Sillouette of Female RunnerWhen we think of vacation time, we usually think of getting away from it all and exploring a completely new place. However, there is a lot of stress in planning a trip. From researching the destination, booking flights, reserving hotels, finding restaurants, packing and preparing the home to be secure while you are gone, to footing the expenses. Sometimes, you have to deal with crowds, delays, poor sleep or digestive problems due to bad food. The end result of many vacations is often exhaustion, weight gain, overspending, looking forward to going home, and regretting not having rest before you start work again. Staycations have become popular for these reasons and especially during economic recessions.

The average American family spends about $1,400-$1,800 per person on summer vacation, up from about $1,100 two years ago. That is about $5,600-7,200 for a typical family of four. This is a substantial amount of money that can utilized in many ways. If you are flying, according to the New York Times, “...air travel is [the] most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person. The average American generates about 19 tons of carbon dioxide a year; the average European, 10.” A feng shui concept is that everything is connected, so it is important to think about how you can better utilize your vacation time, energy and money.

If you know how to do a feng shui staycation, you not only reap the benefits of immediate prosperity in savings and reducing your carbon footprint, but the opportunity to reap long-term benefits for yourself and your family. The feng shui component is to designate an area of your home for taking a break from life and having fun. You get to create a permanent retreat or better yet, imbue your home with happy memories that last a lifetime.

Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish during your vacation time. What are the most relaxing things you enjoy? Who do you see yourself doing these things with? And how do you like to have fun? You’ll be surprised how much is doable from the comfort of your home with a little creativity!

Here are three feng shui staycation themes!

Pampering Retreat

Woman Meditating in Dunes Green Smoothie Woman Relaxing at Spa

This is all about indulging in getting yourself tuned up! You work hard all year long giving to others, it’s your turn receive some TLC. Decompress by connecting with nature and art, eating delicious clean foods and letting others take care of you.

The Feng Shui Staycation Component

Create a bedroom and bathroom retreat. You may want to start by hiring a professional housekeeper to clean and freshen up your house. If it has been over 10 years since you changed your bed, and you get up feeling unrested or achy, it may be time to get a new mattress. Splurge on a new mattress and luxury bedding. Transform your bathroom into your own personal spa by getting plush high-quality bath towels and mats, bath salts, facial masks and lotions. Light some aromatic soy candles, play relaxing music, put on your face mask and soak all your stress away.

Family Time

Child Enjoying Softice Kids on Trampoline Child with Painted Face

Being a parent, I can say that traveling with children is rarely a vacation for parents! Lugging extra gear, keeping track of your children’s whereabouts, dealing with unfamiliar environments and unpredictable meltdowns is not fun for anyone. All families really want is to have quality time together in a safe and convenient place so they can focus on each other. When was the last time you really played with your kids?

  • Go to the local skating rink, bowling alley, children’s museum, a new park or playground.
  • Laugh therapy! Tag, hide and go seek, dodgeball, charades, face painting - letting your kids paint your face is a sure way to fire up the giggles.
  • Water play! Nothing beats the heat better than a kiddie pool, water balloons, squirt guns and splash buckets. Be sure to set up safety rules for the younger kids.
  • Turn off the TV! Instead of movie night, take turns acting out bedtime stories. If your kids can read, switch roles and let them read you a story - ask for special effects and character voices. Pitch a bedsheet tent and make up stories around a “camp fire.”
  • Hire a babysitter! To really enjoy each other, kids and parents both need some downtime.
  • Jump for joy! Rent or buy a trampoline or inflatable jumper. Not only is the feeling of weightlessness when you jump exhilarating, the G force our body experiences during the rise and fall of a jump increases the lymph flow 15-30 times. This movement makes the self-propelled immune cells 5 times more active, eating more viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. Jumping is not only fun but seriously good for you!

The Feng Shui Staycation Component

Quality family time is to create a space specifically for family to gather and spend time together doing the same thing. This can be something you know you will do together such as eating a meal, but doing it al fresco. Create an outdoor dining room. This can be as simple as a blanket on the grass to investing in a patio dining set. String some lights around the back yard tree and add some potted flowers to define the area. If you prefer the indoors, create an “unplugged zone” where family members interact by playing board games, cards, or making arts and crafts. Some of our family favorites are Cartagena, Scrabble, and Apples to Apples.

Virtual Destination

Balboa Park Noodle Dish in Pot Peer Against Night Sky

Being in Los Angeles, we live in a tourist mecca, and people come from all over the world come to vacation in California. There is so much to explore here. From our famous beaches all along the coast to the mountains, there is a plethora of activities to meet everyone’s vacation dreams. It is one of the few places where you can literally try food from the four corners of the world. You have choices from the highly rated Michelin restaurants to local family operations of authentic ethnic foods. There are whole towns devoted to the different cultures such as Little Tokyo, Little Armenia, Koreatown, Chinatown and Solvang - so you can experience a destination without the jetlag or language barrier.

Now with the internet, you can take a virtual walk anywhere in the world through Google street view strolling or explore foreign destinations at home through the latest travel shows. You might find you will actually learn more and gain helpful tips about the destinations for future trips!

During the summer, there are many outdoor fairs, concerts, and farmers markets offered for free.

The Feng Shui Staycation Component

Decorate a room by using your destination as the inspiration. If your staycation destination is Thailand, explore Thailand’s architecture and interior designs on the Internet. For instance, you can bring in Thai lanterns, Thai motif wallpapers, and accent pillows with a beautiful batik design. Ideally, this is done before your staycation to prepare for your virtual destination. In this process, not only will you learn about the culture, but you will acquire a room that becomes a meaningful “souvenir” that enriches your life.

No matter which staycation you do, remember this as a time to unwind - not worrying about chores and paying bills, not returning calls and checking email. Even if you are home, feel free to notify friends and family that you are on vacation, just as you would if you were really away. You get the idea. Now stay and have fun!