Whether it's summer, fall, winter or spring, sometimes you just need to get away, but that's not always as easy as it sounds. Flight costs, vacation time, the price of tickets - it all adds up, and quickly!
Thankfully there are many fun things you can do right in your own backyard (literally and figuratively!) that will cost you a fraction of what a vacation would cost, while still giving you that much needed time away from the ins and outs of day-to-day life. Below are 40 fun ideas for your next staycation:
Rent an Airbnb or hotel in your city
Been eyeing that house with the pool? Think a local hotel looks pretty neat but never had a reason to stay there? Get a great change of scenery, have some fun, and feel like you're truly on a vacation when you rent a local Airbnb or a night in a hotel room!
Be a local tourist
It's so easy to overlook the things to do that make our cities and towns unique. We recommend museums, aquariums, zoos and landmarks to people coming to our city, but rarely visit them ourselves. Consider visiting all the great things that make your city unique and be a local tourist on your next staycation.
Take a brewery tour in your hometown
Craft beer is all the rage right now and chances are that you may have a local craft brewery (or four) really close where you live. Local craft breweries are often unique in not just their beer, but also their location, and you're typically spending your dollars supporting local business owners doing what they love.
Make a backyard paradise
Start turning your backyard into a paradise you never want to leave, then enjoy a relaxing staycation once it's ready! Maybe you'd love to hang a hammock and read, or surround yourself with flowers and plants, or perhaps your patio furniture needs a facelift and some outdoor candles for you to entertain. Spruce up your backyard and enjoy spending time outside in your own paradise on your next staycation!
Attend a local wine tasting
Craft beer may be all the rage but wine is never out of style. If you don't live near a winery chances are that you may have a local restaurant or wine bar that has wine tastings. Wine tastings are a perfect way to add some variety into your palette and are a great way to sip and have great conversation with your friends, family and significant other.
Try a new restaurant
New restaurants and cafes are constantly popping up but eating out on a regular basis can get expensive. A staycation is a perfect opportunity to plan on trying out that new restaurant you've been hearing good things about!
Take photos of your city
Do you have an old camera that's been collecting dust? Or perhaps you've been meaning to figure out how you can take better pictures right from your phone? You may even be a pro at photography, but your own city or town is the perfect way practice your photograph skills and get a pretty neat and different view of your town!
Something as simple as reading a book you're interested in is a great way to disconnect and escape into new world's. Some people are regular readers but many others love the idea of reading a book, but just can't seem to find the time in their busy day. Reading a book on your staycation is great way to unwind and finally pick up that book you've been wanting to check out.
Slather up with some SPF and soak up some sun! Vitamin D is good for your bones, improves resistance to certain diseases and reduces depression*. Relax with a book, your favorite cocktail or your friends and soak up some rays!
Go for a bike ride
Cycling has become so mainstream in the past 10 years. With the onslaught of bike-friendly cities, affordable bikes, and bike-to-work week's gone are the days of biking with the neighborhood kids when you were little and biking is the fun and healthy thing to do for both kids and adults alike!
Go to the beach
You don't have to book a trip to Mexico or live in California to spend some quality time with the sand in your toes. Whether your state has lakes, rivers or ocean access the chances are that there is a beach near you where you can kick back and relax on your beach towel.
Attend a sporting event
Every city and town in different. For example, I live in Iowa and we have no professional sports teams, but we do have an A level minor league baseball team, a hockey team, and indoor arena football. And that's all in the city I live. If I travel just two hours away I can watch the Iowa Cubs; a AAA level baseball team where you can find yourself watching Chicago Cubs players coming back from rehabilitation, getting a little practice in, or guys who are about to be called up to the majors. And that doesn't even count the numerous high school and college sporting events that can be attended. Find the sports in your town and go support your local teams on your next staycation.
Take a class
From cooking, to wine tasting, to speaking another language or yoga, there are classes out there for everyone. You're never too young to keep learning and trying new hobbies, whether you're eyeing that sailing lesson at a nearby lake, curious about painting without investing in all the supplies, or want to learn to make pasta from scratch, chances are there's a class out there for you!
Attend a local concert
Whether you're supporting a local band, up and coming artist, or your favorite big time band, attending a concert in your local area is a fun activity and can also double a date night!
Visit the park
Perhaps you're lucky enough to have a National Park only a short distance from your home, or if you're like me and live in a state without one you can be sure you have state park closer than you think, and it's probably cooler than you ever imagined!
Go kayaking, paddle boarding or canoeing
Do you love being outside and on the water but need more adventure than reading a book from a beach towel can provide? If so, renting a kayak, paddle board or canoe is the perfect way to get in some physical activity and enjoy the beautiful weather!
Give yourself the DIY spa treatment
Spas are fun but the services can be expensive. Save your money for those fun and unique treatments from the professionals, hop on over to your favorite beauty bloggers for recommended tips, tricks, and products, and setup your own makeshift spa and give your skin the TLC is deserves.
