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When you hear “spring,” one of the first words that comes to mind is “vacation” (along with “cleaning” and “allergies”). After months of winter, many would love to get out of the house and take it easy.
Not everyone is able to travel for vacation, however. Maybe your flight was canceled because of a storm. Maybe you’re still nervous about getting on airplanes because of the coronavirus. Maybe packing a bag and going to the tropics just isn’t in your budget right now.
Whatever the reason, you’re home for the spring, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some well-earned R&R. We’ve compiled a list of products that would be great for your spring break staycation, whether you want to stay in bed or breathe in the fresh air.
1. Cook up something delicious on the grill
Beyond the chirping of birds and the bloom of flowers, you’ll know spring has arrived when you can smell barbecue in the air. What better way to celebrate the warmth than cooking outside? Whether you’re cooking a row of burgers or a head of corn, a grill will give your food a nice, smoky flavor that you can’t quite get in your kitchen.
We tested many different grills and we’re recommending Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill for a few reasons. We went with a charcoal grill instead of gas because they're less expensive and give food a distinct, smoky profile. The Weber’s small size makes it easy to move and gives you options — you can cook in your backyard, at your friend’s place, or at the park. The Weber’s cooking surface is also large enough to rival that of full-sized grills.
2. Turn up the volume with a Bluetooth speaker
One advantage of a staycation over a vacation where you travel is being able to see your friends. Since you’re grilling anyway, why not invite a few people over and have a party? And what’s a party without some music?
Bluetooth speakers are a convenient way to amplify whatever music suits your fancy and you’ll be sure to be in a festive mood for your vacation. We’ve tested several Bluetooth speakers that are both portable and affordable. While they aren’t as loud as high-end offerings, these affordable speakers are great for small gatherings even better if you want to bob your head solo.
3. Snuggle up under a weighted blanket
The beauty of a staycation is that you’re never far from the comforts of your home. In fact, you don’t have to step outside at all — you might hunker down and take it easy in your house wearing your pajamas. If that’s the case, we recommend you treat yourself with a weighted blanket.
The added weight makes for a more relaxing experience than you’ll get with a normal blanket, whether you’re going to sleep or you’re draping it over yourself as you sit on the couch. Our top pick is the Gravity Blanket for its ease of cleaning and overall quality. No matter which weighted blanket you choose, you’re sure to have a relaxing experience like no other.
4. Catch up on shows and movies
Thanks to streaming services, you can still travel to far-flung locales from the comfort of your home. There are many streaming devices to choose from, but after testing many options on the market, we’ve found that there’s no better choice than the Roku Ultra.
The Roku Ultra sports nearly every streaming service, so you won’t be lacking shows to watch. It supports wired connections meaning that there’s less chance your favorite scenes will be interrupted with annoying buffering. The Ultra also supports 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision so you can watch your shows in style. The cherry on top is that you’ll have the best remote streaming devices have to offer, with a headphone jack for convenience.
If you find the price a sticking point, then the Roku Express might be more up your alley, retaining all of the streaming support but losing some of the bells and whistles of the Ultra.
5. Find a good book to read with an e-reader
With the extra time on your hands from your vacation, you could take the opportunity to catch up on books. With an e-reader, it’s as easy as finding a book that looks interesting and downloading it instantly.
We’ve tested several different e-readers and we’ve found that it’s hard to go wrong with any of them, it all comes down to your preferences—the two premiere lines being Kobo and Kindle. Go with Kobo if you’re looking for free reading options and go with Kindle if you enjoy the Amazon content ecosystem.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.