There may be many reasons why you’re unable to get away for a “real” vacation. Work is one, finances may be another. But just because you can’t fly off to Aruba or sail to the Greek Islands doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a fun and relaxing “staycation” that leaves you refreshed and ready to rejoin the hectic world.

The key to having a revitalizing staycation is to prepare. Get household chores out of the way and take care of any unfinished business that might take away from your time off. Just as you would with any other vacation, make note of some of the things you’d like to do while exploring your home turf. Stay away from the usual. Try new things — new restaurants, museums, theaters, etc.

1. Avoid hassles

Keep in mind the advantages of a staycation as you make your plans. There are no travel expenses — that means no trains, boats, planes. No TSA. No scrambling between flights or last minute cancelations. No reservations to make in advance. No hotel expenses. Keep these savings in mind as you plan your staycation budget.

2. Do not…

Read work emails, spend time cleaning, or doing that big outdoor projects you’ve been putting off. Don’t get up early — sleep in. Don’t resent the fact you can’t take a “real” vacation.

3. Get outside

Check out the local pool or enjoy a quiet day at the beach or at a local lake. Fit in some physical activity. Avoid the usual gym if at all possible in favor of a game of tennis or golf. Go hiking or camping or go for a long bike ride. Take an exercise class or try one of the many flavors of yoga. Don’t want to go far? Enjoy the fresh air on the front porch or spend some quiet time in the garden. Have a picnic in the park.

4. Seek out entertainment

Forget Netflix. When was the last time you saw a good movie at a local theater? Go to a matinee. Check local listing for concerts or shows and go. Spend the day at a nearby amusement park and don’t take the kids. Explore your town or a nearby city like you’re a tourist. You may be surprised by what you find when you take a break from your usual routine and avoid those regular watering holes. Remember, the staycation saves valuable time and money.

5. Treat yourself

Sometimes you just need to chill. Sleep late and have breakfast in bed. Escape with a good book. If you enjoy cooking, try to cook up a dish you’ve been wanting to make. Get together a barbecue with friends or family you haven’t had time for recently. Treat yourself to a spa day. Why not splurge a little? Go shopping and buy yourself something nice — maybe a souvenir to remember the fun you had on your staycation.

The Bottom Line

The secret to a successful staycation is to change your perspective by breaking your usual routine. Open yourself up to the possibilities and discover new and exciting things to do right in your own backyard. Enjoy!