As a traveler, I've always been delighted by age-old traditions that take place here in…
One thing I’m always worried about – the winter blahs.
Of course, the best thing to do is to book a vacation to some warm weather destination, but I know that’s not always a possibility. For me, the key is to have something, anything to look forward to that’ll break up the gray skies and cold temps. Something to give me a boost to get through another chilly winter.
My Best Tips for Beating the Winter Blahs
Book a nearby, cozy weekend away.
Think bed and breakfasts and cozy winter cabins. There are plenty of lovely places you can get to on less than a tank of gas. Look for places with a hot tub, sauna, fireplace, anything that really dials up that hygge vibe (that’s the Danish word for cozy). Is it close to fun outdoor activities, like snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or trails? Sign me up!
When it comes to booking a getaway, I always recommend calling up the property and booking directly with them for the best deals. Plus, you never know – while a place may be sold out on all the major hotel sites, they may have some rooms they keep just for direct bookings!
Take a Staycation.
Typically, I am leery of staycations. How can you really “vacation” at home when there’s a pile of laundry, a junk drawer that needs decluttering, and a pantry that you now feel compelled to organize by color (thanks, The Home Edit!)? This year is so different. So many of us aren’t traveling at all, and thus, a staycation is really better than nothing. I have a whole post on how to make a staycation feel special, but here are some of the biggest takeaways:
Spend some time before your actual staycation cleaning the house. Put new sheets on the bed, clean towels in the bathroom, stock the fridge and try to get through all that laundry! If the house is put away, it’s so much easier to relax.
Set the tone. There’s nothing like fresh flowers in unexpected places to transform your home into a pseudo hotel. Put some in your kitchen, bedroom, hey, even the bathroom! And if you find yourself eyeing a fancy candle from Voluspa or Diptyque, now is the time to splurge.
Agree on the ground rules. It’ll never feel like a vacation if you’re tethered to your regular life. Set some ground rules with your fellow staycationers—like only checking email once in the morning and once at night, no using social media. You could even pretend it’s 1983 and lock everyone’s phones away for the weekend.
Pick a theme. I know a couple who does an annual reading weekend, where all they do is read books for three days straight. They even cook all their meals ahead of time so they can just heat them up! You could watch all the Star Wars, Lord of the Rings movies. Never watched Game of Thrones? I’ll bet you could put a big dent in that one over a long weekend (though make an appointment with your therapist for the following week—there may be a lot to unpack after so much carnage!). Cook your favorite meals from trips you’ve taken in the past. if you can’t go to Italy, maybe just eat and drink like you’re there! Board games, puzzles, home spa weekend…. The possibilities are endless.
Bring vacation elements into your home.
Remember the scene in It’s a Wonderful Life when they wind up being unable to go on their honeymoon? Instead, Mary decorates their new (still bedraggled) home with decorations, a freshly cooked meal, and even gets two locals to sing for them once George arrives home. If she can do that last minute, you can too!
What do you love about hotels? See if you can bring those elements into your home. Try a new recipe from a totally different cuisine to what you’re used to. (Or if you live somewhere with a great food scene, order in!) Stock up on fun movies with faraway settings. Plan a theme night with family and friends. There are so many ways to enjoy a “vacation” even if you’re not physically boarding a plane.
How are you planning to break up the winter blahs this year? Share in the comments!