August 07, 2022
Features | Herald-News


Baran-Unland: Tips for a great summer staycation during COVID-19

They always say, "Be careful what you wish for."

I'm not sure who "they" are, but they are right.

In the summer of 2018, when air fare doubled from the previous year, I decided not to visit my daughter, son-in-law, grandson and parents in Raleigh and scheduled a couple at-home writing retreats instead.

My hobby is writing fiction, so this gave me an opportunity to spend some focused time on projects.

Last year, fares dropped, and off I went to Raleigh.

Then at the start of 2020, I thought, "Wow, I wish I could schedule some at-home writing retreats this year."


Now you're idea of a great staycation is most likely not writing. But a staycation is an opportunity to find new ways to have fun, locally.

Here's a few tips from a news release from Edward-Elmhurst Health:

Disconnect from work.

Take a break from emails and phone calls, even if the office is at home.

If you must respond to emails or calls, try scheduling them so the rest of the day is work-free.

Splurge a little and change the scenery. 

Buy some new plants or wall decor to make home feel like a getaway.

Buying a new set of bed sheets or comforter can provide that luxurious feel of a hotel stay.

Hang a hammock in the backyard or a porch swing out front.

A water fountain outside or inside can help people unwind to the sounds of nature.

Plan an at-home spa day.

Dig out the comfy robe and slippers.

Enjoy a soak in the tub, a facial, manicure or an eye mask while napping.

Set up a meditation area with special lighting, a yoga mat or floor cushion and soft music.

Mostly, enjoy the day and relax.

Tour the town.

Check out the local visitor’s bureau and roam the town, or a neighboring town, as a tourist.

Visit a new park, learn about the town’s history at the local museum or check out some new shops.

Be sure to include stops to the local favorites for lunch, dinner or a scoop of ice cream.

Try something new. 

Use a staycation to pick up a new hobby, learn to cook a new cuisine or finish a project around the house. And then get the whole family involved.

Check the local park district or community college to see if they are offering any fun outdoor or online classes.

Camp out in the backyard. 

Set up a tent and enjoy burgers on the grill, s’mores by the fire and stargazing from the backyard.

If the weather isn’t cooperating, set up camp inside. Build indoor forts out of sheets and set up air mattresses or sleeping bags for the night.

For updates on COVID-19, check