My husband and I recently spent a wonderful weekend at a luxury retreat, which we thoroughly enjoyed. However, throughout our stay we were struck by how many of the treats we were relishing were ones that we either already had at home, or could easily achieve at home. "We should do this every weekend!", we exclaimed.
The cost of a weekend in a high-end hotel could go a long way towards kitting you out with some really flash bedding, towels and luxury toiletries. Or you could add them to your Christmas or birthday wish list.
There are plenty of fabulous scented candles available; if you want the effect of lots of candles, I find the Ikea scented tea lights much better than most. If you don't have a bath, you can still enjoy long showers or foot baths, or relax with massages, facials and pedicures. Stock up on your favourite music, books and movies and settle in for hours of enjoyment.
Beautiful vintage crockery and glasses can be snapped up for a bargain on sites like ebay. If you fancy, you could raise the tone by dressing up in formal attire for dinner. Drinks are simple to take care of, and the food can be easy if you are a bit clever about it. Find some really delicious pre-prepared options, order home-delivery or choose recipes that can be largely prepared ahead of time and thrown together in minutes (this recipe for salmon with salsa verde would be ideal). Round the meals out with lots of your favourite treats and you are all set!
Of course, the most important luxury of a weekend retreat doesn't cost a cent: giving yourself permission to relax and do whatever you like.
Think about what you can do to help yourself switch off; do you need to clean the house beforehand, send the kids to their grandparents, cover the computer, switch off the phone and internet, hide your in-tray in a cupboard? Those are the things that can really make it feel like a holiday.