Many people are looking for ways to save money on travel. A staycation, or stay-at-home vacation, is a more economical alternative to taking a long trip. Here are 10 fun and adventurous staycation ideas that you can do wherever you live.
While it can be exciting to take a vacation to a dream destination, it can also be stressful and costly. A staycation, or vacation where you stay close to home, is a cheaper alternative than can be just as much fun. The following are some ideas to help you enjoy your vacation time without booking any flights or spending many hours on the road.
Why a Staycation?
There are more reasons than ever to consider enjoying your vacation from home.
• Less stressful than a traditional vacation. During the best of times, dealing with long drives or flights can be a hassle.
• More economical. Save money on gas, plane tickets, hotel or Airbnbs, etc.
• A chance to explore your area. Many people are only familiar with a fraction of what their city or region has to offer. A staycation gives you the chance to learn about new places and hidden secrets of your city or region.
• You have more time to enjoy. When you travel, lots of time is spent planning, packing, and getting back and forth. With a staycation, there’s hardly any preparation so you have more time to enjoy the activities you’ve planned.
The following are 10 ways to spend your staycation.
1. Go Camping
Camping is a traditional family activity that’s gaining new appreciation as people seek fun and economical getaways. Research campsites in your area. Camping may also be permitted on state or federal land, though you have to check local restrictions. You can even camp out in your backyard. Of course, if you have an RV or camper, you can use that for sleeping.
• Use a sturdy, comfortable tent. Your tent should be solid enough to keep out moisture and wind. Use sleeping bags or mats for added comfort.
• Have a cooking source on hand. A charcoal grill or fire pit lets you cook hot dogs, marshmallows, and other favorites.
• Don’t forget essentials, such as a flashlight, bug spray, toys and games for kids, and a cooler for snacks.
2. Take an Exciting Day Trip
There are probably at least a few great destinations within an easy drive from your home. You could also look into bus or train excursions. Simply searching for day trips for your area will reveal some possibilities you haven’t considered.
Here are a few ideas:
• Hiking trails
• Theme/amusement parks
• Explore nearby towns/cities/neighborhoods
• Events such as concerts, sporting events, or festivals
3. Explore Creative Dining Options
Food is often an important aspect of travel. Fortunately, you can expand your culinary horizons without leaving your hometown.
Here are a few ways to do this:
• Try new restaurants in your area. Or have your food delivered from some eateries you haven’t tried yet.
• Experiment with new recipes. Look for specialty stores and farmer’s markets to find interesting and high-quality ingredients.
• Order from a meal delivery service so you don’t have to cook or drive at all.
4. Immerse Yourself in Local Culture
If you live in a city that’s a major cultural center, you have almost unlimited options for fascinating destinations. However, you can find all kinds of artistic possibilities no matter where you live.
• Museums –Don’t overlook smaller specialty museums
• Art galleries and exhibits
• Colleges –The nearest college or university is likely to have lectures, art exhibits, or performances that are open to the public
• Enjoy the local music scene. Events are often posted in free weekly arts publications
5. Get Physical
There are numerous ways to stay active close to home, especially in warmer weather:
• Take an exercise class or join a fitness center
• Join your local swimming pool or recreation center that has a pool
• Join a club that offers tennis, golf, or other sports
• Check local MeetUps to find activities you can enjoy with other enthusiasts. For example, there are hiking clubs that offer weekly excursions.
Volunteering is a great way to get involved with your community and make a difference. Choose an issue that you’re passionate about, whether it’s helping the homeless, working with animals, being a literacy volunteer, the environment, or something else that’s vital in your area. Volunteering can be a family effort.
7. Fill Up Your Social Calendar
You are probably not the only one in your circle of acquaintances who are planning a staycation. Why not schedule some get-togethers with friends and family members? There are all kinds of possibilities, such as dinner parties, barbecues, movie nights (either at home or going to a theater), backyard games, play dates for kids, a trip to a miniature golf range, or whatever you like to do together.
