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Everyone needs a break once in a while. Students, career-minded workers, moms, volunteers and anyone who has poured their focus, energy, and passion into a task know one thing on a very deep level: Life is hard.

When people think of vacation, they often think of luxury, sailing the Greek isles, hiking mountains, plopping down in a beach chair along an exotic shoreline. So many beautiful ideas and yearnings, but so many that stay just out of reach, rooted firmly in the “someday” category.

Hence the rise of the staycation concept. Mostly, people seem to use the staycation as a way to get caught up on everyday tasks that fall to the wayside as daily demands stack up.

Here are a few ways to bring the feel of luxury to a staycation without any of the cost:

Don your robes

When people have the opportunity to be home alone, their favorite outfit is often the emperor’s new clothes. But really, while that’s freeing, it’s hardly luxurious.

Make sure to have days of “comfy clothes” at the ready. Clothes for walking around the house, casual clothes for being seen in public and, most importantly, spa quality robes to walk around the house like the royalty we believe ourselves to be.

Whatever you do, pick clothes that maximize comfort, eliminate expectation and meet minimum legal requirements for decency when in public.


Build your castle

Okay, so there’s no fancy hotel room or AirBnB to gush over on this vacation. That’s totally fine. What will elevate the experience is using the space in ways that break routine and challenge norms. Don’t just sit on the couch and read a book.

Pull every blanket off every bed, gather every pillow and cushion you can find. Bring it to the most open space you have and build a fort. Stack your fluffy parapets high, build your Egyptian cotton drawbridge. Sit upon your ironed throne — and then read a book.

It’s your home, things don’t have to stay where they are supposed to be. If you want to drag your mattress into the living room and lay upon it while drinking wine and ordering your royal cat subjects to do your bidding, you go ahead and live your best life.

Patronize the arts

The best royals cared about and supported the arts. And now that’s better than ever thanks to the multitude of streaming services and other television options available.

Find a project worthy of your divine attention and binge it like there’s no tomorrow. Even though there will almost certainly be a tomorrow, you won’t have to worry about that because it’s staycation time.

So let’s recap before bringing it all home. Hanging out, doing nothing could be the staycation. Or, alternatively, one could choose to drink wine in a comfy, spa-quality robe from within their royal pillow fort, demanding small animals to do their bidding as they catch up on Bake Off. Clearly one of these is the better option.

Let you eat cake

And while a trip to Italy may not be happening on this staycation (unless you’re reading this from Italy, in which case kudos to you, fine person), there’s probably nothing more transportive for people than food.

If there was ever a time to break a diet, it’s during the staycation. So, there might not be a trip to Italy, but there are many fine oven-baked pizzas that offer a taste of it. For the more industrious staycationer, this can be an excellent opportunity to try a favourite recipe.

But whatever decision is made, it’s important for people to treat themselves. Find a wine that pairs with a nice, quality cake. Organize a treat feast of cake, more cake and ice cream cake.

The point is this: Don’t worry about breaking the norm to maximize your relaxation. Self-care is king here. If it’s strange but creates happiness, then don’t judge yourself, indulge yourself.

The best part is that so much of this is shareable as well. People might get jealous when they see the oh-so-common picture of feet on a beach taken by people in their lounge chairs. But don’t be shocked by the similar jealous yearnings people feel when they see someone indulge in their oft-overlooked sense of whimsy by creating an epic pillow fort.

Live your best life.