by Gail Ausbun, Certified Personal Trainer, M.S.

With summer coming to an end, don’t fret if you weren’t able to travel anywhere or enjoy a true vacation. Simply “getting away” from the normal routine is a goal of many vacationers, but did you know you could also achieve this goal with a more affordable and fun “staycation”? For a quick staycation, choose a fun place like a lovely hotel, spa or bed-and-breakfast (B&Bs) near your home. It can be a nice change of pace to enjoy a massage at the spa or take a relaxing yoga class, without having to clean. Some B&Bs even offer horseback riding, wine tasting, cooking classes and more.

Take this time to reconnect with yourself and a loved one. Make a plan to use your time wisely, as you would on any vacation. Being present in whatever activities you choose is the key to enjoying your time. If the goal is to be very active, take some time to skydive, enjoy an amusement or water park in your area, hike, bodysurf or swim. Try new adventures like touring the scenic area of your town or state by bike. Practice beforehand so as to be ready for the challenge. This is also smart to do for wall climbing or windsailing. Early morning bike rides near the shore or river as the sun rises is just as refreshing as it is relaxing. Remember to be safe wherever you go. 

Relaxing is just as easy as spending time out in a park to picnic or in a national forest camping. If that is too far, take a book and your iPod or iPad to a pool and relax. A list of best-selling books can be found online or atmost book stores. 

Designating a specific time to see friends and family also helps to clear time for yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi. Many people may take this time and opportunity for granted. While on a staycation, try a new class or activity. Look into the Board of Tourism for your town or community. Musicians find new venues like a public botanical garden or amusement park. State music festivals make a staycation even more memorable. Be aware of venue rules regarding items allowed in, e.g., drink containers and umbrellas, and be sure to bring sunblock.

Some communities play movies at dusk in the park. Bring your favorite pals, a blanket and enjoy. Take this time to do something fun or educational that you otherwise wouldn’t have time to do. Museums, special exhibitions, or workshops in activities such as scuba diving can be fun.

While soaking up the sun at a tropical resort or enjoying a magnificent dinner at a quaint little mountain town sounds wonderful, let's face it: it's not always in the budget, and it’s not always entirely relaxing. Just because you didn't have to take a train, plane or automobile to arrive at your destination doesn't mean you can't rejuvenate! When done right, a staycation can be just as great as a true vacation.

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