You may find yourself stuck at home, having to cancel the big vacation you've been planning for ages. Don't let social isolation kill your holiday dream; there are ways you can bring your vacation to you with an at-home mini-vacay. Vacationing at home will also save you money and bring you and your loved ones closer together.

Camp out in the back yard

A camping trip is a popular choice for a vacation, perfect for spending time together as a family. If you have to stay at home, your back yard can make a great makeshift camping ground. Pitch a tent and huddle together in sleeping bags, reading stories by torchlight. The best part is that your house is only a few steps away, so the bathroom trips are a lot more pleasant than they might usually be on a camping trip!

Light up the fire pit and use it to toast marshmallows to recreate the coziness of a real outdoor adventure. Gazing up at the stars is just as magical from your own home, wherever you are. You can always keep your home comforts by moving back into the house for a good night's sleep in your own bed.

Back yard camping tent stars fire vacation AleksandarNakic / Getty Images


Light the fire

In a cold holiday season, you can recreate the warmth and coziness of a log cabin from the comfort of your own home with a roaring fire in your wood burner or open fireplace. Add some romance and share a bottle of wine with a loved one as you cuddle underneath a blanket. Enjoy snacks and hot cocoa as you play a board game or watch a movie. This is an ideal way to enjoy some calm family time without spending any money.

No indoor fireplace? No problem. Recreate the cozy feeling of a fireplace by adding some hygge to your home. Hygge is a Danish term referring to a warm, content, and cozy atmosphere. Drape some warm-glowing string lights in your living room or bedroom, bring out your softest blanket, and light your favorite scented candle to add a little hint of hygge to your staycation.

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Rent a hot tub

Unless you have a swimming pool at your home, the next best thing to a morning swim on vacation is a soak in a hot tub. Sitting out in the warmth of the water with a glass of bubbly in hand gives you that taste of luxury most of us love to experience when we're away. Get things ready before you get in, so you have everything to hand. Setting up a small table at the right height means you can easily reach what you need. Don't forget to keep a fluffy towel and warm robe handy for when you get out!

Hot tub back yard vacation home Imgorthand / Getty Images


Hire a cleaner

The constant pull to do chores and jobs around the house means that it can sometimes be hard to truly relax when we are at home. Eliminate a big portion of this work by hiring a cleaner to do a deep clean of your home. Knowing that all those little jobs are taken care of will help you focus on spending quality family time together. If you usually can't justify paying for help around the home, think about the money you are saving by staying home for your vacation. It will cost a fraction of your usual vacation costs and will allow you to really enjoy your home without the hassle of having to clean it.

If hiring a cleaner isn't an option, consider investing in an automated vacuum. Your floors will be kept effortlessly clean year-round, giving you a small break that may not feel like a full vacation but still provides a chance to put your feet up.

Home cleaner spring clean home Peter Dazeley / Getty Images


Switch off devices

Switching off all devices is not an easy task in today's world. We have become so reliant on our electronics that it feels like we can't possibly do without them. The best vacations often happen when everyone in the family is having so much fun, they don't need their devices. Turning away from screens means more time for one another. It opens up the opportunity for deeper conversations and strengthens family bonds. Making a pact to spend a few hours, or even a whole day, with no devices allows you and your family to reconnect. Get back to basics with some good old fashioned fun with your loved ones. Bring out the board games or a pack of cards.

Board games family fun vacation vgajic / Getty Images


Indulge in luxuries

Experiencing little luxuries is one of the best parts of a vacation, such as taking a bubble bath in your hotel room jacuzzi to ordering room service. We all have our little treats that make a vacation feel more special than everyday life. Spend some time working out which of these are important to you so you can get them ready before your home vacation. Saving money by not going away means you have a little extra to spend on the finer things in life. There is no reason you can't buy yourself the bubble bath your favorite hotel provides, or splurge on luxury bedding for your own bed. The added bonus is that you get to keep these luxuries afterward and enjoy them for much longer than a usual vacation lasts!

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Take turns to choose an activity

A vacation at home can be just as much fun for every member of the family. Allowing all family members to choose a home-based activity means that everyone gets a say. Everyone gets to take part in something they might not normally do, then share their interest with everyone else. It might be a favorite game, watching a specific movie, or playing out in the back yard. This can be a great way to bring the family together, as long as everyone feels equally involved.

Outdoor play family time back yard Peter Cade / Getty Images


Picnic in the yard

Eating outside is a thoroughly enjoyable part of a vacation for many of us. Packing up a picnic and finding a beautiful spot to enjoy it is one of life's pleasures. This can still be an option, even if you're vacationing at home. Pack up all your favorite foods with fizzy drinks for the kids and a bottle of wine for the grown-ups. Now's the time to look at your yard with fresh eyes. The grassy spot under the old tree you've been meaning to cut back now becomes a bit of wilderness, perfect for a family picnic. The part of your lawn that gets the midday sun can become your own little sunny picnic patch. Lay down the blanket and take your time as you eat out in the fresh air.

Yard picnic sunshine home vacation HRAUN / Getty Images


Bring the beach to you

Families with young children may find that they already own everything they need to recreate a beach in their backyard. A children's sandpit with buckets and spades is perfect for a sandcastle competition. Dig out the paddling pool from the garage for the kids to splash about in as you watch from your reclining chair. With the sun shining down on you and a cold drink in hand, experiencing the 'beach' from the peace and quiet of your own back yard might be even better than the real thing.

Sandpit backyard paddling pool beach MMPhotography / Getty Images


Romance under the stars

A romantic evening meal under the stars can be the perfect end to the day, just as it would be if you were on vacation. Hang strings of fairy lights from the trees and scatter candles around your yard to create a romantic feel. Cook food from a country that you love and make sure you have a bottle of that wine that you both discovered on your last trip away. Bring the feel of a vacation to your home and imagine that you are anywhere in the world.

Wine outdoor meal home vacation Guido Mieth / Getty Images


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