Mind & Soul Relaxation

How to Embrace Vacation Vibes Without Travelling

Summer is here and we’re all counting down the days until we’re outside. Okay, maybe not all of us. Some of us got bills to pay and jetsetting around the world is not the move, at least in this economy. But if you’re one of the (un)lucky few whose summer consists of nine-to-fives and biweekly office trips, know that you can still embrace vacation vibes right at home.

Don’t let your social media feed cause you FOMO. Seeing all your friends posting selfies on the beach or travel snaps isn’t the greatest feeling, to be fair. But there are plenty of ways to get off the couch and have a blast this summer, even without any travel plans.

You can create memorable moments without ever leaving the city—or even your house. Below, we break down the most creative ways to bring vacation vibes to your daily life. From planning a cute staycation to discovering hidden gems in your city, here are some practical tips to help you embrace the vacation spirit. 

Understanding the Emotions

Summer is the perfect time to unwind and explore new places. But what happens if you can’t participate? Naturally, you’re going to feel left out, especially if your social feeds are filled with pictures of friends on exotic vacations. Like, who wouldn’t feel disappointed or envious seeing their friends snorkel or kayaking on a white sandy beach?

FOMO is common, but it’s especially so during the summer moments when we’re seeing endless vacations on our feeds, says Lindsey Tong, LCSW, the clinical director at Profound Treatment. “This phenomenon appeals to the human desire for belonging and experience. However, one must remember that relaxation and joy do not require long journeys,” she explains. “Vacationing, in its essence, is about breaking away from routine and enabling oneself to relax and indulge themselves.”

Of course, no one likes to feel envious of anyone, let alone their closest friends. But it’s important to feel these emotions, no matter how uncomfortable they are. Put a name to your emotion and sit with it without letting it consume you before letting it go. And if that doesn’t work, well, take a break from social media.

Moreover, stop longing for what you can’t have. Naturally, this is easier said than done. But try to focus on creating new, fun experiences you can indulge. Concentrate on what you have rather than what you’re missing. (Hint: keep a gratitude journal). Research shows that practicing gratitude has mental and physical health benefits from reducing anxiety to improving quality of sleep.

Facing your emotions head-on, instead of being avoidant can help shift your mindset from what you’re missing to what you can get. 

Tips for Embracing Vacation Vibes

Just because you can’t get away doesn’t mean you have to miss out on vacation vibes. You just need to get a little creative and bring that holiday energy to you. Here are some ways to feel like you’re on holiday, no matter your location.

Plan a Cute Staycation

Staycations are all the rave right now, and planning one is super easy. Check for bed and breakfasts around your area and plan a weekend away. If you can afford it, splurge on a night or two in a luxury hotel in your city.

For our budget-friendly folks, transform your home into a staycation paradise. Rearrange your living room, throw in some fairy lights, and camp out for a night of movies and buttery popcorn alone or with friends. If you have a garden or backyard, summer is the best time to use it. Set up picnics or barbeques and treat your friends to a lovely brunch or dinner.

Not being on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in activities you’d typically enjoy on holiday at home. For instance, if you enjoy spa days, set aside time for a DIY spa day at home. Instead of spending ten minutes going through your daily skincare routine, spend an hour or two experimenting with a new one. These small activities can make your time at home feel special and different from your usual schedule.

Discover Hidden Gems in Your City

When you’ve lived in a city for long enough, it can begin to lose its charm. You start overlooking the exciting experiences right in your backyard. So this summer, become a tourist in your city. Scroll through the tourist pages and discover hidden gems you’ve never checked out before.

Many cities have tourism websites or blogs sharing exciting places to visit. Look for recommendations on parks, museums, historical sites, and unique stores. You’ll be surprised by how many new and exciting spots you find.

Social media is also a great space to discover new places. Search for hashtags related to your city or follow local influencers to see where they’re going and what they’re doing. Apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor are also fantastic in helping you decide where to explore next.

Treat the weekends like mini adventures. It’s what worked for travel expert Dana Yao during a particularly hectic year. “I discovered hidden hiking trails nearby and spent mornings surrounded by serene landscapes,” she says. “In the afternoons, I indulged in local cuisine at quaint cafes and explored charming boutiques tucked away in my city’s neighborhoods. These small explorations refreshed my spirit and deepened my connection to my community and surroundings.”

