No vacation plans this summer? No problem.
Spending summer vacation (or just a long weekend) at home can be just as feel-good and relaxing as getting out of town. Plus, you’ll avoid many of the costs that can rack up from hotels and transportation, especially if you’re vacationing with the whole family.
All it takes to make the most of summer at home is a solid list of staycation ideas. So, if you’re planning to stay local this season, use these ten summer staycation tips to take full advantage of the season from home.
1. Savor not setting an alarm.
If you’re like us, setting a wake-up alarm for the next day is muscle memory at this point. But few things feel as freeing as knowing you won’t have to wake up at a certain time in the morning. Plus, if you’re not getting the recommended seven or more hours a night, summer is the perfect time to sleep in and catch a few more guilt-free zzz’s.
2. See your city like never before.
Having a staycation doesn’t mean missing out on the excitement of traveling somewhere new. See your hometown from a new perspective by becoming a tourist in your own city. Try visiting the attractions you’ve never had time to explore, taking part in a guided tour, or venturing off your usual path to gain a newfound appreciation for your town.
3. Cozy up in a clean home.
Use some of the money you’re saving and have your place cleaned by someone else. Having the floors clear, the kitchen organized, and your bed made in that crisp, bounce-a-quarter-off-it way means enjoying the hotel experience without the hotel costs. Pro tip: Have your home cleaned at the beginning of your break to enjoy that fresh, clean feeling all staycation long.
4. Embrace the out-of-office mentality.
Though a staycation might not technically feel like you’re “away,” it doesn’t mean you should feel obligated to check every work email. Whether you’re 1,000 miles from the workplace or just around the corner, time off is just that. So set an automatic out-of-office reply, and turn off your email notifications so you're truly disconnected.
5. Enjoy the great outdoors.
If you have children or grandchildren, the well of entertaining staycation ideas can start to run dry quickly. Take things back to basics with a camping trip at a local park, or even in your own backyard. The only things you’ll need (a sleeping bag, flashlight, bug spray, snacks, etc.) are probably already in your house, so just make sure to brush up on a few outdoor games and scary stories for the perfect night under the stars.
6. Kick your meals up a notch.
Your staycation is not the time for the same old recipes you usually make. Instead, spice things up by splurging on high-end ingredients that will make each meal sizzle. If cooking isn’t your thing, put the money you’re saving on hotel costs toward eating out. Either way, you’ll treat your taste buds to a 5-star-worthy (or at least Instagram-worthy) experience.
7. Book your weekend (literally).
A staycation is the perfect opportunity to do things you wouldn’t normally have time or energy for, like finally tackling that stack of books you’ve been meaning to read. Take advantage of early mornings when the house is quiet, or lazy afternoons with no plans, to escape in the pages of a great story (cozy blanket and tea not required, but highly recommended).
8. Go treasure hunting.
For a more adventurous staycation idea, try geocaching in your area. Geocaching is the world’s largest treasure hunt, and uses an app to help guide you to secret treasures in your town (and even worldwide). Whether hidden on a city street, in the woods, or somewhere completely unexpected, challenge yourself to see how many geocaches you can find — or gather a few friends to make a competition out of locating them.
9. Make it a movie night.
During your staycation, trade Netflix for nostalgia with an old-fashioned trip to the movie theater. There’s just something uniquely comforting about the smell of popcorn, the excitement of trailers, and the “What did you think?!” conversation that happens once the show is over. If you’d prefer not to spend money on tickets, look for free outdoor movies in your area or try setting up a DIY outdoor movie night on your own instead.
10. Give yourself the spa treatment.
You don’t need to go far (or spend a lot) to truly unwind during your staycation. Essential oils, bath bombs, and tea lights are inexpensive and easy-to-find items that can instantly take your bathroom from routine to relaxing. Aromatherapy is a particularly great stress-relieving method you can do at home, especially when combined with low lighting and calming music.
Next time you have a vacation or long weekend coming up, use these staycation ideas to enjoy the ultimate summer at home. You’ll reap the same benefits of adventure, relaxation, and indulgence, but avoid the typical expenses of going away (and that terrible feeling of needing a vacation after your vacation).