Winter break is fast approaching, and the school halls are buzzing with talk of flights, beaches and vacations. If you don't have plans to travel anywhere exciting, don't panic. Just because you won't be on a beach this winter or spring break doesn't mean you won't enjoy yourself. In fact, sometimes a staycation leaves you feeling even more rejuvenated than a real vacation.
Even if you just have a long weekend coming up, consider these four staycation ideas:
1. Catch a local sporting event or concert
Often when traveling, tourists like to enjoy an athletic event popular in that country or region. Buying tickets to a local game in your city can be equally as exciting. While front-row seats to a major league game can be pricey, most cities also have a minor league team that offers tickets at a much cheaper price, Living Well Spending Less explained. During winter, hockey and basketball games make for a great way to spend the afternoon. Check out the team schedule to see who is playing at home.
Your week off from school is also a great time to catch a concert, especially if it's on a weeknight. Since you don't have to worry about waking up early to catch the bus, there's no better time to watch your favorite band rock out on a Wednesday night.
2. Hold a film festival
Each winter, celebrities and tourists alike gather in Park City, Utah, for the annual Sundance Film Festival. If you won't be attending the big event this year, consider selecting a theme and hosting your own three-day celebration of all things movies, Real Simple suggested. Pick a selection of comedies, dramas or adventure films from your entertainment system, or head to your local library and stock up on oldies.
The best part about this at-home film festival is that you don't have to dress up or brave the cold. You can enjoy everything from the big screen in your comfiest outfit. Set the mood with an array of movie theater snacks like popcorn, sodas and lots of candy. Dim the lights and bring in all of your coziest pillows and blankets.
3. Act like a tourist in your hometown
Just like there are thousands of New York City dwellers who have never been to the Empire State building, it's likely you've never bothered to stop by a few noteworthy landmarks in your town. During your winter break from school, look into the historical and noteworthy sights, monuments and museums unique to your city. With a little research, you'd be surprised with just how many new things you can find to do and explore right in your hometown, Seventeen magazine noted.
Once you're done planning, create an itinerary as though you were exploring a foreign city in a new country. Spend a day, or even two, acting like a visitor from out of town. After you've checked off all the important buildings and statues, treat yourself to lunch at a local cafe.
4. Host a spa day
Winter break is a time to relax, unwind and push thoughts of science tests and math quizzes out of your mind for a few days. One of the best ways to do this is with a little pampering. Rather than spend lots of money at a salon, you can host an at-home spa day for you and your friends.
The first step is to set the mood in your home with scented candles, flowers and a calming playlist, Thrillist explained. Tell friends to wear their comfiest clothes and bring their own slippers, robes and sandals for pedicures. You can set up the manicure station on your coffee table with a selection of polish colors, nail polish remover, clippers, nail files, cotton balls and paper towels. In the same area, line up chairs with pillows on them for the pedicures. Look for affordable bins that can be filled with hot soapy water to soak the feet.
When it comes to facials, lay out the ingredients for any of these homemade masks for guests to create themselves. If you want to incorporate massages into your spa day – you can stick to hand, shoulder and foot massages – be sure to have warm towels and natural oils, Thrillist advised. Lastly, establish a quiet area where guests can relax, read a magazine or even meditate.
No matter how you choose to spend your staycation, it will be a well-deserved break from tests, papers and assignments.