Vacations are important to me. They’re a metric of success for the business, a requirement for my happiness, a step toward refreshment.

But this year I am thinking of taking a week off at home. It’ll be frugal, which is one of the things I wanted for myself this year, and it’ll fit in with the family’s priorities. My husband finally has a full-time job again and he won’t have vacation time for a year. I often travel with the kids, but that hasn’t come up this year.

So I am going to have my own little private local vacation in a couple of weeks.

I started by thinking about what I like when I travel. Certainly, I like seeing new things and learning new things. So I’m taking a train excursion on Wednesday of that week, riding a 1920’s restored train to historic downtown Van Buren. We have three hours there, which I plan to wile away visiting a bookstore, a museum, and someplace for lunch. There don’t seem to be any yarn shops there, so I will not have the chance to collect my favorite type of souvenir. But I am looking forward to this new experience.

I also like to get outside, so I have a couple of hikes planned. I’m not sure which days, because I am also going to go with #1 daughter and the Baby to Alchemy for tea and macarons. We can also walk around the square, enjoy the gardens, and visit boutiques.

On the other days, I’m planning some walks.

Another thing I like is the chance to spend long spells of time doing things I enjoy, like sewing, knitting, and reading. I intend to do those things every afternoon, unless the trip to Van Buren is too long for that to be practical.

I like special meals on vacation, so I plan to eat pizza on Friday and to go out to tea a few days. I’ll get plenty of fresh fruit in and pastry if possible, but I want to make sure I don’t just overeat. Traveling usually means a loss of a couple of pounds for me; I don’t want to end up gaining.

I like staying in hotels. I like having someone come in and clean up and make my bed for me. I like being alone and pretty sure than nobody will call me or stop by. I usually don’t get to ignore my phone and email while I’m on vacation, but I like the illusion of freedom.

I plan to clean my house, forward my email, and try very hard not to work. That illusion of freedom is worth a lot.

There’s still quite a bit of planning to be done, but I think it will be a good staycation.