Bring the beach to your backyard.

Is it just me, or could we all really use a vacation?

Unwinding is tricky without the ability to travel. But, being homebound doesn’t mean summer 2020 is cancelled.

Enter: the staycation.

Garfield the cat relaxes in a fenced yard while wearing a straw hat and drinking lemonade.

A staycation is just like a vacation. The only difference is, instead of hopping on a plane, you hop on board with all the excitement your city has to offer. Seriously—your hometown is more exciting than you think.

When planning your staycation, make sure you follow your region’s physical distancing guidelines. While many provinces have begun reopening, COVID-19 is still a prominent public health concern. It is possible to have fun and be safe—you just have to get creative.

Speaking of which, here’s how you can bring the joys of vacation back home:

Get staycation ready

Actress Vivica Fox wears a black dress and holds a piece of paper in her left hand. She crosses her arms and exclaims, "Let's do this!"

You don’t need to pack a suitcase, but you should still get in a getaway mindset. You could put together a checklist of your staycation plans, treat yourself to a colourful new bathing suit, or even have a backyard photoshoot to get in the summer spirit.

Remember: the world is your oyster! And, by “world,” I mean whatever area you live in.

Shut out the noise

A woman with dark, straight hair holds her right hand in a phone shape by forming a fist and sticking out her thumb and pinky finger. She then pretends to hang up the phone while mouthing the words, "hang up."

It’s easy to continue checking work emails when you aren’t actually going anywhere. But, your staycation is your time to relax—and that means putting the to-do list on pause.

Block out a specific period of time for your staycation. It could be a week, a weekend, or even a day. No matter how long it is, use that time for you.

Your responsibilities will be there when you get back.

Pick some safe activities

Abby Lee Miller from Lifetime's "Dance Moms" wears a black shirt and points her finger while shouting, "We're all gonna have fun."

Some recreational activities have reopened in Ontario, which means your staycation can extend beyond your bedroom.

Take a towel and sunbathe at a nearby beach. Pack some popcorn and indulge at a drive-in theatre. Dust off your driver and spend a day at a golf course.

However, look up the safety restrictions each facility has in place before you go and follow them closely.

Wine and dine yourself

Actress Taraji P. Henson sits on a sofa holding a plate of cake. She takes a bite and licks her fingers.

A long day of leisure can leave you pretty hungry. Luckily, the GTA is home to thousands of fantastic eateries that’ll cut your cravings with ease.

Dine-in capacity is limited to patios at most establishments—but, you can always trust takeout! Or, to be even safer, channel your inner Tabitha Brown and try a fancy recipe at home.

After you get your grub, make sure you eat it somewhere that gives off vacation vibes. As Brown herself would say, “Because that’s your business.”

Find somewhere new

A bald man wearing black pants, a black shirt, and white shoes spins around with his arms extended in an empty green field.

A change of scenery, no matter how small, can really make a difference.

Try taking a walk through a new part of town or exploring one of the many hiking trails the GTA has to offer. You’d be surprised at how much you can discover within your postal code.

James "Sawyer" Ford from ABC's "Lost" takes off his glasses as his mouth hangs open in awe.

There you have it! You’re well on your way to experiencing the trip of a lifetime right at home.

All you need to do now is relax, enjoy, and wash your hands.

Set up the perfect staycation soundtrack with IGNITE’s ultimate summer 2020 playlist.

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