Stay-at-home retreat: a freelancer’s guide to crafting the perfect staycation

This article is written by Vanessa Chiasson, a freelance writer based in Ottawa who specializes in travel and human interest stories.

As a travel writer, I often say that I need a vacation. People think I’m kidding around (“Didn’t you just get back from somewhere?”), but I’m not looking for another flight. I simply want a break to benefit my health and happiness. That’s why I design a frugal, flexible summer staycation and I want more freelancers to do the same.

freelancer staycation enjoying some fun in the sun with a popsicle

7 ways freelancers can plan a staycation

What should a freelancer do during their staycation for maximum rejuvenation? In her book Solo, Rebecca Seal says:, “The best evidence suggests we need a mixture of things. Quiet time, in which our minds can wander (and wonder). Some physical relaxation and some physical engagement. Exercise and rest. And the same for our brains—exercise and engagement, but in ways which are nothing to do with work.”

With her words in mind, here are some easy, accessible, enjoyable ways to embrace staycation life.

Resort-i-fy your bedroom

Every freelancer deserves a luxurious retreat that’s all their own. Making your bedroom feel more like a hotel is a beautiful way to launch your vacation. Clear some clutter and embark on a deep clean. Rearrange your furniture or artwork, add fresh flowers, and treat yourself to a fancy candle.

Enjoy a day of opposites

There’s nothing like a vacation to get yourself out of a rut. Plan a day of opposites to embrace this sense that anything is possible. If you never have breakfast, it’s time to go full English. Instead of coffee, choose tea. Grab a different bus, walk a new route, and select alternative brand names when you’re at the market.

Recreate a childhood memory

What did you love doing more than anything else as a kid? Growing up in Nova Scotia, my idea of summer bliss was a trip to the “ice cream barn,” followed by a late night of reading with the flashlight. And I still love this! Many childhood activities, like browsing a toy store, eating giant donuts, and binging cartoons offer easy staycation fun.

Embrace a day of guilty pleasures

The demands of deadlines often make the most innocent indulgences feel verboten for freelancers. During vacation, why not make a day of it? Sleep late, stay in pyjamas all day, watch movies in the bathtub, eat the fettuccine alfredo AND the chocolate cake, and go to bed at 9 p.m.:00 PM or 3:00 a.m. AM.

Have some fun in the sun

Every year, I sustain myself through the brutal winter with thoughts of sun-kissed summer afternoons, conveniently forgetting what July humidity does to my hair. Still, I never regret trying to have some fun in the sun. Go to the beach. Get dressed up and enjoy swanky cocktails on a rooftop bar. Take in a ball game.

Clear your to-do list

For better or worse, vacation has become the non-work time where you get domestic work done. While it’s annoying to spend a precious free day tackling odds and ends, chances are you’ll be tremendously satisfied after devoting some time to your home and yourself. Assemble that bookshelf, trim your hair, and dig in the garden.

Record your vacation for posterity

It is one hell of an achievement to be a working freelancer and even more so to prioritize yourself and your well-being. Your staycation isn’t just a thrifty vacation. It’s a celebration of everything you’ve accomplished this year. So take photos, buy a small souvenir, and decorate your office with postcards to remind yourself how much you’ll love doing this again next year (or sooner!)

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Posted on May 17, 2023 at 5:00 am by editor · · Tagged with: ,

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