By Shani Silver

Published on October 22, 2015

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Photography by Tory Rust

There’s nothing relaxing about long-distance travel. Why start and end your vacation with long lines, crowded planes, and lost luggage? The next time you find yourself with a little downtime, stage the ultimate staycation. Unplug, unwind, and take a break from your routine from the comfort of home. 

For-Fun Books

Read nothing, and we do mean nothing, having to do with work during your staycation. Stockpile magazines (ahem) and books you’ve been longing to read for fun. Slip a cookbook or two in the pile if you’re hoping for culinary inspiration. A staycation is the perfect time to get out of a food rut. 

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Photography by SARA & RICH COMBS

Tunes

Queue up albums or playlists that make you happy. Make your music selection match your mood (or the mood you’d like to be in) and have everything ready to go before your staycation begins. You don’t want to waste precious downtime digging old favorites out of cardboard boxes (unless that sounds like fun…in which case, do you). 

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Photography by SCHIELE JOSEPHINE

Nail Polish

Sitting still and doing a whole lot of nothing is the perfect time to give yourself a smudge-free manicure or pedicure. Start a nice long movie and paint away. By the time it’s done you’ll be dry and ready to use your fingers and toes again. Try starting your mani/pedi with a fun scrub first to make things even more luxurious. 

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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

Wine

Obviously. Have your favorite beverage(s) of choice ready and waiting for you on staycation. Set out the good glassware (who else deserves it?) and relax into your comfiest seat with a bottle you’ve been saving for something special. 

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Photography by CORNETT GRANT

Scented candles

A pleasant, soothing aroma can help keep you mellowed-out for the duration of your staycation. Light up a favorite scent, or choose this time to try out something new you’ve had your eye (nose?) on. 

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Photography by GENTILE CHRISTOPHER

A breakfast tray

Even if you’re serving breakfast in bed to yourself, a stylish, carry-all tray will ensure that once you get comfy with breakfast and a movie, you won’t have to move an inch. Everything from coffee to fresh berries will be close at hand. 

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Photography by PAUL COSTELLO

Cozy throws

Comfort is king on vacation. Stack extra blankets near your zone of zen (you’ve created a zone of zen, haven’t you?), and know that extra warmth is close by at all times. And you might want to consider having an extra one around, just in case a certain four-legged friend demands one of his own. 

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Photography by KIM KANG

An unapologetically large beauty regimen 

Break out the products! No one will judge you. The creams, scrubs, masks, and treatments of your choice are yours to indulge in on staycation. Just be prepared to share your beauty secrets with coworkers once you’ve returned from staycation looking fresh as a daisy. 

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Photography by Half Baked Harvest

A fun new recipe

Now’s the time. You’re not rushed, you’re not planning what you’ll pack for lunch tomorrow, you’re just chillin’. Take this time to try out a recipe that’s been eyeing you from the pages of Pinterest. And if it doesn’t work out, takeout. Live easy. 

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Your favorite movies

Obviously you’ll need to prepare a Netflix queue. Consult Google for a list of potential Oscar contenders and catch up on all the cinema your office has been talking about. You might want to select a good binge show too, just in case. A few suggestions:

-The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 

-House Of Cards

-Orange Is The New Black

-Peaky Blinders 

-Daredevil 

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Photography by PAUL COSTELLO

A cozy fireplace

If you’ve got it, use it! Secure plenty of firewood in advance and make use of the house amenity you always feel bad for not using. It adds both ambience and warmth, and is well worth the effort. (It makes a jealousy-inducing Instagram, too!)

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Photography by VANG MIKKEL

Fresh flowers

Another key component of ambience, fresh flowers will offer a steady reminder that this staycation is all about you, and what you love. Choose your favorite blooms and style them sweetly in your living room. (A small version of your bouquet would look gorgeous bedside, too!)

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Photography by tumblr

Zero agenda

The most important component of any staycation–nothing to do! Of course you’ll have things you want to do, but all the have-to-dos can wait. Allow yourself to fully relax and shed daily stressors. At staycation’s end, you’ll be refreshed and ready to tackle the ins and outs of your schedule with renewed zeal.