8. Pamper Yourself
If you were staying at a high-end hotel or resort, you’d have access to all kinds of amenities such as spa treatments and massages. You can access such luxuries in your own area without the cost or hassle of traveling to an exotic destination. Arrange a session at your favorite spa or book a massage or bodywork session. If you don’t typically indulge in such services, do some research and find out what is available. Ask your friends for recommendations. You might try something a bit more adventurous, such as flotation therapy, which can be very relaxing.
9. Set Up a Backyard Movie Theater
Even in the age of streaming, there’s nothing that quite matches the experience of watching movies on a large screen with a projector. With today’s technology, you can enjoy the best of both worlds, watching your favorite streaming services on a projector. You will need the right hardware, such as an HDMI connector. Set up your own backyard (or indoor) theater, complete with lawn chairs, blankets, and refreshments. Invite your friends and neighbors, or just watch with your family.
10. Get Away For a Weekend
A staycation doesn’t have to mean literally staying home. It can also include going away, as long as you don’t travel too far. It can be a refreshing change of pace to stay at a hotel, Airbnb, or resort in your own city or a neighboring one for a weekend (or whatever suits your schedule and budget).
Plan Your Ideal Staycation
There are no strict rules for planning a staycation. However, it works best if you do some planning. You could cram together many activities during a week or spread them out over the summer. The main requirement is to open yourself up to the many opportunities for fun, learning, and socializing right in your own area. Although summertime often presents the most opportunities, you can find lots to do throughout the year.
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Some fun ideas. I always love a fun getaway. We always plan a getaway the moment it gets more boring
Pampering sounds like a great one, of course! I also like trying out new restaurants, so that would also be a great option for me.
I think a staycation is as fun as any vacay! It’s exciting to get the kids hopped up about one.
We like to volunteer. Takes our mind off of ourselves (I want this/I need this) and puts those kinds of thoughts into perspective. And it makes us valuable to add value to others.
This year I am staying home so I need some interesting staycation ideas. Your list is awesome. We went camping some days ago!
We love to be spontaneous and take day trips! Thanks for sharing these! We will have to try them out!
I find day trips can work well. There are so many things you can do too. They can be great fun and it’s nice to be in your own bed at the end of the day.
We love a good staycation! Honestly when all I want to do is relax thats perfect!
These are really a great tips! I love all these ideas! Thanks!
Setting up my little movie theatre next to Mummy’s window doesn’t sound like a bad idea, if you ask me. I will give it a try, one day.
These are all great ideas! My family absolutely loves taking day trips. I’ve never set up a back yard movie theater, but that sounds fun as well.
My family loves staycations. I’ve long been planning to take my family camping. I hope we get to do that soon.
I love exciting day trips, going to a local location I’m not familiar with and just letting myself loose and exploring can be really fun!
These are wonderful ideas that i need to explore in my backyard as well.
Great ideas, this would be perfect for people who can’t afford to spend a lot of money. Thank you for sharing!
Weekend getaways with the family is the best! Sometimes you really need to take a break and relax 🙂
I want to take my son camping soon. I’ve got to save the money for a tent and some other gear first though.
I love it – explore creative dining experience. I have tried it twice dining out with my family inside my car. Its an innovative idea of a restaurant because of the pandemic.
These are all really great and amazing ideas! I also wanted to do a staycation with my family! Thanks for sharing this with us!
My whole family would definitely love to go for a camping! I’m sure my kids would enjoy it so much
It is good to have some ideas for nearby trips. Longer trips can be so expensive and time consuming. I will have to start planning something for the fall.
Our favorite things are getting together with friends, hitting the community pool, or going camping. We don’t do fancy cuisine/restaurants because all my kids eat when we go out is chicken tenders or pizza!
I want to do this before summer ends. A movie night sounds amazing.
These are all really great ideas, I love the idea of exploring dining options.
Fun ideas. We need to do a staycation at some point. There’s lots to do in our area.
These are all such great tips. I think we often forget that there’s so much to explore right in our own backyards.