How to make your staycation a slowcation

Feeling relaxed and refreshed isn’t just the remit of far-flung vacations. Here’s how to slow down and make the most of a joyful break spent at home. 

In today's fast-paced world, the idea of taking a break often feels like a luxury reserved for those jetting off to exotic destinations. However, as the pressures of everyday life continue to mount, it's increasingly vital to find moments of calm wherever we can. Enter the staycation. A concept that allows us to slow down, relax, and make the most of our time off without the weight of great expectations, stifling long journeys, or worries of spiralling costs. 

 

And if it’s the latter that’s holding you back from booking a big trip, know that you’re not alone. Recent research in the UK found that an incredible 73% of adults are now more likely to opt for a staycation over a holiday abroad, largely due to personal finances being squeezed. Meanwhile, a 2024 international study has found that, after rising in popularity during the travel restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefits of a break spent close to home are continuing to appeal to people the world over. 

 

But if you’re wondering if it’s possible to feel truly rejuvenated after a staycation break, we hear you. Holidaying at home runs the risk of feeling all too familiar, and allowing everyday habits and routines to creep in. According to experts, however, it’s not just possible – it’s vital for our health and wellbeing. You’ll just need to set a few firm boundaries and be deliberate about sparking joy. 

 

“We all need to take time off to maintain our physical, mental, and emotional health,” says Claudia Dumond, a holistic health coach and founder of Minimodo. “It allows your body to recover from stress, reduces the risk of burnout, and enhances overall wellbeing, providing you with the space to rest, recharge and rejuvenate.” 

 

“A staycation is a wonderful way to ‘step away’ from your daily life without the stress of planning a big holiday,” she adds. “That said, sometimes we are so focused on being productive all of the time that we can still take some of our bad habits with us into our well-needed breaks.”  

 

Enter our round-up of expert tips to help you ensure your staycation is a joyful slowcation. Read on for the ultimate dos and don’ts of a restful holiday at home. 

STAYCATION DOS

1.SPEND TIME IN NATURE

Many of us live near natural spaces or beauty spots that we rarely have time to visit. Well, now’s the time to really get out there and explore. “Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve mood,” says Dumond. “Take leisurely walks in parks or natural settings to disconnect from technology and reconnect with the outdoors.” 

2.Prioritise self-care

Whether it’s mindful movement or turning your bathroom into a home spa, allow yourself time to press pause and care for your wellbeing. “Use this time to nourish your body, mind, and soul with activities like meditation, yoga, or simply taking a relaxing bath,” suggests Gillian McMichael, a transformation wellness coach and author of Coming Home: A Guide to Being Your True Self. 

3.Plan things that spark joy

Whether it’s taking a day trip, spending time with your favourite people, or shopping locally for fresh ingredients and cooking a delicious recipe, being intentional about cultivating more joy during your time off will help to release any stresses and tensions, allowing you to embrace the fun and feel-good factor of a staycation. 

4.Try something new

Be it a dance class, a new restaurant, or exploring different areas of your town or city, treating your brain to a change of scenery can do wonders for your happiness and mental wellbeing. “Research suggests that novel experiences stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward in the brain,” explains Danielle Baron, a therapist, coach and tutor. “This surge in dopamine can enhance our mood and outlook, providing much-needed respite from the monotony and stress of everyday life.” 

STAYCATION DON’TS 

1.Resist the urge to overplan

“While it's great to have some activities planned, resist the urge to fill every moment of your staycation with tasks or outings,” advises Dumond. “Leave room for spontaneity, relaxation and that ever important rest.” 

2.Don’t remain plugged in

The biggest vibe saboteur of any holiday? Doom scrolling. “Limit excessive screen time, whether it's watching TV, scrolling through social media, or playing video games,” suggests McMichael. “Instead, focus on engaging in offline activities that will nourish your mind and body.” 

3.Avoid ‘checking-in’ on work

Just because you’ve not left the country for a different time zone, it doesn’t mean you should be on-call for any work dilemmas or ‘quick questions’. “This is your chance to rest and recharge – use it wisely,” says Dumond. “If possible, try to stop yourself from checking work emails or engaging in work-related tasks during your time off.” 

4.Vacations are not for chores

Want that rejuvenated feeling at the end of your break? Forget about your laundry heap, or put some time aside to clear the decks and have a cleansing declutter before your staycation starts. “Try to let go of any worries about household chores or other responsibilities,” says McMichael. “Your staycation is a time to recharge, not to tackle a long to-do list.” 

 

Final thought: “A staycation should embody the freedom to pursue whatever activities or exploration you desire,” says Baron. “There are no strict rules or regulations; the choices are entirely yours.” 

Want more tips on enjoying the here and now? Discover how to slow down time and make the most of every momen

Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis är en brittisk skönhetsredaktör med över 12 års erfarenhet av att skriva för webbplatser och tidskrifter som Marie Claire, Stylist, Who What Wear och Byrdie. Hon är intresserad av allt som har med hudvård, hälsa och resor att göra, och på fritiden tar hon gärna ett lyxigt bubbelbad.