Summer 2020 is going to be a bit different. Let’s embrace the staycation with some staycation ideas to knock it out of the park this summer. Feel like you’ve been spending a lot of time at home lately? Yes, I know you’re tired of hearing about it. And yes, I know you’re not the only one! In these unprecedented times, we’re all spending most of our days at home. Nothing wrong with that – we’re all just doing what we should in the middle of a pandemic – but it does put a bit of a damper on our summer vibes.
So many of our traditional summer fun activities aren’t really an option. Pools? Nope. Brunch on the patio? Not this weekend. And plane-hopping around the world? Not a great call right now. A little more imagination is a must to create fun this summer. So many of our stand-by activities aren’t available.
As a lover of travel, you can imagine how much I’m not into the current situation. That’s why I’ve been hard at brainstorming how to build little bits of fun into my summer – a weekend here, a few days there – to make sure my spirits stay up and I keep my appetite for adventure fed.
Staycation Ideas to Kick Back Close to Home
Since we’re all at home anyways, one of the best ideas I’ve been cooking up is a nice staycation! I know it doesn’t sound exciting at the jump, but bear with me. Staycation becomes whatever you want it to be – and that’s one of the best things about it.
Don’t believe me? That’s okay! I’ve got a whole list of activities to prove it! Read on for endless staycation ideas and inspiration. Soon, you too can be on the staycation of a lifetime. I think we could all use a little bit of that right about now.
Relaxation Station Staycation
Too many -tion words? Sorry! It all flows together so well I couldn’t help myself! Once you’ve completed your first chill staycation, you’ll be so zen’d out you’ll go with the flow too.
Here’s the thing: I can give you a so many fun tips for this type of staycation, but ultimately, we all look at relaxation differently. Some people relax by melting into a couch cushion while Netflix rolls in the background, while others might find their peace by completing a P90X DVD and running ten miles in the hot sun. But that’s the whole thing with staycation: you’ve got to make it your own. Everyone can have their own version of great staycation ideas.
It’s okay to spend the whole day in bed if you want to. Or on the couch. Or on an inflatable swan in the middle of your pool, if you so wish. No rules!
Follow along with my on YouTube if you aren’t already!
Staycation is a State of Mind
Well, maybe one rule: that you do what you want, when you want. I give you full permission to log off your work computer, turn off your phone, and move freely through the day without anyone else’s expectations. You don’t have to get dressed, work out, or even shower – unless you want to.
Don’t be afraid to get a little luxurious with it too. Order yourself a fluffy robe for the occasion. Do a face mask and soak in the tub, or maybe go get a massage. Light some incense. You’ve got your own little spa day going on!
If you love whipping up a masterpiece in the kitchen, all this free time is the perfect time to create a five-course tasting menu from scratch. Go all out! Plan out, design, and print your own restaurant menus – complete with drink pairings. Your family will get to go on a culinary adventure in the comfort of home. And for the rest of us, Grubhub works well, too.
Luxury vs. Comfort Staycation Ideas
Maybe luxury isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re more of a sweets, snacks, and seasons of your favourite trash TV show kind of person. Nothing wrong with that! Cozy up with your favourite furry friend and make it your full-time job to catch up on the last three seasons. Just make sure you lay down a blanket to catch all the crumbs from that charcuterie board.
So often, people underestimate how hard it is to be lazy – or how good it feels to do so. Creating a stretch of time that is completely open and ready for you to mold into what you want can boost your mood, reduce stress, and make you more productive when you’re ready to go back to the realities of daily life. If you find yourself feeling all over the place, a lazy staycation might be perfect for you.
Take a Trip Home!
Okay, I know this one sounds a little crazy. Visit your own town? You’ve been living there for years!
But stick with me. I thought the idea was a little silly myself – until I took a weekend to try it out. Touring your own city can actually be really exciting! It’s like showing family around when they visit – you start to see your old digs through new eyes.
So how do you pretend you haven’t seen it all?
The first step is accepting the hard truth: you probably haven’t. Even if you’ve been there for a decade, you probably wound down on exploring once you found some favourite spots and became comfortable. In your little comfortable bubble, you missed a lot of changes. Maybe new restaurants, a new hiking trail, or even a new museum. Keeping an open mind is going to be key.
Be an At Home Tourist
Next, look up tourist guides for your town. What are the must-see places? Who has the best breakfast food? And where’s the best place to overlook it all? Once you’ve got a list of places to check out, you’ll be surprised at how many you didn’t even know about. I am sure there are plenty of staycation ideas right in your home town!
Don’t be shy about equipment rentals, either, as long as you’ve got hand sanitizer in your bag! Tons of cities have added scooters and bikes you can rent to get around. Try taking one for a spin around the city. Even Segways, if you’re really looking for adventure.
However, long your staycation is going to be, plan out your events based on your list of places to explore. If you’re interested in really making it feel real, try booking an AirBnB that’s centrally located, with better walkability than your own home. Spending time in a beautiful, unfamiliar space can really set the tone for a perfect trip in your hometown.
Put That Free Time to Good Use
A full-time job definitely keeps you busy all week, and generally holds you back from getting stuff done around the house once you’re off. Add caring for a family to the mix, and it might start to seem like your whole day is just dedicated to others. You spend your job making sure that company is supported, and then log off only to maintain your home, feed, care for, and clean. That’s not a lot of time for you!
Enter your Staycation or Should we say Holi-stay!?!
