Many people are gearing up for summer vacations, but some of us may have to stay put Summer 19'. Whether you're taking summer courses, saving up for your first home, paying off student loans, having little ones, or whatever it is adulting throws at us, it doesn't mean you can't get away. Say hello to the staycation.
Now, I know this may not seem like the most relaxing option, but I promise if done right, you WILL feel recharged after a two-day staycation.
Here are a few ways you can plan your first (or next) staycation in the comfort of your city, no flight required.
1.Change Your Scenery
Staycations don't mean you can't bring experience something new. Is there a new hotel you've been wanting to try? Or are you longing for a big tub to take a bubble bath in with a bottle of your favorite red wine? If you're nodding your head yes, book that hotel room or Airbnb. The hotel you've been eyeing might be a bit of a splurge, but you're worth it. Not to mention, since you don't have to account for airfare into your budget, you'll have a few extra coins to spend there.
2.Turn Off The Notifications
Put the phone down. Turn it on do not disturb. Oh, and don't forget to turn off your emails, social media push notifications, and anything else that will take away from your ability to kick back, relax, and pretend you're living your best life in another city. For those of you with little ones and significant others, this may be a challenge. But if you can, try to refrain from checking in too often.
I just talked about experiencing something new, and food is a great way to see your hometown in a new light. I suggest finding a few places where you can make reservations, so you can skip the day-to-day tasks of waiting in lines or eating on the run. Apps like OpenTable and Resy make it easy to reserve your table and find out which restaurants are worth trying.
4.Do Things You Wouldn't Normally Do That You Enjoy
Getting lost in a new city does make the world around you feel fresh, and depending on the size of your town, there is always something new to explore. If you're an art lover, purchase a ticket in the middle of the day and wander around your local art museum. Do you enjoy cooking? Book a cooking class at Sur La Table or a pottery class from a local artisan through Airbnb Experiences.
At the start of this article, I talked about all of the reasons you might not be able to plan a vacation someplace else due to budgeting. But, I'm going to encourage you to prepare for at least one splurge on your staycation. Check in on your monthly budget and see where you have wiggle room. It doesn't have to be an exorbitant amount. Spending the night or two at a swanky hotel with excellent service is my idea of a splurge, but for you, that might be purchasing tickets to see your favorite artist, booking a day at the spa, or buying a couple of new outfits to wear while you take in the city. Don't bust your budget, but make sure you make a little room to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
I know we all have our financial responsibilities, but we should always make time to disconnect and recharge even if we can't fly away.
What's your ideal staycation? Tell us in the comments!
Featured image by Getty Images
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- How to Plan a Luxury Staycation at Home (Ideas) ›
- Staycation Ideas | Real Simple ›
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- Enjoying a Staycation? 15 Tips to Keep It Frugal and Fun | HuffPost ›
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Bianca Lambert is a proud Atlanta native soaking up the Los Angeles sun. She is the founder of Mae B: a stationery company for women of color and a digital content creator on a mission to elevate the voices of women of color everywhere.
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images