How to enjoy a staycation

Amanda Weston

     There are few things more depressing than staying at home over the summer while your friends travel to exotic places, spending their exciting vacations abroad while you are trapped in what seems to be eternal boredom. Instead of moping about your situation, take some steps to turn your stuck-at-home summer into the perfect staycation.

           

     Create your own destination

     Are you dreaming of a tropical Hawaiian getaway?

     Make your own island in your backyard. Set up your lawn chair and umbrella, make a fruit smoothie and relax. For added effect, fill up an inflatable pool for your impromptu beach. Get a tan or catch up on a good book and enjoy your tourist-free private oasis. If you’d rather be vacationing in a sophisticated European city, make some French cuisine and watch foreign films to immerse yourself in the culture while avoiding hefty travel expenses.

     Be productive

     Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn French or how to play the guitar. With your newfound free time, now’s the time to learn. Show off to your friends when they get home from their unproductive vacations and know that you’ve done something useful with your time. Or better yet, find a job you love and make some cash for college tuition or that new car. Talk to your neighbors going on vacation and offer your services as a house- or pet-sitter, both high-paying and relatively easy jobs.

     Tour your own town

     Make Austin your holiday hotspot and take advantage of popular tourist attractions such as Barton Springs pool and the Austin Museum of Art. Have a picnic by the lake or take a day trip to Six Flags. Get your friends and family involved and embrace your inner tacky tourist. Do something cheesy you’ve never considered doing before, like a segway tour of downtown or Austin Duck Adventures, the amphibious boat/driving tour of downtown and Lake Austin. Then post your photos on Facebook like you would any vacation photos. Playing around in your own town can be just as rewarding as exploring a new one, and also much easier on the wallet. You may find some hidden treasures you never knew existed in your own city.

     Make it authentic

     Treat your staycation just as you would a real one. Turn off the TV, don’t check your email or phone and, if possible, lay off the chores. The point of a vacation is to relax and escape from it all, so don’t leave this part out. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fun and relaxing summer.