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So what is a staycation exactly? It’s pretty much what it sounds like. Instead of jumping on planes, trains and automobiles to go on vacation, you take your vacation at home.
The benefits for your budget are fantastic! Maybe you don’t have the funds this year to take a vacation. With a staycation, you can still have a fun and relaxing time without spending the next year trying to regain all the money you spent.
Or maybe you do have money, but you would rather make it stretch farther. Imagine how many new pairs of shoes, or massages you get for the price of one sacrificed plane ticket?
what should you do on a staycation?
If you are worried that a staycation sounds boring, don’t be. You just need to get creative, and fill your days with whatever is most fun, or relaxing to you. No matter what, you don’t have to go to work and that makes any staycation idea the ultimate!
Try these staycation ideas to make the most of your budget-friendly time off. Plus, check out some other tips to make your staycation special below the list!
staycation ideas to vacation at home
Pretend you are a tourist in your own town
We all get in a rut. We get used to where we are and think we’ve seen it all.
But the truth is, there are probably some cool museums to explore, shows to see, or dive bars you’ve never been to in your own town. Make a list of all the possible activities in your town and pick your favorites to do.
Have a Spa Staycation Day (or two)
This is one of my favorite staycation ideas! There is nothing more relaxing than a spa day. And since you aren’t spending a bunch of money on a hotel room or a flight, you can splurge at the spa.
In other words: massage, mani-pedi, facial. It’s all up for grabs with the money you’ve saved to take advantage!
If you can’t afford a spa day, then just create your own at home. A hot bubble bath and some champs can go along way to the ultimate staycation relaxation. You can even do your own at-home facials.
go camping locally
Camping is another inexpensive staycation idea. If there is a beautiful spot within driving distance of you, take a day or two to camp. It allows you to still get out of the house for your staycation, but still not spend extra dough.
If you are not a fan of spending the night in a tent (I’m not!), then just go for a hike or a canoe ride and spend some time in that beautiful spot. Nature can be therapeutic, and any staycation is about recharging from work and the stresses of life. So, the more you can get back to Mother Nature, the better.
try a local brewery or winery
if there is a local winery or brewery, build a trip to it into your staycation plan. This is an activity that can make you feel like you are out of town. Exploring local, cool and fun spots should be built into your staycation for sure.
splurge on something
Again, you have saved a lot of money by choosing a staycation, vacation at home. So maybe take a little and spend it on something you wouldn’t normally. I’m not saying go out and buy a new Maserati, but treat yourself to something.
Maybe it’s a massage, or a new outfit, or maybe you want to hire a professional cleaner for your home.
try something new
Part of the fun of a vacation is going someplace new. Trying new restaurants or tourist attractions. But a staycation can work the same way!
If you are looking for staycation ideas, this one should help guide you. Figure out what is new to you in your town, or within a day’s drive. Maybe there’s a Michelin star restaurant you haven’t tried, or a plantation museum to visit. In all likelihood, there are things to do in your own town that you haven’t tried.
So start exploring!
create your own beach day
Just because you can’t afford to go to an exotic beach somewhere, doesn’t mean you can’t still experience it!
Look for a local, or driving distance lake that could work for a beach day. Or if that isn’t an option then find a local pool. Pack food and drinks, put on that teeny weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini and grab a good book. A staycation can still have a beach or pool day. Just make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen!
Things you need for a staycation beach day:
Backpack cooler for food and drinks
Sunscreen to protect your skin
A portable lounge chair for comfortable sunbathing
A good book like Tell No One
watch Netflix and chill
Ok yeah, I know this means something else. But either way, this is a good staycation activity. Maybe you are worn out from your job and the responsibilities of your life. So just take a whole day to stay in your pajamas and bing on Netflix or whatever your favorite streaming service is. (There’s only a million of them now!) Order food in so you don’t even have to cook.
spend the day at an amusement park
This is an especially good idea for a staycation if you have kids. Figure out an amusement or water park that is within driving distance and make a day of it. Ride roller coasters and make yourself sick on funnel cakes. It will be a day to remember!
Make a weekend getaway
If your budget is somewhere in-between a week-long getaway to the Caribbean and a stay-at-home and spend nothing vacation, maybe you can opt for a weekend trip. Find a place that you can drive to and book a weekend at a nice hotel or an AirBnb.
You can still spend the rest of your staycation at home, but this way you are getting a little mini-vacation in the normal fashion. A romantic, weekend is is the right staycation for couples and maybe a resort-night for singles.
And, you may even be able to find a super cheap flight off season and travel a little further.
have your cake and eat it too
One way to make your staycation special is to make sure you indulge yourself. Break your diet for the week and eat whatever you want.
Make birthday cake every day if that’s your thing. Eat cookies for breakfast, don’t do the dishes. Just find ways to enjoy yourself outside of the normal routine of your life. If you enjoy baking, check out Half Baked Harvest for some delicious recipes.
Here are some more general ideas to make your staycation memorable.
How can you make a staycation special?
Prep your house before-hand.
Have a cluttered, messy house will not feel good or relaxing. Walking into a pristine, fresh hotel room is one aspect of vacation that makes it special. So before you start your staycation, make your house the same. Opt for a professional house cleaner if your budget allows so you don’t have to do the work yourself!
do something special to your house
To really make your staycation special, make some adjustments to your home. Add fresh-cut flowers everywhere. String up white lights indoors and out. This party guide tells how to create special lighting in your home.
Fill the house with candles. Just think of ways to make your house seem like a new place, and more hotel-like. If you have to stay home for vacation, there’s no reason you can’t make it feel like a resort!
make things easier for the week
Your staycation should be relaxing. It should still be your chance to not have as much responsibility for the week. So do whatever you can to make that happen. Don’t fall into the normal routines of cleaning, cooking and helping with homework.
Order food delivery or go out to eat every night! At the minimum have your groceries delivered. If you don’t have the funds for dinners out, try a meal prep service like Hello Fresh. Most will give you an introductory offer that is discounted.
Hire a house-cleaner. Whatever you can do to remove work and stress from your plate will go a long to way to making your staycation feel like a vacation.
Staycation ideas for singles
- Spend the day at a spa
- Take a day trip
- Visit a museum or local landmark
- Spend the night at a spa resort
- Stay in your pajamas all day watching Netflix
- Go hiking
- Try new restaurants or visit a winery
- Splurge on something
- Eat whatever you want for the week
- Try a new hobby or take a cooking class
What can families do on a staycation?
- Go to an amusement park
- Spend the day at a water park
- Go camping
- Go to a nearby lake for a beach day
- Spend the day at a pool
- Plan a picnic
- Go shopping
- Book a local AirBnb, especially one with a pool!
- Set up a sprinkler pad or water slick in the backyard
- Go canoeing on a nearby river or lake
There are plenty of ways to make a staycation special, fun and out of the ordinary!