Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

How to Plan an Affordable Staycation That Feels Like a Real Getaway

With the official start of spring just around the corner, chances are you’re ready for a little time off to be with your family, friends, or that one special someone. However, as we watch the prices of everything, including gas, rising, a getaway might cost more than we can comfortably afford. Guest blog contributor, Emma Grace Brown has a great few tips to help you plan an affordable and enjoyable staycation at home or nearby.


How to Plan an Affordable Staycation That Feels Like a Real Getaway by Emma Grace Brown


What do you do when you want to get away but can’t go far due to COVID-19? Plan a staycation of course! A staycation is a safe, budget-friendly alternative to long-distance travel during the pandemic.

Staycations needn’t be dull either! Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or discovering local hidden gems, there’s a lot of fun to be had right in your own backyard. Ready to start planning your staycation?


These tips from Still A Chick Lit will help you plan an affordable local getaway or home staycation that feels like the real thing.

Plan Ahead

Preparation is the key to a truly guilt-free staycation. Take a long weekend off work, set a budget, and chart out what you plan to do at home or on the town. A roadmap makes it easier to stick to your staycation!

Book a Local Stay

This is also the time to book local lodging, and getting out of the house can make a difference if you want your staycation to feel like a real getaway. You won’t have to spend a lot either with many hotels offering discounts to local travelers during the pandemic. To make it more romantic or special, consider a B&B for a more personalized experience.

Dress to Impress


It’s been months since you’ve had a reason to get dressed up, so take advantage of it. Refresh your wardrobe with a couple of new pieces before your trip, like a fun and flattering dress, pajamas for cozying up at your B&B, and maybe even some lingerie. Not only will you look and feel your best, but you’ll also get a little bit of retail therapy too! If you’re on a budget, look to deal sites with promo codes and discounts to help you save money.


Pick a Theme

Not sure where to start planning your staycation? Planning an itinerary under COVID-19 restrictions presents challenges, but it’s far from impossible! A theme provides a great focal
point for planning. Do you want to take a culinary tour of the town, explore local history, or get back to nature? With a few adaptations, you can do whatever your heart desires.

● Get takeout, delivery, or dine outdoors rather than eating in. Instead of splurging on gourmet dining, take a tour of local taco trucks, ice cream shops, or another budget-friendly (but delicious!) food.

● Explore art museums and visit local art galleries. Galleries are rarely crowded outside of openings, but be sure to wear your mask.
● Visit local attractions like zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens during slow midweek hours.
● Plan a DIY walking tour of your city’s historic downtown or visit nearby historic landmarks.
● Get outdoorsy with hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, and other outdoor experiences. National parks are a great place to start your outdoor adventure.

Make Time to Relax

Fun activities give you an experience to remember, but don’t forget to relax on your staycation too! Vacations can be just as stressful as a day at the office when your itinerary leaves no room for downtime.

● Get mindful with yoga and meditation.
● Recreate the spa experience at home with bath bombs, facial masks, self-massage, and soothing music.

● Curl up with a good book in a tranquil setting or go on a walk while listening to an audiobook. Reading for pleasure is a rare treat for many adults!
● Clean and organize your home before your staycation to ensure you’re not stressing about the mess and to create the perfect harmonious environment for your staycation if you plan to stay put.
● Most importantly, disconnect from work. You can’t relax when you’re answering emails and phone calls. Set an away message on your email, turn notifications off, and let yourself sleep in. You’re on vacation!

Travel right now is a question mark for everyone. Instead of pining for a far-in-the-future getaway, plan one that’s more feasible in the interim. A staycation can be just as relaxing, and it won’t hurt your pocketbook!


Still a Chick Lit offers tips on fiction, food, fashion, and modern fairy-tale beginnings at forty, fifty, and up. Check out our books!

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Health, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus, Mind Body Spirit Connection, Whole Body Wellness

Health and Whole Body Wellness


Maintaining our health is always important, but it is increasingly so as we age. While there are many things we can do to improve and maintain our physical appearance, taking care of what’s on the inside is the key to looking and feeling good.

