Your Guide to Planning the Ultimate Staycation

Summer is the time where everybody travels to some far-off location for two weeks right? Wrong. Many American adults won’t take off ANY vacation time this summer. Even if you can’t afford to travel to another state or country or can’t take time off of work for more than a few days, it’s important that you take a small vacation. If for different reasons you can’t spend a week or two away from home, you can still have some downtime with a budget friendly staycation. A staycation is a vacation that is spent at your home and involves mini day trips to local attractions. Same as with a full-blown vacation, a staycation gives you a break from your typical everyday life: no chores, no long to-do list, no work, and hopefully no stress. While you are preparing for your staycation make sure to come up with some rules, this way it feels as much like a getaway as possible (for example: don’t check emails, don’t clean…). Here are some tips on how to prepare for your staycation, fun ideas of things to do, plus the benefits!



Preparing for Your Staycation

The first thing you are going to need to do is decide when your home holiday is going to start and end. Next you need to decide what part of a vacation you need the most. Do you need to desperately catch up with family and friends you haven’t hung out with in months? Do you need peace, rest, and relaxation? Do you want to have fun time with friends or family? Do you want to feel a sense of freedom and adventure? Keep this in mind when you start planning things to do (or not do) that way you can get as much out of your staycation as possible.


• If you decide that you need a staycation where you disconnect from the world you may want to let your family, friends, and coworkers know what is up that way they don’t get worried if they don’t hear from you for a while. Prepare and plan ahead of time like you would for a vacation far from home. Grocery shop, do the laundry, clean the house, buy essentials. You wouldn’t be cleaning your house and grocery shopping if you were a thousand miles away from home on vacation, so don’t do it while you are on your staycation.
• It depends what kind of staycation you want to have of course but try to limit your electronics time when you’re planning your days. You can have a movie or game marathon day, but don’t play tons of games and check Facebook and Instagram fifty times every day when you could be doing something fun. If you use your tablet to read books, you might want to download them ahead of time and then put it in airplane mode, so you don’t find yourself mindlessly browsing the internet. Technology is such a large part of our daily lives that a lot of times we forget how draining it can be, until we stay off of it for a day or two.
• When you’re planning your meals or eating out itinerary, make room to try something new. Is there a recipe you’ve been wanting to try? Is there a local or nearby restaurant that you haven’t tried or is too expensive to visit regularly? Now is the perfect time to try something different. What is a vacation without a random, new experience?



Give your home a luxury hotel atmosphere

Even though you aren’t traveling off to some tropical paradise island, you can still give your home a relaxing resort feel.

  • Change your linens (put on a different set than you usually use).
  • Layout your fluffy robe in the bathroom or on the bed.
  • Fill a basket with mini toiletries and your favorite products and put it near the sink.
  • Buy a few bouquets of fresh flowers and set them throughout your home.
  • Buy some new, interesting magazines and put them on your coffee table.
  • Turn off ringers and clock alarms
  • Make your own breakfast and coffee station. You can make this as simple or as fancy as you want. Have cereal, bagels, fresh fruit, coffee (of course!), fruit juices…
  • Turn your balcony, porch, or garden into a nice outdoor oasis. String up lights around your porch or umbrella. Hang a hammock or set up a lounge chair. If you want to, buy a simple canopy and mosquito net to set up around your chair, these are great to keep out a lot of flying bugs. I know I can’t relax if there are bugs flying around me.


Staycation Things To Do
  1. Create different vacation playlists on Spotify (or any other music platform you use). Create lists such as summer soundtrack, pool party, relaxation, etc.
  2. Have a relaxing spa day at home.
  3. Visit the zoo.
  4. Camp out in your backyard.
  5. Have a picnic. You can make your own meal to pack up, or pick up some food to go, on your way to your picnic destination. If you don’t want to go to a park, you can always set your picnic up in your yard or living room.
  6. Go fishing.
  7. Go out somewhere cute for ice-cream or buy/make your own popsicles ahead of time.
  8. Wear flip-flops and sunglasses, even if you’re not going anywhere.
  9. Create a list of movies you want to watch ahead of time, and then watch them all in a row.
  10. Catch up on your favorite TV show (or shows!).
  11. Read a book (or ten!). Don’t just read in your bed, read on your porch or backyard, or go to a coffee shop.
  12. Try out a restaurant that you haven’t been to before.
  13. Be a tourist for a day or two. Try to gather up all the brochures you can find for your town (or a nearby town that you would like to visit). If you can’t find helpful brochures, try googling the town you want to explore and search on Instagram as well. If you want to read more about using Instagram to plan a vacation, check out my article Planning a Vacation with Instagram. Pick a few of the places mentioned in the brochures (or websites) to visit. You might find new places where you’ve never been before. If you’re having a hard time finding ideas of places to go, imagine you have a friend who is going to be visiting your city for the first time. Where would you tell them to visit? What would you take them to see, if you were giving them a tour? Start the day early, go to a coffee shop and get breakfast. Visit a museum or gallery or go to the zoo. Make sure you take along your camera or have tons of room for photos on your phone.
  14. Take a ton of fun pictures, just like you would if you were vacationing in Paris or the Bahamas.
  15. Avoid looking at social media, the news, and your emails.
  16. Go to the movies.
  17. Go without your phone. Leave your phone tucked away in a drawer at home somewhere.


Some of the major benefits of a staycation
  • You don’t waste a travel day (or two!) on the front and end of your vacation this can leave more time for relaxing.
  • You don’t have to travel far. No matter who you are, traveling is physically draining to some extent.
  • You don’t have to spend your entire vacation with strangers in hotels, on beaches, or on flights.
  • If the weather is bad it doesn’t matter as much. Switch your “to do” list around and save the outdoors activities for tomorrow when it won’t be raining or super windy.
  • You’re pretty much in control of your vacation. You don’t have to worry about excessive weather, or your flight being cancelled.

I hope these ideas inspire you to take some time off to just enjoy life. Just because you don’t have the time or funds to make it to an exotic location doesn’t mean your vacation time can’t be super fun!