8 smart ways to feel like you’re on vacation, even when you’re not


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No matter how much you love your job, co-workers, and roommates (whether they’re the actual roommate kind, or the significant other and delightfully demanding mini human variety), there is one universal truth for all of us: We can all use a vacation—and we can’t always go on one.

Whether it’s time or budget keeping you in place, no worries—because at our recent Well+Good Retreat at Miraval Wellness Resort in Tucson, Arizona, we learned a treasure trove of hacks for bringing the vacay vibes to life, wherever you are.

From morning hikes to afternoon mingle sessions (featuring everyone’s fave Retreat snack, Smartfood® Smart50™) there was no shortage of genius staycation inspiration for continuing the relaxation in your day-to-day life—and we’re sharing all of the intel with you.

Keep scrolling for 8 easy staycation tips we learned from the Well+Good Retreat.


1. Give your space a mini refresh

Don’t you just want to pack up and head to the desert ASAP? Create the same soothing oasis feeling in your own space by adding cacti, succulents, and desert-inspired colors (think textiles like pillows and throws for an easy makeover). If desert vibes don’t speak to you, try a budget-friendly refresh that’s more your style and you’ll suddenly feel like you’re staying at a hotel.

2. Treat your body to an extended stretch sesh

After guests checked in, choreographer and artistic director Kristin Sudeikis led a stretch session for everyone to work out all the stiffness from their day of traveling. Use this same technique once you wake up in the morning or after a warm shower for a kickstart to your day.

3. Host a family-style dinner with friends

Rather than a formal experience, all of the guests participated in a family-style dinner of fresh, wholesome dishes meant for sharing. The next time you have friends over, ask everyone to bring over a specialty recipe for an all-inclusive potluck, which is instantly more relaxing and fun than stressing over single-handedly cooking a four-course meal.

4. Go on a hike to disconnect in nature

Take a cue from Retreat attendees and opt for a hike over the weekend, relishing in some you-time (phone, work, and outside responsibilities not allowed). There’s no better way to feel like you’re on vacay then to remove yourself from your day-to-day, even for a morning.

5. Customize your usual snack for a pop of fun

Liven up any standard snack situation with a build-your-own bar. Add in a handful of Smartfood® Smart50™—air-popped, 100 percent whole grain popcorn at 50 calories per cup or less—and you’ve instantly upgraded the crunch and flavor. White cheddar or sea salt? You pick.

6. When in doubt, dance party

Anyone down for a midday dance party? Kristin Sudeikis led a sweaty group class—and let’s just say there wasn’t a single dry shirt in the room. Turning on your own playlist and letting loose—whether it’s a random moment in your living room or an accompaniment while you cook dinner—is an instant way to tune out daily stress (and turn on the endorphins).

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7. Try a cooking class or make a new recipe

Meanwhile, McKel Kooienga, RD, founder of Nutrition Stripped, led the group in a hands-on cooking class starring fresh veggies and quinoa. If you’re able to attend a cooking class in your own city, go for it—otherwise, recreate the magic of a new dining experience at home by looking up a buzzy new recipe and getting out of your usual meal rotation (or takeout rut).

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8. Host a casual wine tasting

To close out the weekend, the group celebrated with a wine tasting followed by another family dinner. Try out the experience the next time you’re hosting BFFs with a few inexpensive wines, or replicate the same vibe with a mini dessert tasting. Either way, it’s a simple way to instantly make a standard hang-out night feel vacation-worthy.

Sponsored by Smartfood® Smart50

Photos: Lori O’Toole

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