Millions of people had to cancel their vacations this year. That’s obviously the least of the problems that has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, but, it’s also okay to admit if you’re a bit bummed about sitting out your week in Hawaii, weekend in Palm Desert, cruise to Mexico, resort vacation in Miami…or however you were going to soak up the sun. It’s okay to acknowledge that you were looking forward to those trips all year long. A lot of people need those vacations to blow off steam. We work hard to earn those vacation days, and this year, for what? To…stay home? We’ve already been staying home! Okay, so, once you’re done grieving the vacation that never was, it’s time to get resourceful. If you can’t leave your home for the resort, maybe you can make the resort come to you. If you get a bit creative, there are ways to make your home feel like a resort. I know it won’t be exactly like the real thing, but it’s important to try to introduce that element of fun and relaxation into your life right now. Here are ways to turn your home into a resort.
Add a fire pit to an outdoor space
Resorts with lots of outdoor lounging spaces always have fire pits. These are a signature piece at nice resorts. Sitting out there in the evening with a nice cocktail, staring into the flame, is so relaxing. If you have an outdoors space for one, you can build one, or even install a small, ready-to-go fire pit. Finish every evening by unwinding by it.
Make a real bar
Get a large plank of wood – think four or five feet long by 10 inches wide – and four to six heavy-duty, industrial-strength clips. Clip the plank to the railing of any balcony or deck railing that faces a nice view. You have yourself a classic tropical-style bar. Pull up some stools. Add a mini potted palm tree and some twinkle lights. It will feel like you’re enjoying a drink at a resort bar.
And fully stock that bar
Get your bar fully stocked with the good stuff, as if you’re at a hotel bar. Make sure to get all the fixings for tropical beverages like rum, crème de coconut, maraschino cherries, midori, grenadine, sliced fruit, tiny umbrellas and, of course, a good blender for things like daiquiris and pina coladas.
If you have a pool, add a towel station
You know there’s something indulgent about having that towel station at a hotel pool. Perhaps buy a few high-quality light blue and white striped towels – the kind you often find at resorts. Roll them up neatly. Put them on a table. And put a high-end laundry basket next to the table to dispose of your towels when you’re done.
Add a temporary pool
If you don’t have a permanent pool, you can always add one for your staycation. There are some pretty high-grade inflatable ones. You may associate those with kiddy pools but, don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Your neighbors will be jealous if you have one of these.
Add a hammock
Hammocks are the ultimate in relaxation. You can’t even really comfortably have a laptop on a hammock, which is a good thing – it forces you to fully unplug. And you often find these around tropical resorts. Get his and hers hammocks if you’ll be sharing your staycation with a loved one.
Fancify your foods
Get a scooper to make those perfect cantaloupe balls. Or create lotus flowers out of your watermelon. Scoop your butter into little balls too and add spiral detailing. Invest in a few of those metal room service platters to eat in bed, or some of those straw platters to eat poolside. Think of the ways hotels make food feel special. They aren’t that hard to replicate.
Get your tub spick and span
A sparkling clean, pearly white bathtub is such a staple of any good hotel room. So get yours in that condition so you’ll actually want to use it. Create a mixture that’s equal parts dish soap and white vinegar in a spray bottle, spray it all over your tub, let it sit for ten minutes, then wipe it away. Your tub should look spotless afterward.
Add water installations in and out
You’ve probably noticed that resorts have water installations all over the place. Fountains. Gurgling ponds. Waterfalls. These aren’t only pretty and relaxing, but they serve a very important function: they cancel out outside noise of, say, traffic. Add some to your home, inside and outside, to create that soothing ambiance.
Get specialty cocktail glasses
Do not drink cocktails out of your souvenir mugs or simple water glasses. Get a couple of quality, oversized, decorative cocktail glasses. Get real pina colada glasses or daiquiri glasses. It just makes the experience all the more special.
Get great outdoor furniture
It’s going to be a long summer of social distancing and staying home. It could be time to invest in some really good outdoor furniture. Perhaps some comfortable chaise lounges that are easy to wipe down and weatherproof. And some wicker rocking chairs to keep by that new firepit.
Elevate outdoor dining
Create an upscale al-fresco dining experience. Get some tablecloths. Get a small folding table specifically to put a bucket of ice with champagne. Or where you can make tableside guacamole like you find at high-end Mexican restaurants.
Add special corners to your yard
Think of your yard as more than just a plot of grass. You can create several zones within it. You can get a gazebo for one corner. You can add some nice benches under a tree for reading. You can get a large outdoor love seat and cover it with weatherproof accent pillows for snuggling. These are the types of zones you find around resort grounds.
Order pre-made meals
You don’t want to do any cooking during your staycation. But getting pizza delivered or being interrupted by any sort of delivery kills the vibe. So order some nice pre-made meals for the whole weekend, in advance, that you can just pop in the oven or eat cold when you’re ready to. Make sure to include some good snacks, too.
Freshen your bedroom
Think crisp white linens. A fluffy duvet with a clean cover. Maybe a cover with seashells on it. Add large pieces of artwork on the walls with images of tropical forests or beaches. Put two nice chairs and a little table by the window or on the balcony so you can have breakfast in the room with a view, the way you would in a hotel.