Get a massage
One of my monthly indulgence's is a massage, and without fail, every month, when someone asks me what I'm doing that evening and I say tell them I'm getting a massage they respond with "that sounds amazing, I really need one!" Well your next staycation is the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind, and have a professional work out the tension you're carrying on your body. You'll feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the world when get back to work.
Build your own bar
No, I don't mean the hammer and nails kind that require 15 trips to Home Depot (though have at it if that's your thing!) but I mean your food bar. Maybe you love Mexican food, or want to make build your own mini pizza's, or perhaps fruit on a stick that you can dip in chocolate for dinner. Take some extra time and have some fun with dinner with a 'build your own bar' type of menu (p.s. pairs well with a movie marathon!)
Your local parks and hiking trails likely boast some pretty great views, so strap on a good pair of shoes and go explore! From waterfalls to meadows, forests to streams, you never know what hidden places you'll discover when you're out hiking and exploring.
Get up early and watch the sunrise
There's something peaceful and pure about watching a brand new day start. Enjoy a cup of coffee on your patio, find a high point with beautiful views, or even head to a lake and take in the beauty and potential that comes when you watch the sun rise.
Spend the day in bed
Eating breakfast, watching movies, reading a book, having fun under the sheets - you can do it all from the comfort of your bed! Put a fresh pair of sheets on your bed and spend the day lounging unapologetically in bed.
Binge on a TV series
Whether you've heard great things about the latest season of House of Cards, or you've been meaning to start watching Game of Thrones, spend your day diving off the deep end into your latest television guilty pleasure!
Eat breakfast in bed
Coffee, toast, eggs, fruit - sit back, relax, and enjoy a few extra minutes of your cozy bed when you start your day with breakfast in bed.
If there's a particular cause that is important to you than perhaps you'll want to spend your staycation giving back! Non-profits are always looking for volunteers and you can make a very real difference with even the smallest amount of time. Consider volunteering during your staycation and you won't regret a moment of it.
Take a mini road trip
Whether it's a restaurant you want to eat at a few hours away, a park you want to hike at a couple towns over, or a museum exhibit you've been curious about checking out, a mini roadtrip that gets you there and home in one day will make you feel like you've left your hometown for vacation, but without the hotel costs.
Mix fancy cocktails
Raise your hand if you love a well made cocktail but have no idea where to start. Chances are, you're not alone, and a staycation is the perfect opportunity to sharpen your bartending skills and finally learn how to make a proper whisky sour, the perfect martini, or whatever your poison is.
Take a nap
Most adults don't have time for naps. Between work, kids, school, dinner, activities and errands it feels like our heads are barely hitting the pillow before our alarms are going off in the morning to start again. A good, old fashioned nap is a rare indulgence and could be just what your body and mind need to recharge.
Plan an outdoor activity
Tennis, anyone? Whether it's golf, tennis, running, frisbee golf, or any other outdoor sport when beautiful weather hits it's a great time to soak up some vitamin D and recharge while doing something you love away from the office. And bonus - courses tend to be much less busy during a workday allowing you to enjoy your activity at your own pace!
Geocaching has been increasing in popularity over the years and chances are you have lots of opportunity right in your own back yard to go on a real life treasure hunt!
Tackle a project
Been putting off repainting that bedroom? Not found the time to restore that great vintage table you bought? Been meaning to go through your closet? A staycation is the perfect opportunity to finally tackle any projects that have been sitting on your to-do list for awhile but always seem to make their way to the bottom.
Have a progressive dinner
You love the cheese and charcuterie board from one restaurant, the cocktails at that new local bar, and the scallops from a local seafood restaurant. Life would be easier if you could order them all at once place, but since you can't, create a fun 'choose your own adventure' dinner plan during your next staycation. Go from place-to-place and enjoy all of your favorites or try new things when you plan your own progressive dinner!
Whether you purchase a paint and sip package where a local artist helps you paint a predetermined picture while sipping on your favorite cocktails or you head to your local craft store and purchase your own supplies, putting brush to canvas is a great stress reliever and the perfect way to tap into your creative side.
A timeless activity, fishing is a classic sport that can be done solo, with friends, or is a great bonding opportunity with kids.
Attend a local play or musical
Support the arts and check out what your local theatre's have happening for the season. Not only can you check out some of the classics, but you can discover new favorites, support a local business, and see just how talented your friends and family are!
These 40 ideas are just the tip of the iceberg, because when it comes to a staycation, the possibilities are endless. Bowling, rock climbing, grape stomping - there are many more things you can do depending on your own preferences, hobbies, and curiosity to try new things.
Have you ever taken a staycation? What were your favorite things to do on when you took yours?
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*Vitamin D health benefits sourced from here. I am not a licensed doctor or medical professional; please consult a medical professional for questions about vitamin D and what is best for you.