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A luxury hotel experience is all about pampering yourself. From soft, comfortable bedding that will leave you happily lounging the day away in bed, to delicious room service or even a relaxing spa treatment or two, a five star hotel stay should be a decadent exercise in self-indulgence. Perhaps part of the fun is leaving your home and trusting yourself to experts to pamper you. But when a tight budget is holding you back, why not recreate the luxury hotel experience at home? While it won’t be free, you will be able to experience the highlights of a luxury hotel experience for a fraction of the cost and some of these ideas will keep you happy for months to come.

High thread count sheets

One of the best things about a night in a luxury hotel is the amazingly comfortable bed. While getting a mattress comparable to those at high end hotels may be out of your price range (the Westin Heavenly Bed, for example, starts at almost $2,000), you can start by treating yourself to luxuriously soft and smooth high thread count sheets. These may be expensive, but they are a good investment you are unlikely to regret. Find cheaper bedsheets at discount chains like Century 21 in New York City or at factory outlets nationwide.

Downy soft pillows

Why stop at the bedsheets when you can get some new pillows as well? Like luxuriously high thread count sheets, comfortable pillows will last you a long time, and will contribute immensely to the luxury hotel staycation experience.

Decadent toiletries

Our sense of smell plays an instrumental part in bringing back memories. Using the little bottles of toiletries snagged from a previous trip to a luxury hotel will help to trigger fond memories and enhance your luxury hotel staycation. Alternatively, treat yourself to some indulgent soaps, shampoos, or even bubble bath. These products don’t have to be expensive. Simply buy something that is different from, and slightly superior to your everyday toiletries and use it exclusively for your luxury staycation. Remember, it’s all about the pampering.

Food, glorious food

The point of a luxury hotel staycation is to indulge yourself. You may have to spend your holiday at home, but that doesn’t mean you have to burden yourself with the usual chores. Instead of slaving at the stove, treat yourself to a candlelit meal at a nice restaurant. Alternatively, prepare some treats for yourself beforehand. Whether it is a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or tiramisu with extra shots of Baileys or simply strawberries dipped in chocolate sauce, make sure you have your fridge stocked with some of your favorite foods.

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Bonding On The Road: Why You Should Travel With Your Girlfriends

by Erin Weaver

Everyone knows about the importance of keeping a romantic relationship fresh. You could throw a pebble and hit eighty self-help books about healthy love, sex, and romance practices, but what about healthy relationships with your friends? Female friendships are beautiful, supportive, and deep-rooted bonds which can withstand their fair share of ups and downs, but that doesn’t mean you should expect them to take care of themselves. As a farming woman in particular, your friendships can be integral to keeping you connected and engaged in a life away from your home. So why not nurture them by taking some bonding time off the farm and out in the world with your girls?

Being on the road and away from home offers up brand new bonding opportunities for you and your bestie (or besties!). The odd phone call or coffee date can keep your friendship moving, but it won’t provide the sort of deep bonding sessions that strengthen your relationships with your girls over time. Taking a couple of days or a week away gives you real time to spend together, giving you and your friends the chance to discuss more than the standard news and gossip from your everyday lives. What’s really going on in your friend’s life? These longer periods of time together, away from your usual routines, gives you the time to really open up to one another.

And if your friendship has weakened, or you’re working through conflict? Traveling can be a hugely valuable way to heal any wounds your relationship has suffered. Obviously you don’t want to hit the road with a friend you’re currently feuding with, but friendships that are in the recovery stage can really benefit from some time away from the environment where all that conflict took place. Out on your own, you guys can make space to talk through any lingering resentment and spend quality time bonding without distractions like work, family, and third-party friends. A new setting is neutral ground where you can fall back in bestie-love with each other.

On top of all that, it’s just so fun! Traveling with friends is a completely different experience to going on holiday with your partner, your family, or solo. You’ll get the chance to hit up exciting restaurants, try new activities, and make amazing memories that will last a lifetime. How often do you get the opportunity to do that with your girls? If you are lucky enough to be able to take a trip with a friend, don’t miss out on the opportunity for all that quality girl time.

Travel can change you as an individual, but it’s also the perfect way to reconnect with your girls and strengthen those all-too-important female friendships. It’s easy to prioritize romantic partners and family when it comes to holiday time, but think twice about your chosen travel buddy next time you’re going to hit the road. Traveling with your friend might be the best thing that you do for yourself, your bestie, and the bond that you both share.


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