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Trick Your 5 Senses for a Great Summer Stay-cation

by David Sung

With high gas prices and a still sluggish economy, many Americans are deciding to forgo the expense of taking a vacation this summer in favor of its less expensive cousin – the summer staycation. According to urbandictionary.com a staycation is “a vacation spent close to home”. If you’re one of these “staycationers”, having a great staycation is all about tricking your mind into “thinking” that you and your family are actually on a real trip.

In order to do this, you need to replicate the vacation “high” that comes from the new sights, sounds, and smells that come with being in a new destination. So with this in mind, we recommend targeting your 5 senses to make your brain think it’s in a new place even though you’re really just around the corner with these simple tips:

  1. Feel & Touch: Pack your luggage and check into a local motel or hotel for a few days. A new place to sleep at night will make it “feel” like you’re really on a trip. Another thing to consider is a visit to a day spa. If you’re not a spa person, well, here’s your chance at something new. If you’re a spa veteran, try a new spa in a different part of town.
  2. Sight: Do a little research and find places nearby that you don’t normally hang out at. Get out of your comfort zone and check out different surrounding cities even if it’s as simple as eating out in a neighborhood that’s located completely on the other side of town. Consider planning your staycation around a local festival or event.
  3. Taste & Smell:  For the duration of your staycation, consider eating foods that you wouldn’t normally eat. For example, find out if your city has any local authentic ethnic restaurants and plan out your meals to try these places. Hint: when eating at an authentic ethnic restaurant make sure it’s actually authentic by checking out the menu, the patrons, and the language being spoken at the restaurant. Chances are, if you can’t understand or recognize anything, you’re at the right place.
  4. Hearing: Simply being in different places around town will help you hear things you’re not use to hearing. But if you really want to focus on the sounds of your staycation, consider attending a concert or musical. But here’s the catch – pick a concert or musical with music that you wouldn’t normally listen to. Sure it might not register high on the enjoyment scale, but we guarantee it will make you feel like you’re away from home.

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