The gentle lapping of waves on the shore. The heat of the sun, warming your skin. A light breeze brings scents of the sea. Do you wish you were there right now? I sure do! While a traditionally vacation might not be possible, a staycation just might be able to bring some of the same peace and rejuvenation you need.
For the last few months, as winter has raged on and temperatures have been less than ideal, visions of a warm resort in the Caribbean have been dancing in my mind. While I’m confident that soon we’ll return to a more normal existence and travel will once again flourish, I decided I would create a tropical oasis at home. (and I’ll help you do the same!)
Granted, a staycation isn’t the same as the real deal when it comes to a luxurious all-inclusive resort (like Sandals Royal Caribbean over-water suties!), but there are things that can be done to transform your home into a space to bring those same senses alive.
Set the Scene:
To help your home feel like a tropical location, you don’t have to bring in truckloads of sand into your living room. One economical way is to order some party supplies like these ones I found on Amazon. They are bright, colourful and easy to store away when not in use.
The lush greenery of the tropics can be recreated with these plants from Amazon, (and super easy to take care of for those without a green thumb like me!) I love these pineapple lights as well for an added bit of decoration. A fresh bouquet of flowers is a another perfect way to bring vibrant colour for your at home staycation.
Feel the Part
Next, don’t forget to crank up the heat on the day of your “vacation”. That way you can don your favourite sundress and flip flops, or khakis and beach hat to really feel the part. Below are two of my favourite dresses at the moment.
This Joseph Ribkoff midi dress from Melanie Lyne is stunning and I love this off-the-shoulder jumpsuit as well. Airy, comfortable and elegant.
Capturing all your senses is important to be fully immersed in your tropical staycation.
You can pick up exotic scented candles or try one of these beautiful essential oil combinations in your diffuser. Essential oils are not only healing but blending them creates multiple aromas that transport you to lush vegetation and fresh ocean breezes. Ylang Ylang is one of my favourite oils to use. What’s yours?
Thinking about senses, bringing in the sounds of the Caribbean to your home is easy! YouTube has a huge array of Calypso and Reggae music. I often have videos playing in the background while I work, helping me to focus and stay relaxed.
One of my fondest memories is attending my sister’s wedding in Kona, Hawaii. I even went night snorkeling with manta rays. The way they “dance” under the illuminated water was breathtaking.
This Hawaiian Café playlist brings me right back there and the upbeat Caribbean steeldrums of the second video brings a joy to my heart reminding me of the Bahamas cruise I took with my family years ago.
Tropical Cuisine and Beverages
No vacation is complete without delicious food and quenching drinks.
Think bright, vibrant fruits and vegetables, freshly caught seafood, bold, mouthwatering sauces and fragrant marinades. The cuisine in these tropical regions are diverse and multi-cultural.
With 13 official countries in the Caribbean, (plus 21 other non-independent countries) every place you visit will have unique flavours inspired by the history and people of the area.
Here are some delectable suggestions for you.
Mango Chicken & Coconut Rice from Kitchen de Lujo
Vegan Jackfruit Tacos & Slaw from Simply Ceecee
Caribbean Salmon & Rice with Tropical Salsa from Once a Month Meals
Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Slaw from Delicious Made Easy
Tropical Granola Cups from Strawberry Blonde Kitchen
Pineapple Coconut Crumb Bars from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Coconut Mango Cupcakes from Home Made Interest
Relaxing at an all-inclusive resort, I have so much fun trying all the creations at the swim up bars. We stayed at the Marival Emotions resort in Nuevo Vallarta and each day they would have a featured drink. My daughter loved trying all the kids mocktails as well. During your staycation, why not try one of these refreshing drinks:
Pineapple Coconut Mojitos: https://thenovicechefblog.com/pineapple-coconut-mojito/
Sparkling Pineapple Mocktail: https://thefrugalgirls.com/2015/08/sparkling-pineapple-mocktail-recipe.html
Tropical Sangria: https://www.africanbites.com/tropical-sangria/
Coconut Mai Tai: https://www.restlesschipotle.com/coconut-mai-tai/
Looking for more delicious mocktails? Check out my post: 5 Delicious Mocktails for Summer
Time to Relax
One of my favourite things to do on a beach vacation is to grab a captivating novel, get cozy on a lounger and lose myself in the words for a while. If you have a comfy lounger, clean it up and bring it inside. Put a soft towel or blanket on top and get to reading.
I also try to visit a spa whenever I’m away. Treating myself to a manicure or pedicure is a favourite relaxing activity. You can easily do this at home. Choose some bright colours that remind you of the tropics. Or invest in a spray tan a few days before your “vacation” at a local spa. Live in Victoria? Check out Heaven Spa On The Rock and try their ultra luxurious Golden Body Treatment.
Visualize Yourself There
I love watching enchanting “virtual tourist” videos. It makes it easy to pretend you are walking along a sandy beach or visiting the vibrant cities of the islands. St.Lucia is high on my list to visit and this video always gets me excited to dream of travelling again.
As your evening comes to an end, consider lighting multiple candles or hanging white mini lights to simulate the stars in the sky. Listen to sounds of waves crashing or find someplace to watch the sunset.
Living on Vancouver Island, I am super lucky to have multiple places to see a stunning sunset. One of my favourite photographers is PJ’s Island Photography. His photos capture the essence and beauty of Vancouver Island. Check him out on Instagram:
I’d love to hear about your tropical staycation. Please feel free to share in the comments below!
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.