“Staycation” is one of the saddest words in the English language, and not just because it’s built around such a terrible, unloveable pun. There’s an air of desperation that clings to the word, a lingering aura hanging over from the global financial crisis that led to its place in the modern lexicon. “Staycation” sounds like someone putting on their best face in a time of hardship, a smiley-face band-aid slapped over a terrible economic wound.
A good staycation has to have two things: a budget and a plan. You need a budget to keep you from getting too caught up in the current of self-indulgence that you’re going to be riding and spending more than you would on a flight to Europe. It’s okay if your budget’s modest. If you’re staying close to home because you can’t afford go away, that’s fine–financial stability feels better for longer than flexing for Instagram from an exotic locale. Just make sure you’re budgeting as much as you can reasonably afford, and commit to spending it all. Make it as decadent as possible. Splash out a little.
As for how to spend that budget, start your plan by deciding if you’re going to be staying at home or somewhere else. Most decent-sized cities in America these days has at least one boutique hotel, and if you’re willing to gamble a little by booking last minute there are good deals to be had through HotelTonight. And Airbnb is a goldmine for interesting experiences like kicking back for a weekend on a Kentucky horse farm.
It almost goes without saying that if you’re planning on spending your staycation with someone you have sex with, you’re going to want to try some new sex stuff
It almost goes without saying that if you’re planning on spending your staycation with someone you have sex with, you’re going to want to try some new sex stuff. And while this may sound boringly practical and borderline unsexy, I’d suggest you make a plan for this part of your adventure too. After all, you already know what it is that you want to try. People rarely develop kinks in the heat of the moment. You’ve already watched the porn of whatever it is, or fantasized about it in great detail.
Use that to your advantage! Talking out what you want to try with your partner can be like foreplay in advance. Paint your partner a mental picture of what it is that you want to do together. If it involves any sort of gear or accoutrements, shopping for sex toys is a guaranteed horny-maker. And for anything above “mild” on the spicy scale, you probably want to gauge your partner’s interest before you spring a new kink on them. Most people would rather not be surprised with additional participants or puppy-play getups.
On the other hand, milder surprises can be fun. Bondage tape is a nonthreatening way to initiate light BDSM. (Just make sure to pack bandage scissors for when the fun’s over.) A nice foot massage with scented oil can easily segue into foot stuff if you do it right. And more companies these days are designing sex toys for couples, including clever ones like Hot Octopuss’s Pulse III Duo, which is a lot of fun in situations where there’s one or more penis in the mix. Also make sure to have plenty of high quality lube on hand. Go ahead and add that to your budget.
Or how about this: use your time away from your main gig to concentrate on whatever it is you’d rather be working on. Are you sitting on a great idea for a podcast that you’ve been meaning to make? Have a solo album in you just waiting to get out? Do you just want to splatter some paint on a canvas? Turn your staycation into an artist’s retreat. Put a chunk of your budget towards some of the surprisingly sophisticated gear you can get for cheap these days. A Sandmarc lens and Smove gimbal can turn your iPhone into a prosumer-grade movie camera. With a free trial version of a digital audio workstation like Ableton and Reason, a basic MIDI controller, and sound packs and plugins from Sounds or Splice, you could get a decent production studio up and running for the cost of a night out. Ninety percent of bringing a project to life is just getting started.
Set a modest goal for yourself–a page of writing, a song demo–and you can make it happen. That way the next time you start daydreaming about life in a creative field it won’t feel quite so out of reach. Maybe taking a break from your day job to creatively fuck around might turn your staycation into an everyday thing.