How good are holidays? Those people that used to come back from two weeks in the sun and say “it was lovely but I was ready to come home” are bonkers and we most definitely cannot be friends.

Holidays are the bomb, and no matter what kind of life you’ve designed for yourself, as human beings we will always enjoy a break from daily life.

But how do holidays fit into your money plans for the year ahead? I don’t know about you, but a year of balls-to-the-wall saving with no sun or lagoon pool or lack of to-do list and avoidance of washing up doesn’t sound very fun. That said, saving up a tidy stash of cash, going on holiday and returning to an empty bank account isn’t exactly what I had in mind either.

So, how can you holiday while saving for a home or financial goal?

My answer: a staycation.

By staycation, I don’t mean booking an Airbnb a few miles from your home and popping back every couple of days to pick up some clean pants and check you didn’t leave the stove on.

I mean an actual holiday, in your own home. Not fake self love rituals and slathering on cheap face masks, – we’re nifty, not thrifty here at TBG. By staycation, I mean doing all the things you’d usually do on holiday, without paying for the flight or accommodation. My idea of a holiday is not cooking, having sunset beers, eating out, and exploring places with no real sense of time.

So skip the hefty airfares and hotel rooms, and try having an actual holiday at home. Here’s how:

  • Do all your washing and cleaning in advance, so that on day 1 of your staycation you haven’t got any to-dos that could distract you. You’re on holiday remember! No ironing your pillowcases allowed!

  • Have spending money budgeted in advance – and make it much higher than your usual weekly spending amount. I know, I know, you’re supposed to be saving, but don’t forget you’ve skipped the flight and accommodation costs.

  • Explore areas around you that you’ve always meant to try but never really managed to. Go armed with spending money so you can indulge in that extra cup of coffee, grab lunch or crack open a bottle of wine, or even treat yourself to a new item of clothing. You’re on holiday, after all.

  • Don’t cook! Whether you fancy takeaway and a night of crap TV, or you’ve got a string of restaurants you’ve never managed to get to, make sure you have a few days or a week away from the kitchen. Indulge, enjoy yourself, and relax in the same way you would if you were elsewhere.

  • Read books and catch up on tv shows or podcasts you’re usually too busy to enjoy. Just because you’re not lounging by a hotel pool doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get stuck into some holiday reading.

  • No emails! No work! Being on a staycation means you’re going to have to try extra hard not to accidentally creep back into daily grind mode. If that means deleting your email app or hiding your laptop in the wardrobe, go for it.

  • Eat what you like! Being at home can mean you’re automatically in the mindset of doing things that you think you ‘should’ – like not eating an entire pint of ice cream. On your staycation, anything goes!

  • Get out the house where you can. Whether you live close to parks, forests, bushwalks, a beach or a bustling city, get out the house and explore with no time limit. Don’t get caught up in the habit of running errands, either. This is your holiday. Would you be popping into the post office if you were in Hawaii? Nope! So don’t do it on your staycation!