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Staycations are a great way to take a break from routine and create delightful, relaxing vacations at home, then pocket the savings.

The effort involved in organizing a trip can take time and energy, not to mention expense. If you’re open to a more leisurely way to go on vacation, try a staycation – a fun-filled furlough at home that is both de-stressing and cost-efficient. Here are tips to plan a creative and awesome getaway without leaving the comforts of your home.

Turn off and unplug – to make it truly relaxing, turn off the computer, don’t check email or do housework and other chores. Consider putting the snail mail on hold and turn off the news.

Create a spa environment at home – Splurge on spa-like amenities like a vase of flowers, scented lotions and scrubs, an in-home pedicure kit, make you own fruit-flavored filter water, and fill the room with aromatherapy scents and candles. Hire a massage therapist who makes house calls. Order in “destination-worthy” dinner, or pick up succulent steaks and crabs.

Take long, hot baths and enjoy a glass of wine or a hot cup of tea. Be sure to add candles to heighten the relaxing ambiance. And add soft music in the background.

Be a tourist – make a list of monuments, museums, and local exhibitions or shows you want to see. Then plan an excursion, lunch out with special friends, a movie in the evening.

Take a hike – or ride the bike through a local green space and enjoy the beauty of a garden, and bring a picnic lunch.

Read a good book – no matter your favorite reads, stock up or catch up on books that you’ve put off reading. Save money with a library book loan. Find a comfy chair, or hammock and treat yourself to the picnic lunch and escape into the story.

Take a class in writing, photography, cooking. Learn to play golf, tennis, or anther sport. Or go berry or peach picking at a local farm, and go home to bake a pie.

Escape by playing vacation music. Pretend you’re strolling the beaches of Bahia, play the classic bossa nova of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Or if you like a more country atmosphere, play music by Willie Nelson or another country artist.

Camp out in your back yard. Borrow a tent, and heat up the grill. Pack drinks in thermoses and snacks in Ziploc bags. Bring sleeping bags or blankets, flashlights, and mosquito repellent. Be sure to bring marshmallows for roasting.

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By Carol Marak

Aging Matters

Carol Marak, aging advocate, She’s earned a Certificate in the Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.

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