselves a bit of a vacation soon!
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