This post is contributed by Efinancial, our life insurance partner.

You can make plenty of excuses about why you can’t go on vacation, do a weekend getaway, or simply depart from your daily routine. Maybe it’s a busy time at work. Or maybe you just can’t afford the big expense. But you need a break. Like a computer, you need time to shut down and reboot or you’ll be far less productive (physically and professionally). The good news is that there are some lower-cost, less time-consuming alternatives that could fit into your budget and schedule without having to travel far.

Here are 7 easy tips to make a lot of a little time off.

1. Go offline

Disconnect from emails and social media. You’d be shocked at how incredible it can be to truly connect with others in your life — or just with the people you see at the café or the park. Don’t let the world keep passing you by. Become a part of it again.

2. Indulge in a spa service

There are plenty of therapeutic benefits from spa treatments, whether it’s just simple pampering or stress reduction.

  • Mani/pedi: Your options can include a range of services from basic to specialty pedicures or manicures to facial treatments. Don’t underestimate the stress relief of hand or foot treatments.
  • Hot shave: For men, one of the new treatments of choice (with flashbacks to old-school barber shops) is the hot shave. (Interesting how a little warm, moisturizing lather and a straight-edge blade can make people so happy.)
  • Massage: To soak in some deeper relaxation techniques, try out a hot stone, deep-tissue, or sports massage. You’ll feel the calm surging throughout your body with each therapeutic movement.

3. Channel team energy

Sign up for a 1- or 2-week gym pass. Join a group class for yoga, Pilates, spin cycle, or boxing. Without your usual schedule, you can pump some endorphin fuel, get in a routine, and have no reason to miss class! Use the support of your peers to set a new and realistic fitness routine.

4. Take a culinary world tour … nearby

Use word-of-mouth popularity or a reliable restaurant rating website to find some great multicultural or eclectic dining options in your area. Then, map out your “travel the culinary world” dining adventure during your time off. Your taste buds could travel to France, Germany, Thailand, and India. Or you could enjoy domestic food fantasies at local restaurants inspired by regional cuisine such as Austin, New Orleans, and Boston. Once your staycation is over, you can return to those new places during your regular weekly schedule and continually savor the escape experience.

5. Use those hotel points and immerse yourself in a luxurious retreat

If it’ll be a while before you can recreationally travel away from home, use some of those frequent stays or credit card hotel points to pay for an overnight or weekend away at a nice local hotel or resort nearby. Be creative. As a bonus, remember that some hotels offer poolside food and beverage services. Plan well, and you can have sun, water, and refreshments all at your fingertips.

6. Give your pet a break too

There’s no one to watch my pets.” More pet day care or overnight pet hotels are popping up throughout the U.S. If you need coverage for a night or weekend, this might be a good alternative. Your pet(s) would have adult monitoring, be fed on schedule, get any necessary medications, and may even enjoy the social side of other animal interactions. Many of these facilities even have pet pools and large, fenced playgrounds for recreational activities. You could be surprised (and a little jealous).

7. Rediscover local entertainment

You research everything else, so make an evening out more than just drive-thru dining and a movie. You might find free festivals, concerts, or reasonable tickets for tribute bands. When was the last time you went on a real date? Married or single, you still need those times to get know someone better – or reconnect with the special person in your life. Even catching up with friends can be challenged by competing schedules. Carve out the time. You’ll be glad you did.

Prioritizing each other beyond your staycation

Congratulations! Maybe you’ve realized that there are plenty of things you can do to bring a little balance and peace back into your life. Just step away from your overly scheduled life, recharge your batteries, and enjoy a little spontaneity.

Before you step back into work mode, do one last thing to show the special people in your life that you really care and are looking out for them — even during the chaos of your regular weekly routines. Carve out a little time from your staycation to research life insurance coverages, talk to an agent about your needs or questions or — if you have a policy already — check in with your life insurance agent. You want to ensure everything is in good standing with your beneficiaries’ information clearly detailed. When you’re done, you might discover this is one of the most memorable, calming breaks you’ve ever had with them … and for them.


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