Today's "recipe" is not actually for food, but for an "at home holiday" experience. I hate to be that person that bangs on for weeks following a holiday, but I suppose I'm turning in to that! While I don't have the means to get on and book the next dream beach vacation, it doesn't mean I haven't been desperately searching the internet for any way possible of going back to that feeling I had a few weeks ago. Which got me thinking...apart from the obvious, what is so different about being on holiday, and how can I create it at home!?
I don't live anywhere remotely 'tropical', or even anywhere near a beach, but Boost HQ (aka...my home!) is a quaint little cottage in a rural town in south west England. Most of the time, it's barely warm enough to go out without a coat on, but I've decided it's not actually all about the location that is appealing on holiday, but rather about a change of pace. So here's my "recipe" for an "at home" weekend holiday.
1.Pick a suitably empty weekend, with a few weeks to prepare in advance.
2.Choose whether you want your holiday to be just you, you and a partner, you and your family, or you and a friend/friends.
3. Clean up/tidy your house to where it feels a little more like a holiday home. One of the joys of going away for me is walking into a clean and tidy 'temporary home', with sparkling bathrooms, clean bed linen, clean white towels and a spotless kitchen. I find it hard to relax among mess and clutter, so you may want to think about clearing some daily life clutter away for the weekend. This is the reason I say give it a few weeks until your weekend, so you have time to prepare the house to make it feel more like a hotel. Scrub the bathroom, put out fresh towels, put fresh sheets on the bed and make it like a 5* boutique hotel. You could even put a little chocolate on your pillow!
4. Make a plan for your few days break. Use TripAdvisor or other local websites to see what there is to do in your area that you might be interested in, but have never even noticed before! I live 15 minutes away from Stonehenge, but have never been! This could be on my holiday list. There might be a restaurant or picnic spot you've never tried, or perhaps you're desperate for some time to read a new book. Whatever you would normally love to do on holiday, but don't do at home, think about how you could incorporate that at home.
5."Pack" for your holiday. Think about what you might want to wear over the course of your weekend, and what you'll need. I love the freedom of opening a suitcase and knowing that I've only got those items to choose from to wear, and they're normally clothes I love but don't wear often. Pick out a few holiday outfits and put them to one side and don't even bother looking in the wardrobe for anything else!
6. Make a holiday music playlist of all the music that you find uplifting, fun, and relaxing.
7. When you're home feels like a restful, relaxing place to holiday, go food shopping! You may want to do this on the Friday afternoon. Try going somewhere you don't normally shop, perhaps a small deli, or a supermarket you don't often shop in (that would be Waitrose for me!) and choose food and drink for your holiday. Picture yourself on holiday when you do this; imagine what you like to eat on holiday, and how this differs from what you normally eat at home. Try new foods, new drinks, and splash out on a few special treats. What kind of breakfast do you like on holiday? Is this different from what you normally eat for breakfast at home? If so...can you recreate it? Use this opportunity to treat yourself, and to find some local places that sell food you can't normally buy. It's a holiday after all!
8. At the start of your holiday weekend, consider the following 'rules' you may want to follow:
Turn off your phone- On most holidays, you'll likely have limited phone access, and this can be a good thing. Consider checking the internet once per day, and not again, giving yourself some time away of technology and stresses that come with it.
Leave the TV off- I've never gone on holiday and watched TV, and find this refreshing. It's only for 2 days, and you'll hopefully have your time filled with other more exciting things, or you can spend the time relaxing with a good book in the garden (weather permitting!)
Go to bed earlier, and wake up earlier- I love the feeling of getting up earlier on holiday, sitting with a hot cup of coffee and looking forward to the day. It's also lovely to get into that boutique bed a little earlier too.
9.Enjoy your holiday! Play board games, read a book on the sofa at 2pm, go for a walk or explore something new. Pamper yourself with face masks and bubbly in the bath. Whatever you love about a holiday, do it!
You don't need to spend a fortune and travel the world to get the benefits of a holiday for your well being. It's so good for you to switch off, and enjoy time that you have planned and prepared for. It may not always be sunny here in England, but we've got a lot to see and enjoy, and as they say...an Englishman's home is his castle (or her's!) and it's about time we got the most of out of it.
Wishing you all happy holidays!
Let me know how you get on if you decide to give an at home holiday a go! Looking forward to any tips or ideas you've got.