We all love vacations, a chance to finally relax after a long year of projects, work schedules and family commitments. But who says you have to spend thousands of dollars going to a fancy resort?

Taking advantage of staying home can be a breath of fresh air — with no pressures of deadlines. And wherever you live, enjoying the day-to-day things you miss all of the time can really help you catch up on what everything around you has to offer.

With all that being said, there are many ways to treat yourself on day trips or even in your own backyard.

Picnics: Don’t just use anything to eat off of — fine dining can happen anywhere and make you feel special, so things like colourful linens, beautiful dishes, and, yes, even a bit of music, but make it something you don’t normally listen to.

Antique shopping: Make a journal of your summer travels, places you visit and people you meet, and don’t forget to bring a camera.

Spa day: Bring out great bath towels with colour to make you feel special. And why not just have your own special set?

Live concert: Bring a cosy blanket, bright and inviting.

Head to the lake: Beach towels, picnic baskets or thermal baskets for drinks. There is so much out there to choose from for colour and size.

Movie night on the deck: This could take some doing but once hooked up, invite a few friends over for popcorn night around the fire pit.

And have a game night at the same time for the children, with prizes. Something unimaginable that they would never do for themselves

As you can see, some of the simple pleasures in life are at our doorstep, but it’s what you add to the ideas that makes it special. Make it visually appealing in whatever you do and I can bet your gatherings and ideas will be memorable.