Travel

9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

Getty Images Author: Canadian Living Credits: Getty Images

Travel

9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

This summer, use your vacation daysand your hard-earned dollarson a relaxing staycation at home.

Did you know Canadians spend about $2,600 on average for a one-week trip? And if the sticker shock doesn't ruin your vacation buzz, the exchange rate will. But imagine the fun you could have using even a small portion of those savings to create a vacation state of mind at home. "You don't need to travel when a staycation can be just as relaxing," says Loren Christie, contributing travel editor for Canada AM.

The trick is to treat it as you would any downtime: Get your everyday chores, such as meal planning and laundry, out of the way. Then, hunker down with these suggestions for owning an R&R attitude.
 

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9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

Lie in luxury

"Quality linens will enhance your sleep in a profound way," says Joanna Goodman, owner of Au Lit Fine Linens in Toronto. "They'll last longer and become softer over time." When shopping, look for 100 percent Egyptian cotton sheets. Equally important is where the linens have been woven. Goodman first recommends sheets woven in Italy, followed by Switzerland, France and Portugal. As for thread count, aim for no less than 200. Higher than that, she says, is more of a personal preference. Two-hundred thread count sheets will be crisp and dense, while higher thread counts yield finer, silkier sheets. Our top picks: 1. Perla Embroidery flat sheet, from $280, fitted sheet, from $100, and shams, from $176 each, aulitfinelinens.com. 2. GlucksteinHome Davenport 700-thread-count sheet set, $180 for queen and $190 for king, glucksteinhome.com.

By: Lesley Young Source: Stocksy United Credits: Canadian Living

9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

Be one with nature

Camping in your own backyard is a hot trend in summer vacationing, mostly because it's a low-stress (and cost-free) way to get all the health benefits of sleeping under the stars—fresh air, exposure to nature and by-the-fire bonding—all within shouting distance of running water and a fridge. Don't have a tent? Create a structure by draping blankets over a branch or a swing set (you can always go inside if it's too cold or it rains). Set the scene with candle lanterns, and if you don't have a fire pit, use a portable charcoal grill or a hibachi for roasting marshmallows. Then, sit back, gorge on s'mores and play all your favourite fireside games!

By: Lesley Young Source: Stocksy United Credits: Canadian Living

9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

Preserve a piece of paradise

If you're jonesing for the tropics, a fresh terrarium is a fun, affordable and long-lasting way to bring paradise into your home, says Cory Christopher, an Edmonton designer and florist. "I've created terrariums that last up to six months," he says. Start with any clear container, adding one to two inches of polished gravel and charcoal, topped with two inches of soilless potting mix. Then, plant small tropicals, purchased in two- to four-inch pots from your local garden centre. Finally, to create humidity, cover the terrarium with a transparent lid. "You may need to remove the lid once a week if your terrarium starts to fog," says Christopher. Best of all? Plants in the home have been linked to lower anxiety, reduced stress and a more positive outlook.

By: Lesley Young Source: Stocksy United Credits: Canadian Living

9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

Express your true colours

There's far more to adult colouring than reliving your carefree childhood. "We have an underlying need for time to ourselves, away from technology," explains Debbie Anderson, a Toronto art therapist. "Sitting quietly with a colouring book allows time to reflect on your life and can soothe tension." Floribunda: A Flower Coloring Book (Laurence King) by Leila Duly, $32, indigo.ca. Colours of Jane Austen (Indigo) by Indigo Colour, $19, indigo.ca.

By: Lesley Young Source: Laurence King; Indigo Colour Credits: Canadian Living

9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

Exercise your options

"Part of what makes you feel recharged on a vacation is the opportunity to try new things," says Amanda Vogel, certified fitness instructor and Fitness Test Drive blogger in Vancouver. How about trying a new gym—or gyms—in your own neighbourhood? ClassPass and Fitset  are multistudio membership programs with participating fitness studios across the country. "It allows you to experience new locations, as if you were out of town."

By: Lesley Young Source: Shutterstock Credits: Canadian Living

9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

Taste the adventure

"Food and travel are so closely tied together because we love making and sharing food memories," says Christine Couvelier, food-trend expert and executive chef at Culinary Concierge in Victoria. Want to taste a new place? Couvelier suggests experimenting with food trends in your own kitchen: "Vegetables are the star of the plate in London, England. Right now, it is all about root vegetables, like parsnips, carrots, turnips and beets," she says. "Just be creative with them. Grill, roast, char or caramelize them—the options are endless." Middle Eastern foods—hummus, in particular—are also popular in leading restaurants around the world. "The great thing about hummus is that you can make it from ingredients other than chickpeas," says Couvelier. She notes that spicy chipotle peppers and red lentils or zesty sriracha and carrot also make a tasty hummus. Serve it as a main course with different tapas and send your tastebuds on a journey.

By: Lesley Young Source: Stocksy United Credits: Canadian Living

9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

Escape to a book nook

One universal vacation indulgence is uninterrupted reading, so claim a space in your home as your own private reading nook. It doesn't have to be permanent or elaborate—even the corner of a spare room will do. If you can't move a comfy chair to the spot, throw down memory foam or a sleeping bag, blankets and a bunch of pillows. Or, if you have space outdoors, create a cabana by draping a mosquito net over your patio umbrella. The fruity drink is optional. Our pick: In her debut novel, Ann Y. K. Choi explores the life of a Korean-Canadian teen who works in her parents' variety store, juggles crushes and suitors and tries to reconcile her own ambitions with those of her family. Kay's Lucky Coin Variety (Simon & Schuster) by Ann Y. K. Choi, $30, indigo.ca.

By: Lesley Young Source: Simon & Schuster Credits: Canadian Living

9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

Light up your senses

Tap into the ancient art of aromatherapy and Zen out with a luxe candle. Look for lavender or citrusy bergamot, which are both traditionally used to calm nerves. Pair it with a hot cup of your favourite tea, and banish stress with each sip. Jo Malone: This candle is pricey but worth the splurge. The rich scent will fill a room, and the wick will burn for 45 hours. Jo Malone London Oud & Bergamot candle, $95, jomalone.ca. Pom Diggety: A limited-edition tea for summer, Pom Diggety is flavoured with lemon myrtle and pomegranate seeds. Pom Diggety black tea, $10, davidstea.com.

By: Lesley Young Source: Jo Malone; David's Tea Credits: Canadian Living

9 summer staycation ideas that will save you money

Get away—sorta

If stay-at-home activities still seem like too much work, book a night or two at a hotel in your city or a neighbouring town. You'll skip the cost of airline tickets, avoid poor exchange rates and enjoy the benefits of housekeeping and room service. To save money, be flexible about timing (a Tuesday night might be cheaper than a Friday night), or consider booking at a bed-and-breakfast.

By: Lesley Young Source: Stocksy United Credits: Canadian Living
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