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How to productively use your vacation days as a homeowner during COVID-19

vacation days covid 19

Touring the cathedrals of Europe, drinks on the lido deck of a mega-cruise ship, or visiting your friend overseas are unlikely vacation plans this year. But that doesn’t mean summer 2020 is a complete bust. There are lots of ways to use your vacation days as a homeowner during COVID-19 productively.

Due to the global pandemic, many borders remain closed, and countries have instituted quarantine periods for anyone entering the country. But life still goes on, and for some, it’s an excellent opportunity to slow down and appreciate the time you have to focus on chores and home maintenance that otherwise slips our mind during the warmer months.

Allocate travel money toward home renovations and upgrades 

staycation ideas

Big trips are pretty much out for the time being. But even if a travel free-for-all was declared tomorrow, a vacation at home is still worth exploring. A considerable benefit of vacation days during COVID-19 is the savings. You won’t have to pay for airfare or gas, and if you stay at your home, you won’t have to pay for a hotel either. You also get to take advantage of this time by focusing on things you’ve been avoiding for years.

If you had a holiday booked and received a refund, perhaps that money can go towards materials and supplies to build a backyard oasis. If you’re already home, it’s also an option to take on a massive clean-out and repurpose some of your old furniture and materials. Worn out tires could be an excellent option for a flower bed. Maybe you have a stash of rocks you’ve been collecting and can finally find a purpose. Don’t be afraid to get creative with some DIY and budget-friendly renovation ideas.

Make old parts of your home feel new

While it’s true, there’s no place like home, if you’ve been confined to your own four walls for a while, mainly if you’ve also been working from home, sleeping in a different bed might look pretty good now. If your main objective is saving money, you can spice up your own space for fun. 

Smaller options would be to drag your mattress into the living room for an all-night movie marathon with easy kitchen access. To add romance, string some fairy lights over your bed. Or, you could consider pitching a tent in the backyard for a silly camping-lite experience.

Now might be the time to redecorate your guest room and spaces in your home that don’t always get the most use. If you are an empty nester, why not turn your child’s old bedroom into a useful space that doesn’t sit vacant throughout the week. Because most of our hobbies are on hold due to restrictions, it could be a worthwhile investment to repurpose a bedroom into a makeshift art studio or gym.

Consider cleaning and maintenance that hasn’t always been your priority

renovate during coronavirus vacation

There are plenty of preventative measures you should take as a homeowner to ensure your property stays in good condition and at low-risk for potential damage from frequent natural disasters. Most of these tasks, although known, aren’t always done every year because life gets busy. But, given the current situation, now is a great time to focus on the checklist you’ve likely avoided. 

Although home maintenance might not be top of mind with how best to take advantage of your vacation days during COVID-19, sometimes it can feel good to tackle otherwise time-consuming tasks when you aren’t in a rush. From cleaning out eavestroughs to fixing uneven walking paths, there are a few crucial outdoor maintenance tasks you can do in the warmer months. It might not be the most relaxing vacation day, but if you’re outside in the sunshine and doing physical activity, the late-night drinks after yard work will undoubtedly be worth the wait. 

Fall back in love with your kitchen

If you love cooking, now is the time to explore some of the speciality grocery shops in your town: indulge your cravings for fancy ingredients (hello cheese boutique!) or exotic tastes from an international grocer that is a departure from your usual. Visit a liquor store and buy some exciting things to stock in your bar. Having the time to prepare meals and experimenting with mixology at a leisurely pace is the perfect excuse to try out new recipes in the safety of your kitchen. If it all goes wrong, no one ever needs to know! 

If a vacation to you means releasing yourself from the obligations of cooking, vacation days during COVID-19 shouldn’t be any different. With many restaurants offering innovative pick-up and delivery options to get their food (and in some provinces wine, beer, and cocktails), you can indulge while you dine in your pyjamas. Of course, getting dolled up for a night out can be fun too. Local businesses that have opened their dining rooms are eager for your support. Seize your staycation time to get back to that little bistro you love or trendy new place you’ve meant to check out. 

Don’t feel like you have to waste your vacation days during COVID-19

A vacation at home doesn’t have to be a sad alternative to your usual summer holiday fun, nor should it be more of the same old. Luxuriate when you have to spend doing the things you don’t normally do, seeing new things, or trying something different. When we can travel again, you’ll be grateful for the time you spent getting to know your city on your own custom summer vacation.

Of course, we won’t be on lockdown forever. Once you feel comfortable travelling internationally again, it will be a great time to take advantage of some of the great deals and incentives being offered to entice tourists back. Subsidized flights and accommodations in Sicily and Japan, free hotel nights and an array of discounts in Cancun, and (most) expenses covered if you catch COVID-19 guarantee from the Cypress government are some of our faves! Maybe you’ll want to add some wanderlust-fuelled trip planning time into your vacation days during COVID-19 list.

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Jen Mallia

Jen Mallia is an Edmonton writer who is passionate about travel, Netflix, and raising good humans (not always in that order!) She has written for numerous print and online publications and is always on the lookout for the next great story — around the corner or across the globe! You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter: @jen_mallia