Staycation tips and ideas for your ideal vacation at home

For many people, money plays a significant role in the type of vacation that they take. If they take one at all. I challenge you to look around your own backyard and think like a tourist. You have likely neglected your own surroundings and haven’t done many of the fun activities available to you. All you need are some great staycation ideas.

Enjoying a local staycation actually gives you the time and money to do stuff you normally wouldn’t, but have always wanted to do. Staycations can make for ideal vacations. You can finally do some of the things you’ve always wanted to but never had time for. Want to know one of my favourite staycation ideas? Hello, spa day!

If you’re not yet convinced, let’s look at some pros and cons of taking a vacation at home:

Staycation pros:

  • Little to no travel time, you’re already there
  • You already know the language, money and culture
  • No vaccinations needed
  • No costly data plan or phone bill surprises
  • Staycations are vacations

Staycation cons:

  • Not feeling like you went anywhere
  • Having no glamorous ‘Insta-worthy’ travel shots of your vacation
  • No travel time, no customs hassle, no jet lag… oh wait, these are in the wrong column 😉

As you can see, there are quite a few advantages to taking a staycation for your next vacation – and we’ll touch on the Insta-worthy pics later because that one’s easy to accomplish. Now that you’re convinced, or at least open to the idea of a staycation, here are a few staycation ideas to help you plan an amazing one.

Staycation ideas and tips

Set a staycation budget

Just like any other vacation, it’s important to set a budget. Once you have your budget set, you can make a list of all the places and activities available to you. These can include theme parks, the zoo, the spa, a new restaurant, a concert or an event.

Be thorough, and do some research to ensure you don’t miss anything. Treat this just like any other vacation, because it is.

Organize your trip

Make a spreadsheet, or Pinterest board, to keep your thoughts organized in one place, and the excitement real. Act just like you would if you were going somewhere you have never been before. After all, chances are you haven’t been to these places either.

Make note of all the tourist attractions in your area that you have yet to explore. These are all perfect staycation ideas for your at-home vacation.

Often we can afford to do more when we stay local because of the saved costs on flights, airport parking, taxis etc. These saved costs provide additional funds for fun activities, providing the opportunity to do things you wouldn’t normally spend money on.

Make note of your city’s finest

Splurge on a fancy hotel room in the city centre and order breakfast in bed. Then spend the afternoon swimming in the hotel pool. Savour a pricey Chef’s tasting menu while dining at a new, upscale restaurant because you can afford it. (Remember that con of no Insta-worthy pics, I think we just knocked that off the list.)

Table with wine bottle and glasses
Splurge on an expensive bottle of wine or fancy dinner to make your staycation feel like a real vacation.

Get luxurious

If luxury is what you’re after, indulge in an afternoon at the spa getting pampered. After all, you are on vacation! A staycation is a vacation from your everyday life. Treat yourself accordingly. When done right, a staycation can be just as satisfying a vacation as any other.

Time is something we never seem to have enough of, and this is often why we miss out on what’s going on around us. By taking time off, and staying local, you are giving yourself the time to enjoy all the things you never have time to do.

Many of us have a whole host of adventures right outside our front doors, we just never seem to have the time to take advantage of them. I’m sure you do too!

Staycations are vacations

Staycations give us the most valuable thing of all – time. Whether you spend that time sitting outside on the patio of a cafe people-watching all afternoon or riding a bike exploring every corner of the city, it’s up to you.

Why not make a staycation part of your vacation plans, and savour every minute of it? Staycations are vacations! I hope these tips have given you some ideas for your home-based vacation.

For even more staycation tips and ideas, read my post on 5 ways to make a staycation an amazing vacation. They truly can be amazing!

An abridged version of this article was published in Tonic Toronto, Summer 2017 issue: 

Staycations are vacations