The great escape: Get away without leaving home

Every once in a while we all need to take a break from the daily grind. That may mean a week in St. Thomas, a long weekend in New York or even a staycation at a nice hotel in your own city. This is a great way to recharge your batteries, reemerging mentally stronger and ready to recommit to work and family.

There are times, however, when a physical getaway just isn’t possible. But that doesn’t mean that you have to forego your escape. With the right planning and a little extra effort, you can transport yourself to another location without leaving home. All it takes is a bit of creativity. Here’s where to start.

Planning your getaway

  • To theme, or not to theme? Okay, this may seem a bit over the top, but who’s more deserving of a little extra effort than you are? If you’re inclined to have a theme to your great getaway, use it throughout all details. For a tropical theme, consider tiki torches, umbrellas in your cocktails and reggae music. If you’re looking for a more sophisticated vibe, how about martinis, lobster tails and Sinatra on your playlist? It doesn’t matter what the theme is. The goal is to create an environment that transforms your everyday world into something special.
  • Location, location, location. If you’re staying home during your getaway, the obvious—and perhaps easiest—choice of location may be your home’s outdoor space. If you have a deck, a patio, a balcony or just a private patch of grass, this is typically an area that can easily be converted with minimal effort. If you don’t have a viable outdoor space, or if the weather isn’t cooperating, choose a location in your home that is comfortable for your desired “travels”.
  • Menu and decor. These may be the most important elements of your getaway. Consider food and beverages that you don’t typically have or those that are your absolute favorites. Look for new and exciting cocktail recipes or make a pitcher of sangria to eliminate the need for you to play mixologist. Decide if you want to break out your good china or if you want to go with high-end disposable servingware. Use small floral arrangements for effortless class. And for the overall ambiance, string lights are always high impact and low effort. 
  • Consider your guest list. The guest list can make or break your getaway. The most reliable count is a guestlist of one—you. After all, this is your getaway. Keeping it to a party of one means you don’t have to consider anyone else’s preferences and you don’t have to play the good host, which can be work for some. This is the lower-effort option, for sure. But if you love having friends around, give some thought to how many guests you want and who would bring the most joy to your getaway. (Because let’s be real, some of our best friends can still be a lot of work.) You can have guests bring an item to contribute to the overall event, a bottle of wine or a dessert. Just remember, the more people you invite, the more this becomes a party you’re hosting instead of a getaway to recharge your batteries.
  • Party with friends online. We’ve all become experts at online meet-ups, and your getaway could benefit from that new expertise. Determine your theme, date and time, and connect with a group of friends via video conferencing. Take turns showing off your decor and menu, as you each share your take on the theme. This is a great way to be together without the added effort. Consider sharing a party playlist in advance, so you all have the same background music. Keep the discussion flowing with a shared list of questions you each answer (“what was your first kiss like?” or “what was your favorite vacation?”). If you’re a true video conferencing expert, create a photo slideshow with pictures of all your virtual guests and share with the group. Again, your creativity is the only limitation.

This is just the start of your great escape planning. Be as extravagant as you want in order to make it truly memorable. Or skip all of the above and spend your time laying in bed and binge-watching your favorite shows. You are the travel agent for this getaway. Decide what you need and want, and design a departure that feeds your soul. No passport required.

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