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Top 10 Staycation Strategies


A staycation, according to The New York Times, is "a neologism used by [those] who prefer to unravel the mysteries of the world from the comfort of their living room couches." Whether you opt to take a staycation rather than a vacation in order to save money, avoid holiday travel, or any other reason, these staycation strategies can help you plan a staycation that's, um, worth writing home about.

1. Set the Time and Date

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Give your staycation a start and end date -- otherwise, it runs the risk of feeling like just another string of nights in front of the tube. So coordinate your calendars, synchronize your watches, and settle on specific days when the two of you can officially be on staycation.

2. Put Out the "You're Not Welcome" Mat

You wouldn't take your friends or relatives with you on a romantic getaway, would you? Then don't invite them to participate in your staycation: Lock the door, close the blinds, silence the phones, and turn off your IM. A staycation is just for the two of you.

3. Follow a Staycation Budget

Chances are, one big reason for planning a staycation rather than a vacation is that cash is short. Good news: You can take a staycation for next to nothing. An evening of inexpensive red wine and pizza, when savored alone together by candlelight, can be very romantic, especially if you turn off the tube and play music for lovers. If you can afford to splurge on fine staycation dining, consider ordering a New England lobster dinner complete with chowder, corn on the cob, steamer clams, and succulent fresh lobsters.

4. Stock Up on Games for Couples to Play

Add a sense of play to your staycation by laying in a stash of games. You'll find a selection of games on my list designed for adult fun.

5. Transport Yourselves Through the Magic of Movies

There's nothing like curling up together on a staycation night to watch a great movie. The ones on my list can transport you to some of the world's most romantic locations -- Africa, Tuscany, the South Pacific. To get into the spirit of the film and your staycation, dress the part: Dig out that safari jacket and pith helmet for Lawrence of Arabia... wrap yourself in last summer's sexy pareo to watch Blue Lagoon... find a feathered headdress to give Dances with Wolves its props... you get the idea.

6. Snap Staycation Photos

Suitably attired, you'll certainly want to make a permanent record of your staycation to look back upon fondly. Catalogue all the hot spots you hit and interesting people you meet: The couch! The kitchen! The guy who delivers your Chinese food! And if you have a cat or dog, certainly include them in your photos. With all the time you save not traveling, you can set up a memorable staycation shot that will make a lovely holiday greeting or digital postcard. (Just skip the "Wish You Were Here" line on the latter; you don't want potential company to get the wrong idea.)

7. Make a Home Spa Night Part of Your Staycation

Why pay strangers good money to pummel and pick at you when your beloved is willing to do it for free? Find out here how to create a home spa that replicates the experience of a real one.

8. Read a Book You've Been Meaning to

No need to wait till summer vacation to tackle War & Peace any more. On your staycation, you have the luxury of time to sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in a great book. Whether your taste runs to bestsellers, contemporary literature the classics, or travel titles, a staycation is your opportunity to mentally visit other places and times.

9. Feng Shui Your Home

Well, it's no wonder you have no money and you constantly fight: You're probably living in a feng shui-free zone. Undo those bad-luck omens, move the furniture, let in the light, and let the positive energy flow back into your life and your relationship.

10. Plan a Real Vacation

If you've make it to the end of your staycation without killing each other or filing for divorce, you've earned yourselves a real vacation. Even if you're short on funds, you can start saving up now for a real vacation in the future (see my tips for inexpensive trips). This time, circle the calendar for real. And while you're waiting to take that trip, repeat this mantra:

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like anywhere but home.

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  5. Strategies to Stay Put on a Staycation

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