No, I’m not telling you to spend your whole staycation catching scrubbing your grout with a toothbrush, or wiping all the baseboards clean. What I’m thinking of is more like enrichment. Using that time to grow, to explore, to check off some big list items. So many staycation ideas to expore here.
Let’s say, for example, you’ve been wanting to organize some spaces within your home to support you during your workweek. Once you have a whole week open – or even just a long weekend – you can dedicate that time to getting that done. Plan out your new strategy, buy the items you need, and then dig in. And don’t say that’s not fun – we all love a good purge, and the satisfaction of an organized space is next to none.
Not your thing? Maybe you’ve been wanting to learn something new, like sewing, or pottery. A weeklong intensive is a great way to do that. Sign up for a few classes, either local or online. You might find a hobby that helps you decompress from your busy daily life – or becomes your new full-time gig.
You can also use this time to dig into that book pile that’s slowly grown on your bedside table. Reading is amazing, but it definitely takes time. Instead of pushing them to the back of your bookcase, try to work through the whole thing during your staycation. We’ve got to keep our brains fed, too!
Take a Day Trip
Opening up all this free time during your week means you’ll have more freedom to drive a little further away and see more of your surroundings. Packing lunch and snacks, a camera, and a swimsuit can turn a simple day out into a bigger event.
Exploring is instant bliss. Whether that is something new for you, or something you’re now making time for, going on a little adventure is a great way to spice things up. Maybe check out those bike trails you’ve been wanting to see, or hike up that mountain you haven’t been able to make a day for.
Home is Where the Heart Is
See if there are any local farms that offer tours. There’s nothing quite like petting animals five times your size, so if a petting zoo is an option, it’s definitely one worth taking. Farms can also be super educational if you’ve never learned anything about where your food comes from, or how much work goes into it.
Lake houses are expensive, but visiting the lake for the day isn’t! If you’re too far from a coast to visit the beach, a day at the lake is the next best thing. Pack a picnic, an inner tube, and splash your day away. See if you can rent a boat or a kayak. These are my kind of staycation ideas!
We can always stand to learn a little more about the world around us. Look up historical sights near you and go check them out. Often, there will be a written guide or digital program you can take along to talk you through spots along the way. Knowing more about your surroundings will make you feel closer to them.
Pick a Theme and Run With It
Now, trust me – I get it. Staycation is just not the same as vacation! Some of us need that escape, we need to feel like we’re somewhere else. We need new surroundings, adventure, and a change of scenery.
Enter the ultimate staycation challenge, and my personal favourite: pick a destination, and transform your home. This is a great way to get creative, have some fun, and get as close as possible to travelling without leaving your house.
Don’t go crazy and cover all the floors in your home with sand or anything – unless you want sandy buns to be your permanent lifestyle. It doesn’t take much to change the vibe of your space up, without doing permanent damage. Just start by picking your destination.
Backyard Fun at its Best!
Love camping? Pitch a tent in your backyard, but don’t stop there. Build a fire pit and cook all your meals on it. Set up a volleyball net, arm yourself with a can of bug spray, shower underneath the hose. Really dedicate yourself to only going inside when absolutely necessary.
Maybe you’ve been dreaming of a tropical island getaway. Spring for an inflatable pool, some tiki torches, and a nice bottle of rum. Wrap every surface in your yard with decorative grass skirts. Curate a playlist that matches the vibe, and have some of your friends over. You can take turns playing bartender.
Try out an Oktoberfest trip with traditional clothing and a wide selection of beers. Cook some sausage, queue up some music, and add a couple flags around your home. Each room can be a different tasting station that you tour through!
The staycation ideas and possibilities are endless here, so I’m going to stop while I’m ahead. If you love decorating and adventure, try morphing your home into a different location every few days. Talk about a challenge!
Why you Won’t Regret It
With everything happening in the world, a staycation might be the safest way to unwind and adventure this summer. Even so, it’s easy to get discouraged. Travel and summer go together like ice cream and French fries! What’s summer without it?
I’m here to tell you that it’s just as good. If you’re not convinced, it’s probably because you haven’t tried it yet.
Travelling is amazing – trust me – but it’s not the most relaxing thing. There’s lots of packing and planning to be done, and often a lot of money spent. You’ve got to set up transportation, car rentals, hotels, hostels, things to do, reservations…the list goes on and on.
Staycations are a Little Underrated
And getting to your destination? Let’s not pretend that travelling isn’t hard on your body. Sitting on a plane for hours is exhausting and hard for even the healthiest among us, not to mention all the gross surfaces you’re exposed to. Once you get off a plane, you’re kind of smelly, dehydrated, and hobbling around because your foot fell asleep.
You’ll be busy your whole trip, trying to make sure you’re soaking up as much as possible. Seeing new things, touring historical spots, eating all the best food – and stressing about what you’re missing.
Once you get home, you’ve got to transition back to daily life – usually overnight. That’s right. Unpack, clean everything, get groceries, and prepare for another busy workweek with almost no downtime.
That’s not my idea of relaxing.
I’m not saying we should convert to full-time staycations. I would not survive. Seeing new places is like water for me – I need it to live!
I’m just saying that staycations are a little underrated. And if true relaxation is what you’re after, this is a foolproof way to do it. The less stress we’re carrying, the better equipped we are to handle what life throws at us. The less wound up we are, the more we can connect with and strengthen bonds with our family, friends, and coworkers.
They say you can’t pour from an empty cup, and right now, a lot of our cups are looking a little dry. Take some time to yourself this year, sooner rather than later. You deserve it.
Let me know if you have any staycation ideas to add!