Taking Care of Your Body

Over the past five years, more people are investing in home fitness equipment that comes with personal trainers for different types of workouts. Peloton is at the front of the pack. Fun fact about the word peloton. In a road bicycle race, the peloton (from French, originally meaning ‘platoon’) is the main group or pack of riders. Riders in a group save energy by riding close (drafting or slipstreaming) to (particularly behind) other riders.

Peloton is just one of a number of in-home streaming workouts. There are others that may be more suited to what you like such as:

  • Yoga
  • Dance
  • Barre (ballet-based)
  • Cardio
  • Cycling

Look for a program that fits your budget. Many of these services offer trial periods before your commit to the either monthly or yearly expense of the service. Some workout platforms like Fit-On, have free basic memberships. However, it’s important to remember that if you want more variety, the price of a pro-plan could be worth it for you.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is another key to maintaining balance in our lives. It’s important not to focus on calories, carbs, and fat. Rather, approach your diet by putting the best food or fuel into it. Vegetables, fruit, whole grain, lean proteins, and plenty of water are the basis for keeping your body running at peak condition. Treats are okay and don’t need to be measured and weighed if you partake in moderation.

There is a vicious cycle that results from denial. When you feel like some ice cream, chocolate, or whatever your preferred indulgence is, it’s best to go ahead and eat it.  You are more likely to indulge moderately. Conversely, it’s the denial of what your body is craving that leads to overindulgence, binging, and guilt. Allow yourself a treat. When you want to snack, pick something that hits your flavor profile whether it’s sweet and crunchy, sweet and salty, or salty and crunchy. This way you snack smarter.

Read labels. Even light or healthy food products have hidden things in them like salt. Google all the alternative names used for salt and sugar. You would be surprised at how many healthy alternatives are filled with sugar, salt, and preservatives. Also, if you are looking into one of the many meal services available, research their ingredients too. The meals and components have to travel, which means preservatives and more. If this is something that would work for your lifestyle, make sure you pick one that benefits your health too.

Relax and get some rest

Powering down our bodies is as essential as powering them up. Most of us lead incredibly busy lives and spend oodles of time on the go. Find time to disconnect from your schedule to reconnect with relaxation and rest.

  1. Spend time with hobbies- Whether it’s model airplanes or cars, sewing, knitting, crocheting, painting, or drawing, hobbies relax our minds to focus on something we enjoy.
  2. Read- Turn the television off and put down the smartphone to pick up a book or magazine.
  3. Watch television- Put on your favorite program. Watch a nature show or binge a series. There’s nothing like watching a guilty pleasure.
  4. Get all the electronics (phone, television, computer, laptop) out of your bedroom. Make your bedroom a real place of rest. This will allow you to turn off the distractions so you can get the 7 to 8 hours your body needs.


Keep your mind clear and centered

Our mental and emotional health plays a big role in the health of our physical body. To keep everything balanced, we need to find ways to deal with the biggest enemy of good mental and emotional health, stress.

Stress, anger, and sadness, are three things that can wear us down. Therefore, it’s important to deal with the issues that cause them.

  • Talk to a professional. There is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist or psychologist for talk therapy. It’s a safe space to let our emotions out and to figure what’s a healthy way to deal with them.
  • Friends, family, spouse, or partners. Talking to the people we love can help us feel supported and loved. However, there’s a difference between unburdening ourselves and offloading our problems onto someone else’s shoulders. The latter is something to avoid doing for the sake of your relationship.
  • Worship If you’re a religious or spiritual person connecting with God through a church, synagogue, or mosque can provide a sense of being grounded and having a greater purpose in life.
  • Meditation – This allows you to connect with yourself. It also helps you learn how to quiet your mind, which keeps stressful thoughts at bay.


If you can find a way to implement some of these tips, you will be on your way to whole-body wellness as a woman who is north of forty plus shining brightly for years to come.

Health and Wellness Keys to Balanced Body