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Staycation - How to create a tropical resort in your own home

They say home is a state of mind. But what about a vacation? When winter blues set in and circumstances or finances prohibit us from escaping to a beautiful tropical island, why not combine home and vacation and make your abode - or at least part of it - like a tropical island, even just temporarily? Enter the word "staycation." Implicit in the word vacation is freedom, so loosen up your mind and your soul and take a shot at it. Here are some fun suggestions to get away without going anywhere and many of them are relatively inexpensive:

1. Purchase some inexpensive potted palm trees (or some inflatable ones) to decorate a room in your home. Then illuminate them. String a simple set of lights (similar to what you might use in a college dorm) through the area you've designated.

2. Fountains and the sound of running water can connote the rhythm of a heartbeat. Pick up one or two of the many varieties of these mini water features that are available in all types of stores, price-ranges and sizes. The sound and the look of the rocks that often accompany these will add a carefree and tranquil feeling.

3. Music. You've got to have music. My suggestion would be anything Bob Marley. But for more of a spa feeling, here's a great YouTube spa playlist.

4. Tropical beverages. Check out some of these awesome beverage ideas from Pinterest.

5. Use bright, island-like colors wherever and however possible. Bright purples, vivid pinks and sunny yellows assure a greater likelihood for fun and happiness than dark, dull colors.

6. Display photographs. When a subject or landscape is colorful and gorgeous, a photographer's job is that much easier, which is why there's an abundance of photography with a tropical feel. Photos of flowers and festivities, as well as deep, blue oceans will enhance your surroundings significantly.

7. If your budget is more robust for this fun endeavor, purchase some wicker or bamboo and try to find some tropical indoor plants from a local flower exchange or nursery.

8. Watching movies that are set in tropical locales can sometimes make you feel as if you're there. Here are five comedies set in Hawaii to get you started.

9. Most importantly, though, is food. Here are some tropical food recipes from allrecipes.com that you and yours are sure to enjoy.

10. That's it. Now it's time to pull out those lounge chairs (the couch works too) and kick your feet up!

Remember, when you can't get to the islands, bring the islands to you along with the carefree, relaxed and fun vibes they bring! Have you ever vacationed in your home? Got any creative ideas to share?

About the author: Shana is a friend of House Party. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and concerts. Her party tip: Dessert, specifically chocolate.

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