Start a New Self-Care Ritual

Self-care can heal you in more ways than you realize, especially if you can’t shake off the FOMO and enjoy the summer. Switch it up and try a new self-care ritual. Explore self-care activities you haven’t tried before like yoga or aromatherapy. Yoga helps center your mind and body and relieve stress stressed. Plus, it’s so accessible and easy to find—just look up studios nearby and sign up for an online class.

Aromatherapy also calms down the mind and body by using essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and chamomile. You can use essential oils in a diffuser, add them to a bath, or have your partner or friend use them during a home massage.

Try New Hobbies

If yoga or aromatherapy isn’t your thing, consider taking up new hobbies. Painting, gardening, reading, or cooking are excellent ways to unwind and focus on something new. Really, the key is to find activities that make you feel good and do them regularly enough to become a summer routine.

Self-care practices like meditation, yoga, or spa days at home with luxurious baths and self-made treatments can emulate the restorative essence of a wellness retreat. Allocating specific times for these activities ensures they become highlights of your day, not just items on a to-do list, says Tong.

Indulge in Little Luxuries

Sometimes, it’s the little things. Indulging in small luxuries can improve your everyday routine and make you feel happy and relaxed. And these little indulgences don’t have to be expensive.

For instance, buying a high-quality coffee or tea that you enjoy can turn an ordinary morning into a delightful one. Or, investing in a comfortable pair of slippers or plush robes. It might seem so simple, but these cozy items can make lazying on the couch feel all the more luxe. Just imagine wrapping yourself in a soft robe after a shower or slipping into comfortable slippers—feels absolutely divine, right?

Creating a special space in your home to relax is another way to indulge in little luxuries. Set up a reading nook with your favorite books, a comfortable chair, and a soft blanket. Light some scented candles or use a diffuser with essential oils to create a relaxing environment.

You can also transform everyday spaces like your shower into a sanctuary. Run a warm bath, play some gentle music, and take the time to care for your body and mind. 

For me personally, I decided to treat myself to a few small luxuries I always wanted but never felt justified buying. One of the best purchases I made was a high-quality silk pillowcase. Not only does it feel incredibly soft and luxurious, but it’s also great for my skin and hair. Every night, when I go to bed, it feels like a small indulgence and helps me sleep better.

Virtual Travel Experiences

Virtual travel experiences are an underrated alternative when physical travel isn’t an option. With virtual tours, you can explore the world from the comfort of your own home. There are virtual tours available for many iconic destinations around the globe. Museums, historical sites, national parks, and even entire cities can be explored through high-quality virtual experiences. 

Websites like Google Arts & Culture have virtual tours of popular museums such as the Louvre in Paris, the British Museum in London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. These tours allow you to experience the galleries through high-resolution images, all from your laptop or phone.

Relaxation and joy do not require long journeys. Vacationing, in its essence, is about breaking away from routine and enabling oneself to relax and indulge themselves.

Historical sites and landmarks are also popular options. You can take a guided tour of ancient ruins like Machu Picchu in Peru or the Colosseum in Rome. Many of these immersive tours provide interactive features, videos, and 360-degree views that bring these places to life.

In addition to traditional tours, there are also unique virtual travel experiences. Live-streamed virtual safaris allow you to experience wildlife in real time with commentary from expert guides. Virtual cooking classes can expose you to different cultures and teach you how to prepare authentic dishes from around the world. 


While you may not be able to escape to a new country or city this summer, there are plenty of ways to embrace vacation vibes right where you are. Plan a cute staycation, discover hidden gems in your city, explore new self-care rituals, indulge in little luxuries, and take advantage of virtual travel experiences.

Don’t let FOMO keep you from making the most of your summer. Whether you’re traveling to the opposite side of the world or finding new ways to rejuvenate at home, remember that the essence of a vacation lies in the mindset of exploration and relaxation, says Yao.

Be curious and open-minded! Any moment, be either a scroll through your neighborhood or a night out at your fave restaurant, can be an opportunity for discovery and delight. Embrace the beauty of your surroundings, indulge in self-care rituals, and savor the joy of exploring new experiences. And, stay grateful for the little luxuries. It’s what makes life all the more rich and fulfilling.

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