10 Staycation Ideas When You Can’t Travel

Everyone needs a break from their daily lives. The responsibilities of work and family obligations is enough to stress anyone out. But what do you do when you can’t go on vacation? I have your answer.

Stay·ca·tion: A staycation is a vacation where an individual or family participates in leisure activities within driving distance of their homes without the need for overnight accommodations.

No need to go on a long vacation to escape your daily routine, treat yourself and unwind. With these 10 staycation ideas, you’ll be able to relax and feel like your miles away from home.

10 Staycation Ideas
Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ

With the warm weather months upon us and quarantine restrictions lifting in some states, it’s only natural to want to get out of the house after months of being quarantined.

But where do you go? International travel isn’t an option for many right now, while domestic travel to most states may require a quarantine on your return. So safest bet? Stay local.

Staycations and smaller local trips helped satisfy my wanderlust after I returned home from a 6 month backpacking trip. Now that traveling has slowed down due to the pandemic, I’m able to use these creative staycation ideas again to get me through this time as well.


3 Golden Rules for a Successful Staycation

First let’s go over the rules for a successful staycation because we’re not talking about just sitting on the couch and watching Netflix. We’re talking about quality time away from work and responsibilities to recharge your mind, body and soul.

  • Plan your staycation (a bit) – A staycation doesn’t mean staying home and seeing what pops up. So a little planning can go a long way. Contact local tourism boards to see what events are taking place. Think about what kind of staycation you want to have. Luxury? Adventure? Whatever it is, remember you are here to create memories and sitting on the couch is not a memorable staycation.
  • Say Yes! – Even though you’re home, it doesn’t mean you can’t have new experiences! Get out of your comfort zone, explore a new place, eat new foods. Don’t be shy. Just like a regular vacation, a staycation is an opportunity to have new experiences.
  • Unplug – This goes to all you worker bees and social media addicts out there…UNPLUG. Put away the laptops. Turn your phones on to Airplane Mode if you can’t ignore notifications (you’ll still be able to take photos of your awesome staycation). No e-mails. No social media debates. Unless it’s an absolute emergency pretend you’re on the other side of the world in a remote location.

10 Staycation Ideas

  1. Be a Tourist – Treat your city like you would any other city you visit. Go on the local tourism site and research what events are happening. See what everyone else is doing by searching your city’s geotag on social media. See if there are any tours happening in your local area. Maybe you’ll learn something new!
  2. Explore – Explore a new part of town or a neighboring town/city. Have coffee at a new cafe or eat lunch at a new restaurant. Change your surroundings.
  3. Treat Yo’self – Take the day to pamper yourself. Think facials, manicures, pedicures, massages…couple massage maybe? There are all types of options when it comes to a spa day. And if that’s out of your budget, treat yo’self at home. Open your favorite bottle of wine, draw a bath and listen to your favorite album.
  4. Host a Themed Dinner Party – This fun option can transport you back to your favorite meal from your travels! Invite some friends over and share that experience! Better yet ask them to bring their favorite dish from their travels and swap stories.
  5. Take a Class – Learn how to cook a meal from your favorite countries, improve your travel photos or even move your hips to foreign beats. Update: If you can’t find a live class there are plenty of online classes to choose from.
  6. Host Movie Night – Watch your favorite travel movies. Invite some guests over and tell them to bring theirs! To add to the event make your favorite snacks – Spanish tapas anyone?
  7. Go see a Show – Support local artists by seeing a play, musical or comedian at your local theater. Pair with a dinner at a new restaurant and you can have a fun night out! Some venues are offering drive-in movies or outdoor shows; check your local tourism website for details.
  8. Take a Day Trip – It’s the perfect time for a road trip! Get in the car and drive to a park for a picnic or visit a new art/museum exhibit. Visit a nearby city and explore their downtown area. Or if you prefer a slower and more adventurous way of travel, hop on a train and take it as far as possible.
  9. Go on a Camping Trip (in your backyard) – Have a camping trip in your backyard. Pitch a tent, start a fire, have a few beers, make some s’mores and even sleep under the stars. For many, being outside in nature is relaxing. If you don’t have a backyard, go to a local park.
  10. Plan a Future Trip – Maybe you can’t travel any time soon but planning a future trip will help satisfy your wanderlust. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Where would you stay? Start doing some research now, that way when the times comes to go, all you have to do is book the flight!

Remember, just because it’s a staycation doesn’t mean you don’t have to plan it. Do some research. Do something new. Get out of your comfort zone. And for goodness sake, cut the cord, put down your phone and enjoy the moment!

How do you staycation? Let me know in the comments below!

If you’re looking to plan your next vacation but don’t know where to start, read my blog post How to Easily Plan Your Next Vacation.

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