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!

Benefits of Staycations

Staycations offer numerous benefits that make them an attractive choice for those seeking a break from their routine. Firstly, they save you the stress of travel planning and the hassle of packing and transportation.

Instead of spending hours in airports or stuck in traffic, you can simply step into your backyard and begin your staycation adventure. Staycations also allow you to save money that would have been spent on accommodation, flights, and dining out.

With the right planning, you can enjoy a luxurious experience without breaking the bank. Additionally, staycations provide an opportunity to explore your local area and discover hidden gems that you may have overlooked in the past.

So why not take advantage of all these benefits and create unforgettable memories in the comfort of your own backyard? 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.

A self care idea for women is to take a bubble bath

Staycation ideas and activities

When it comes to staycation ideas and activities, the possibilities are endless. Let your imagination run wild and think about what brings you joy and relaxation. If you have a garden, consider transforming it into a tropical paradise.

Set up a hammock, add some colourful flowers and plants, and create a serene ambiance with soothing music. If you have a balcony, turn it into a cozy outdoor retreat with comfortable seating, twinkling fairy lights, and a small herb garden.

You can also plan a themed staycation, such as a beach getaway or a camping adventure. Set up a temporary pool or create a tent in your backyard for an immersive experience. Don’t forget to gather all the essentials like beach towels, sunscreen, and camping gear to complete the vibe.

The key is to create an environment that transports you to a different place and allows you to fully immerse yourself in the staycation experience.

More staycation ideas and tips

Staycation budgeting and cost-saving tips

Staycations are a great way to save money compared to traditional vacations, but it’s still important to plan your budget and find ways to save. Start by setting a budget for your staycation and allocate specific amounts for different categories such as meals, activities, and decorations.

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.

Research local deals and discounts on attractions, restaurants, and entertainment options. Many local businesses offer staycation packages or special offers, so take advantage of these opportunities to save.

Another cost-saving tip is to plan meals that utilize ingredients you already have at home. This will not only help reduce your grocery expenses but also encourage creativity in the kitchen.

Finally, consider DIYing decorations and activities instead of purchasing them. You’ll not only save money but also add a personal touch to your staycation experience.

Staycation ideas include dining at fancy restaurants, like this D=dinner at Empress by Boon in San Francisco

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.

Staycation meals and recipes

If you prefer to dine at home, now is the perfect opportunity to indulge in delicious meals and try out new recipes. Plan your staycation meals in advance and get creative in the kitchen. Start each day with a leisurely breakfast in your backyard. Whip up some fluffy pancakes, prepare a fresh fruit salad, and brew a pot of your favourite coffee or tea.

For lunch, consider having a picnic in your backyard. Prepare a variety of sandwiches, salads, and snacks, and pack them in a picnic basket. Spread out a blanket, set up some comfortable seating, and enjoy a delightful al fresco lunch.

When it comes to dinner, you can opt for a BBQ night. Fire up the grill and prepare mouthwatering burgers, grilled vegetables, and skewers. End your day with a sweet treat, such as homemade ice cream or s’mores roasted over a fire pit. The possibilities are endless, so let your culinary creativity shine during your staycation

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!

Enjoy a spa treatment as a staycation idea

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!

Conclusion – Staycation ideas for the ideal vacation at home

In conclusion, staycations have the potential to be extraordinary experiences that create lasting memories right in your own backyard. By reimagining your staycation and tapping into your creativity, you can transform your space into a magical oasis that offers relaxation, adventure, and discovery.

From transforming your backyard into a tropical paradise to indulging in delicious meals and enjoying various leisure activities, there are endless ways to make the most of your staycation. So why wait for your next vacation when you can embark on an unforgettable staycation right now?

Follow the staycation tips and ideas in this guide, and get ready to create extraordinary moments in the comfort of your own home. Your staycation dreams are within reach – it’s time to make them come true!

Note – an abridged version of this article was published in Tonic Toronto, Summer 2017.

Staycations are vacations