How to Plan an Amazing Staycation

How to Plan an Amazing Staycation

The experience of planning a trip outside your city or state can be overwhelming. Packing bags, booking hotels and flights, paying for meals, planning activities, and organizing transportation can all cause stress even for the most experienced planner—not to mention the growing expenses involved when planning a trip.

Sure, there’s the excitement of exploring a new city, but with so much planning and money involved, a vacation can quickly end up feeling more like a chore than a break. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a much-needed break from work or school. In fact, you can still get the thrill of adventure and relaxation with a staycation.

Skeptical? Understandably. However, as you’ll realize in this article, there are so many fresh ideas you can try without leaving your town or city.

Family Movie Marathon

This is one of the best staycation ideas for families because a good old movie marathon never goes out of style. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your kids going to bed too late since they’ll be on school break, so you can go all the way out with this one.

For instance, to create a movie theater experience, you can buy a home theater projector instead of using your regular TV screen. You can also move your couches and chairs from your living room and spread out one or two mattresses with pillows and blankets to create a cozy atmosphere. And don’t forget the snacks—make some classic movie snacks like popcorn, chips, and candy. To add even more fun to the movie marathon, consider using movie bingo cards or trivia questions related to the movies you’ll watch, with a prize for the winner at the end.

Themed DIY Days

If you can’t go on vacation, you can bring the vacation to you on a budget with themed DIY days. All you have to do is recreate the atmosphere and activities of your dream vacation destinations right in the comfort of your home.

For instance, if you fancy camping or glamping, backyard tent camping can be a great idea. All you need is a tent or makeshift shelter, some cozy blankets or sleeping bags, and a few camping essentials like lanterns, snacks, and board games. And if you really want to make this backyard staycation idea even more fun, you can organize a backyard scavenger hunt. Hide various items around your backyard, such as small trinkets, nature finds, or clues leading to a hidden treasure. At night, you can stargaze and talk about the legends of the constellations, recent discoveries in astronomy, or both.

Other possible themed DIY days include a Europe tour, Wild West adventure, tropical paradise getaway, or space exploration trip.

At-Home Spa Day

Looking for a way to relax? An at-home spa day is one of the best staycation ideas for couples, but is also a great idea for anyone who wants to relieve some stress. This is because while a spa day is one of the best ways to relax, it isn’t as affordable as you’d want it to be (with many activities averaging around $150 per hour.) Luckily, you can create your own spa day at home for much less.

To do this, you just need to invest in a few things. You’ll need to buy scented candles, face masks, bath bombs, scrubs, essential oils, plush robes, etc. And while this might be a bit of an up-front expense, you can use them again and again. Alternatively, you can make homemade versions of some of these things, such as scrubs and facemasks.

If you want to enjoy this idea as a family, you can also try incorporating kid-friendly spa activities like making bath bombs together and painting each other's toenails.

Coffee Shop Tour

Coffee lovers? Then you’ll love this staycation idea. You’ll get to explore different parts of your city or town that you’ve yet to discover as you seek out the varieties and flavors of coffee available near you. To make the most of this tour, start by researching all the coffee shops in your area and plot out your route to get to them.

For each shop, it would be best to sample the house specialties or ask the baristas for recommendations to understand what makes each café special. Remember to enjoy other things as well as the coffee—such as the ambience, decor, and overall vibe of each coffee shop—since they all contribute to the overall experience.

If you're not interested in coffee, or looking for an activity that's also good for kids, you can also use this idea to explore other spots in your town, such as local galleries, bookshops, and bakeries or ice cream shops.

Local Art Tour

Whether you're a retiree who's already explored all types of vacations, a young adult looking to broaden your horizons, or a parent looking to give your children a cultural foundation, there are joys to staying close to home and discovering hidden gems in your community.

It isn't just massive major cities that have cultural touchpoints—though if you live near one, that's a fantastic opportunity as well. As such, you can indulge in a local art tour if you want to explore an interest in art. Galleries, museums, and exhibitions can be a good place to start. Research things ranging from local artists' collectives to university museums nearby, and see what you can explore.

If your tour awakens a desire to express yourself through art, you can sign up for art classes with your friends or family.

Local Parks and Nature Trails Exploration

This idea can double up as a way to stay healthy, especially for retirees, as well as a great way to use up kids' restless energy. Walking or even just strolling can improve cardiovascular health and strengthen your muscles. For families, couples, and friends, hiking along nature trails offers an opportunity for adventure and bonding.

Along the way, engage in conversation, play games, and take photos to capture memories together. And remember to take breaks between long hikes and trails by setting up picnics to recharge your energy and just take in the scenic views and fresh air. Additionally, consider joining group hikes or nature clubs to socialize with like-minded individuals and make new friends while staying active and connected to nature.


Staycation ideas are a great alternative to expensive and stressful vacations. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer holiday, staycations are extremely versatile. You can enjoy a relaxed beach vibe today, take an energized nature stroll tomorrow, or explore the city the next day—all without leaving your area and breaking the bank. All you need is a little creativity and some open-mindedness!

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