All things considered, things seem to be OK in the first quarter of 2021. The number of Covid cases are more or less stable, with the majority of reported cases being imported ones. Vaccinations are being rolled out at a reasonable pace. Let’s just say it could be worse.
But with the majority of workers still working from home, the seemingly unyielding travel restrictions, and social distancing guidelines still in effect, many people – including myself – are still feeling the persistent low-grade anxiety that’s characterised most of our lives since last year.
It’s no wonder that at least in Singapore, staycations are more popular than ever. During the recent March school holidays, staycation bookings shot up, with InterContinental Singapore reporting its occupancy rates doubling compared to numbers from last year.
Other hotels contacted by media reported the same increase in the number of bookings.
If you’re planning to book a staycation, what are some of the things you might do? We have a few suggestions – five, in fact.
This has got to be the top one for me, and it feels like a luxury because I get to temporarily escape Charlie waking me up at 630am every day, asking to be fed with his piteous meows. Sleeping in also lets your body rest and recover over a longer time – though, some research shows “binge sleeping” does little to repay your sleep debt if you are a chronic nightowl.
That said, there’s no denying it feels good to not have to wake up with an alarm looming over your subconscious mind. Giving yourself the space and time to sleep and wake naturally is one of the best feelings in the world – and on the top of my “to-do” list for any staycation.
Order room service.
This may be a controversial one because as we all know, room service is notoriously over-priced, just like those drinks in the mini-bar. But it’s something I always do with my mom when we have a staycation because to my mom – who is usually pretty thrifty – it just feels like the most decadent thing ever. It’s one of those things that makes a vacation feel like a vacation. Not to mention, great for the ‘gram.
Be a tourist in your own town.
Singapore may be a small city but there is still tons to explore and things to do – if you make the effort. What I enjoy about being a tourist in my own backyard is that I get to discover new things to love about the city. Some of the places I love to visit are the Singapore Zoo, the Art Science Museum, and especially the National Gallery.
Sometimes, I like to take the bus or MRT into different neighbourhoods to explore their malls or try out their famous hawker dishes. Hawker food is a great way to get to know our culture and learn more about our multi-ethnic communities. These are usually things I do when showing visitors around, but these experiences can just be delightful enjoyed with friends and family.
Get dressed up for a fabulous night out.
Despite social distancing guidelines and earlier curfews, there are still lots of exciting bars and restaurants to enjoy a great night out in Singapore. And there’s no better excuse than being on vacation to finally try that new restaurant you’ve been hearing about all year.
For me, it’s also an occasion to spiff up. As a yoga teacher I’m always in athleisure wear and it feels nice to dress up for myself or the people I’m with sometimes. If you’re like me and always dressing for comfort, try it and who knows – you might like what you see in the mirror.
Soak in the bathtub for as long as you like.
For some people, this will feel like the ultimate self-pampering move – slowly wilting in a hot bubble bath as you let your troubles melt away… A hot soak can do wonders for your mind and body, as it soothes the muscles, gently coaxing you into a state of relaxation.
If you already have a bathtub at home and use it regularly, this may not feel like anything different. One way you could amp up the experience is to bring some quality essential oils, or a bath bomb. The ones from Lush are really fun.