Who says that you need a fat bank account - or even time off from work - in order to enjoy a relaxing vacation? Break the mold by turning one of your free weekends into a fabulous staycation you and your spouse can enjoy alone.
You can enjoy a romantic weekend in "Hawaii" or even stay at a luxurious "New York City" hotel. The choice is yours! And the best part is that there are no reservations required!
Implement some of the ideas below to make your home feel like a pricey destination hotel.
1. Pack away! It won't feel like a Staycation if you're pulling your everyday clothing out of your own dresser. Pack your suitcases like you would if you were leaving for vacation and wear a fun outfit. Pack sunscreen if you have a backyard or patio at home.
* Be sure to keep your "vacation outfit" in line with the theme of your staycation "destination." If your theme is the Bahamas, avoid Hawaiian print shirts and khaki shorts. However, a maxi tube dress is suitable.
2. Give your guestroom a makeover. The excitement of your staycation will fade within seconds if you're waking up in familiar surroundings. Throughout your staycation, make your guestroom your destination of choice. And give it a makeover to stay within your staycation theme.
* If you're going for a beach theme, purchase a mosquito net canopy and hang it over your bed. Place string lighting overhead to make it feel as if you're sleeping under the stars. And finally, scatter candles and seashells throughout the room to finish the look.
* Consider purchasing new bedding for your guestroom to make it feel as if you're in a luxury hotel suite.
3. Create a romantic environment. Nothing brings a couple together like a romantic getaway. Make your home feel like a romantic hotel suite by scattering fresh red rose petals throughout the stairway of your home and throughout your sleeping quarters.
* Make the most of candles. Dine by candlelight. Watch a movie in a room lit solely by candles. And soak in a bubble bath surrounded by slowly burning scented candles.
4. Tropical drinks. It's no secret that most people like to have a little more than wine while on vacation. Daiquiris, pina coladas, Hawaii Kai swizzles and Bahama mamas are popular tropical drinks that just scream, "Island retreat!"
* Use a cocktail shaker rather than a standard kitchen blender to mix your tropical drinks. It's a small detail that will add a sense of authenticity to your little vacation.
5. Utilize your outdoor space. Transform your backyard into an oasis. If the weather allows, spend most of your staycation outdoors. Purchase patio chaise loungers for relaxing. Alternatively, if you're on a super tight budget, borrow a set of beach chairs from a friend.
* Fire up the grill! Try a new tropical grilling recipe and dine outdoors. Remember to maximize your outdoor table setting by using candles, rose petals and a tablecloth to set the mood.
* Splurge on a masseuse. You and your spouse will feel like celebrities when you receive professional massages in the outdoors. An outdoor massage in a private patio or fenced in backyard is ideal. Masseuse rates vary. However, you can expect to pay $150 to $200 per hour for an on-location couple's session.
Maximizing your Staycation is all in the details. Small finishing touches like candlelight, changing your sleeping quarters and enjoying tropical cocktails in the moonlight can make all of the difference. With some ingenuity, you can feel like you're on a cruise to the Bahamas.
And, the best part of a staycation is the financial savings over expensive travel.
Why spend thousands of dollars on an elaborate vacation when you can experience enjoyment and pleasure right in your own backyard? With a little planning, creativity, and an open mind, you can create an inexpensive staycation full of memories that will last a lifetime.