Let me guess — you've seen enough of your friends' glamorous vacation photos to last you all the way through to 2017, and it's not even New Year's Eve yet. Sure, you're happy for them, but when you look around at your familiar surroundings, suitcase still packed from visiting family for Christmas, things can seem a little humdrum. But fear not — I've got New Year's Eve getaway ideas that don't require any travel at all. It's time for a little staycation!
With a tiny bit of planning and the right attitude, your hometown can actually be the site of a great trip. The trick is to remove sources of stress while injecting some much needed variety into your routine. It's the new year after all — the perfect time to emphasize trying new things. Not all adventures require air travel, or even a lengthy road trip.
So, what do you need to pull off this magic trick? First, obviously, you'll need a few days off of work, which, with New Year's Day falling on a Friday this year, gives most people at least three solid days to decompress from holiday madness. I don't recommend sitting on your couch and watching Friends reruns — save that for another weekend. You've got some exploring to do.
1. Turn Off Your Email Notifications
Or, more simply, take a break from the digital rat race that is constantly dragging you back into work, into social drama, or into stress that can wait until the first business day of 2016 to be addressed. Don't read Facebook. If you can pull it off, take a break from your phone entirely.
2. Find A Weather-Appropriate Activity Outside
If you live in a place where it's actually warm right now, grab a book, some sunscreen, and a patio lounge chair, and soak up some vitamin D. Maybe there's a local swimming pool where you can enjoy an afternoon of literature, a dip in the water, or even a cocktail. If your hometown is currently experiencing winter, put on some layers and go for a hike. Live in the mountains? Get yourself some day passes at your local ski resort, and enjoy a mellow afternoon on the bunny slopes.
3. Try New Foods
Snag a reservation for that trendy new restaurant you've been meaning to check out, or follow your nose into a local sandwich dive. Whatever you do, don't spend your meals at the same old spots that you'd order takeout from after a long day at work. This staycation is all about variety, so mix it up!
4. Call Up A Friend You Haven't Seen In A While
The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with old friends. Maybe you have a pal that's visiting from out of town, or maybe they're a local whose schedule never seems to sync with yours. Either way, make time to visit with someone you don't hang out with much.
5. Treat Your Inner Child
Maybe you've been itching to get some swings in at the batting cage, or maybe you're more the arcade type. How does an all-girls afternoon tea service sound? This staycation, reconnect with the little fun-loving kid inside who so often gets neglected in favor of taking care of kids, pets, housework, and everything else that can consume all of your grownup time.
Looking for more holiday cheer? Check out Bustle on YouTube.
Images: Pexels; Giphy (5)