Vacations are the perfect way to take a break from the daily grind and recharge. When we wear the word "vacation", most of us instantly picture lounging on the beach, a frozen beverage complete with a little drink umbrella in hand, and our favorite beach read dog-eared on the towel next to us. Can you hear the breeze rustling through the palm trees yet? What about the sound of waves crashing on the shore? Just thinking about these idyllic experiences can allow you to breathe a little deeper. Taking the time out for relaxing trips with family (or solo) is truly necessary, so what are we supposed to do if we can't travel to a faraway destination?
Well, that's where the staycation comes in. Staycations can have all of the same rejuvenating benefits of vacations but without the need to worry about the stress of travel (cut to the airport scene in Home Alone), particularly during a global pandemic. To pull off the best staycation ever, all you need is a little creativity, the right mindset, and a backyard. Read on for some tips illustrating how you can turn your very own backyard into the ultimate staycation paradise.
The very first step to transforming your yard into a staycation-worthy oasis is cleaning up. We know that's not the fun part, but it's an essential starting point. You'll want to do this a day or so (or maybe even a week) before your staycation begins, so you don't have to worry about it the day of. It's impossible to relax in a messy space, so start by clearing away any toys, gardening tools, or other items you may leave out and about in your yard. If you have tile or a wooden patio, take the time to hose it down, or sweep away any rogue leaves or clumps of dirt.
Next, shift focus to your outdoor furniture. You'll want to wipe down surfaces, fluff up or brush off any outdoor pillows, and if it makes sense for your space, also get creative about how you have your furniture arranged. Changing up your outdoor space and working with a clean slate will add to that resort feel and lead to ultimate staycation bliss. Bonus points if you have a kiddie pool you can fill for the day (kiddie pools aren't just for kids, trust us!).
After your backyard is in tip-top shape, you'll be ready to really lean into the paradise theme. Bring the beach to you with fun accents like tiki torches or vibrant paper lanterns, both of which will allow the staycation fun to last well into the evening. If your primary goal is to soak up the sun, set up beach towels in the grass or on your patio. While this will be weather permitting, you can even throw on your favorite swimsuit to amplify that beachy vacation feel. Just be sure to have layers in case you need to warm up. Beach coverups will do the trick here. You might even want to play some beach-inspired music to really get you in the mood.
To reach peak resort-approved relaxation, use a tiki-themed serving tray to make sure you have an umbrella drink and a plate of fresh fruit within arm's reach at all times. If you're looking for more fresh food ideas, stock up on fresh veggies or meat in advance that you can throw on the grill. Pineapple also makes a great grill option for a tropical day. If you want to take your theme a step further, link up some outdoor speakers to play beach sounds, like ocean waves, for an experience that's truly immersive (and oh-so-relaxing).
Now that you have your set up ready, it's time to get into full staycation mode. Pack your beach bags with everything you'll need for the day. Opt for your favorite beach read, sunglasses, and sunscreen in case you need to reapply throughout the day. For a pro tip, leave your cell phone inside the house so you can really unplug. After all, you wouldn't be taking an impromptu work call if you were on a tropical beach with no service, right? The key to a successful backyard staycation is to indulge in all of the benefits of a traditional vacation, minus the stress of finding your passport or waiting in long lines at the airport.
There you have it, dear stay-cationers! With just a few simple steps, you can create your own paradise that the entire family will enjoy (although, no judgment if it's a self-care day for one, of course!). Once your backyard is transformed, all that's left to do is relax and soak it all up — you certainly deserve it.