How to Have A Successful Staycation

Read to learn. Read to discover. Read to enjoy. Read to feel.

Carmella Jimenez, Copy Editor

A summer, even a summer at home, should never be a bummer. Before whipping out an Xbox and receding into hhe house for hibernation, at least consider the opportunity to truly cherish time at home. A lack of travel does not equal a lack of adventure or excitement. Whether days are spent getting lost in the pages of “Lord of the Rings” or biking down Old Cutler Trail, staycations can be more than successful; they can be unforgettable.


Read something enjoyable

A comic book, a newspaper, a self-help manual, a semi-decent fan-fiction or something intellectually stimulating can all surprise even the most passionate loather of the written word. “I don’t like reading” no longer works as an excuse when your eyes drink in something that changes you. What better season acts as a means to indulge in the series you have eyed since middle school or maybe your aunt’s knitting catalogue? Two and half months feel like two and a half days to the mind filling itself with with life-changing bits of knowledge or epic tales.



Organizations like The Friendship Circle offer countless opportunities for teens sitting at home during the summer to benefit others. Feed the homeless on a Sunday. Showcase a furry friend in front of Petsmart with hopes of their adoption. Religious settings like churches and temples allow for teens to use their talents in caring for children, playing an instrument or even having a warm smile to propel outreach activities, weekly small groups or normal services. A place always exists where your passion for women’s rights, heart for the poor or burning spiritual zeal is necessary to power something more important than yourself or the college application recording these hours.


Stay fit

Interested in burning extra calories? Try going outside for high-intensity physical exertion during the most sweltering time of the year. Unless you get heat stroke or die in the process, the gain will always outweigh the agony, sweat and toil.  The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control reported in 2012 that one third of children and teens were overweight or obese. Numerous health organizations support that everyone should exercise, even the person with a rocketship-fast metabolism and naturally zero body fat. Habits become more difficult to start once the school year sweeps most students into a hurry of busyness. For those who normally remain inactive, making the time for the jog alongside the sunset, the sets of crunches in their bedroom, joining that club softball team, the 30 minutes using a workout app or the morning trips to the gym’s spinning classes make all the difference in the long run.


Summer Cleaning

Cleaning reaps obvious benefits, such as not stepping into a pool of mold when showering. Feel free to release your anger by passionately scrubbing grime off the floors. Digging through the second mattress of clothing on your bed or dusting the window sills left untouched for months while listening to an acoustic playlist can function as a stress reliever and an easy way to boost your confidence. Who would not feel good about themselves when they know they can find everything in their room or eat off the kitchen counters? These activities usually gain the respect of whoever normally does the cleaning, such as a parent, and if so, are a surefire way to earn brownie points. While those with a maid or housekeeper could easily miss out on the character development that comes with cleaning up after yourself, those staying home get to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they made those lemon-fresh floors immaculate.


Build lasting relationships

People usually enjoy vacations because alongside the chance to relax, they spend time with those they love. Naturally, staycations function in the same manner. Laugh with the cousin living thousands of miles away over FaceTime; play legos with your little brother; listen to the decades-old stories of your neighbors with conversational needs; schedule lunch at Panera to share secrets with a friend; go roller-skating with the gang. Other people help craft the best memories. Yes, binge-watching “House of Cards” and eating moose tracks ice cream from the carton alone for the entire summer gloriously satisfies like few other pleasures; yet, even fewer pleasures can replace lasting relationships. And you can always spend time watching a movie marathon or lollygagging in other innovative ways with others. Lazy or productive, be not alone.


Appreciate Miami

Just before SW 114th Street meets 83rd Court,  the trees lean together in tight closeness on a one-lane road, shading cars passing underway and emanating the aura of a northeastern temperate forest. The leaves pile three feet high on the sides of the narrow passage leading to a cul-de-sac. For the passerby who chooses to look up around midday, sunlight seeps through the full canopy in golden streams. Discover little wonders like this one in South Florida and savor the city so many graduates will leave behind for schools miles away. Large landmarks like Matheson Hammock and The Everglades are always worth an afternoon, but even a small moment spent having a picnic in the backyard eyeing a banana spider can create a mental snapshot to last a lifetime.