As Australia battles to get the COVID-19 epidemic under control, the message from the Government is clear. Stay at home. Don’t travel.
The ban doesn’t just apply for overseas travel. Domestic travel interstate is no longer possible, as most states have formally closed their borders. Thinking of booking an airbnb on the coast? That’s out too. Even those with a holiday home of their own are very strongly discouraged from going there. Many rural towns are worried that they will be overrun by city dwellers putting strain on the supply chain and medical resources there.
This year, then, the Easter break is all about the staycation.
Having your plans cancelled is undeniably disappointing. But with some thoughtful planning and goodwill, you can still have a great Easter at home. Here’s how.
1. Have a fancy dinner date
Order a meal from your favourite restaurant. Even if it’s not one that usually does takeaway, it’s worth double checking. A huge number of restaurants have pivoted to providing at-home meals while the restrictions prevent them from opening as usual.
While you’re waiting, set the table with your nicest table cloth, candles and crockery. Get dressed up, groom yourself nicely and meet your partner at the table for an intimate dinner. If you have older kids, you could even pay one of them to wait on you!
2. Spend time outdoors
Ditch the weeding and make your garden a place of relaxation. Invest in a hammock or two and string them between a couple of sturdy trees. Now you can lie back with a good book and a drink and pretend you’re on a tropical island.
Fire up the barbecue for al fresco dining, or put together some grazing platters and spread out the picnic blankets. Paper plates mean you can skip the washing up!
3. Create an at-home spa retreat
Every holiday should come with an all-day pampering session, and this is one you can easily do from the comfort of your own home.
Set the mood with an essential oil diffuser. Calming lavender, invigorating eucalyptus or sensual hibiscus are all lovely choices. Get out your fluffiest robe and slippers if you have them to really get that spa vibe.
Now you can go to town with deep conditioning treatments for your hair, face masks and scrubs and a foot soak to soften and loosen dead skin. There are hundreds of products on the market for men and woman alike or make your own from an internet tutorial.
4. Turn off your electronics
It’s so tempting to check your work email when you’re on holiday. It’s even more tempting on a staycation. For a true break, set your out-of-office to ‘away’ and make it a rule to stay away from work entirely.
Go further and extend the ban to all electronic communication. With a news cycle that’s never been more frenetic, many of us are glued to our phones 24/7. For your mental health, try and set limits on how often you check news and social media. Or go all the way and turn the electronics off for a few days. After all, if you were hiking the Andes or exploring the bazaars of Instanbul, you wouldn’t be scrolling through Facebook!
5. Plan a family movie marathon
Get into your PJs, pop some popcorn and snuggle up on the couch. A day of doing absolutely nothing but watching films is an excellent way to unwind and connect with the family. Order in pizza and give everyone a turn at choosing a film.
Perhaps avoid Contagion, though, just for now.
However you spend your staycation, remember. It’s important to stay inside unless it’s necessary to go out for absolute essentials. By making your home as fun and comfortable as possible, you’ll be helping yourself, and your fellow Australians, stay safe and well.