Summer vacations are a rite of the season and shouldn’t be given up – no matter your age! Remember the carefree days of being out of school with full days open to you that could be used up however your heart desired? It’s time to bring back that feeling. While stepping out with awe onto the cobblestone steps of a historic European town during a backpacking trip, lounging for hours on a far-flung tropical beach, or hunting down the most authentic foreign cuisine may not be in the cards (or budget), right now, there’s no reason you shouldn’t recreate the feeling of the perfect vacation right in your own backyard.

For a little staycation inspiration, we’ve outlined 3 staycation ideas. Read on to find your ideal staycation, ideas of what to do, and how to prepare.

1. A Weekend Staycation of Utter Relaxation


Pre-Staycation Planning:

  • Splurge on some new pillows and/or plush bedding

  • Stock up on good books, magazines and movies

Imagine waking up – with no prompting from an alarm – and not immediately having your brain start running through a list of to-do’s that need to be completed that day. It’s like a weekend or day off but better. There will be no chores, no errands, no shuttling of kids to playdates or appointments. This staycation is time for you to relax and recharge. If you think this staycation is for you – read on.

Sleep In

Since you can’t do it every day, take advantage of your “get-away” and turn off your alarm completely. Add new pillows or bedding to your bed to create a sleep sanctuary and let your body tell you when it’s time to wake up.

Lounge Around

Whether it’s your favorite chair, comfy corner of your sectional or a window seat, add some additional pillows, and maybe a light throw and curl up with your favorite form of entertainment. Give into your guilty-pleasure of celebrity gossip mags, dive into one of the new novels you picked up, or play Sudoku to your heart’s content.

Soak Up the Sun and Hit the Pool

Gather up your plushest towel and sunscreen and head to your community pool (or a public pool in your area) for a few laps, or just a quick dip to cool off. If you’re not a swimmer, take your towel and an umbrella and relax in the gathering place of your community – it’s the perfect place to make casual conversation with others – just like you would on any other vacation!

Enjoy a Home Spa Treatment

Find your favorite soaps, lotions and other pampering products and spend a few hours relaxing and primping in your designer bathroom. Follow a steamy soak in the tub with a DIY mani/pedi and make use of that mud-mask you’ve had on hand! If you really want to up the hotel-esque feel in your home, add an ice bucket with a bit of bubbly to enjoy in your bubble bath.

Want to take your home spa experience to the next level? Download the Soothe app and request an at-home massage. You can enjoy the time alone, or book a couples’ massage to enjoy with a loved one.

Host a Movie Night

After days filled with laid-back relaxation, going out into the real-world can seem like too big of an effort. Instead, stay home, pull up a movie on television or Netflix and order in. Not needing to change out of sweatpants is just an added bonus!

2. An Awesome Local Adventure

Pre-Staycation Planning:

  • Gas up your car

  • Find your comfiest walking shoes

Looking for a little more adventure? Try embarking upon a few of the ideas below.

Play Tourist

Remember all of those places you visited right when you first moved into the area or all of those tourist attractions you always say you’ll make it to but figured they weren’t going anywhere so you can always go later? Now is the time!

Make the day even more fun by taking a ton of photos, just like you would on a vacation to another city, and maybe even pick up some postcards to mail out. Everyone likes to receive a little treat in the mail now and again.

Take a Self-Guided Tour

Download the free app, Google Field Trip, and give yourself a tour of your city. Start in an area that you like and let the app take you around to historical sites, museums, interesting architecture and more.

Information pulled from Zagat, Thrillist, Arcadia Publishing, and more shows up as flags on the app’s map, allowing you to visit the types of places you find interesting, as well as learn some background information about each.

Attend an Impromptu Event

Using another free app, Gravy, find events in your area that suit what type of mood you are in.

Depending on what you tell the app you’d like to do, you may receive information about concerts, dance workshops, plays, volunteer events and more. It’s a fun and easy way to try something you may not have done before or visit a business you’ve never patronized.

Does this sound like your kind of staycation? Click to share it on Twitter!

3. The Ultimate Foodie Staycation

Pre-Staycation Planning:

  • Gather your local takeout and delivery restaurant menu

  • Scour Pinterest and the internet for recipes you’ve been dying to try

  • Hit the grocery store or Farmer’s Market for all the recipe ingredients on your list

Do you find yourself planning vacations around what meals you will be eating? Your staycation shouldn’t be any different. If eating your way to a good time is how you have a good time, the ideas below were made for you!

Cook (and eat) a Gourmet Meal

Spend the day cooking a meal from scratch. Mince each clove of garlic by hand and create the crusts from scratch – even if it takes hours, you’ll taste the victory when the meal is one of the best you’ve ever eaten.

Don’t forget to give the presentation of the food and ambiance of your table as much thought as you did the recipe. Plate your dish as though it was going to be photographed for a foodie magazine and set your table like Martha Stewart was coming over for dinner.

Order In

After preparing your own fancy meal, order dinner in from your favorite local restaurant. Have them do the heavy lifting by getting it delivered. If the restaurant doesn’t deliver, use a service like GrubHub or AmazonFresh. Make the experience like room service and eat it in bed!

Take a Foodie Challenge

Pull up Yelp or Foursquare and find the top rated breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurants in your area. During the duration of your staycation, make sure you eat a meal at each of them!

Treat Yourself

Since you’re likely saving quite a bit of money partaking in a staycation instead of a typical vacation (airline tickets can get expensive), treat yourself to one meal at the nicest restaurant in town. Don’t hold back, either, splurge on an appetizer, entrée of your choice, dessert and a drink to toast with!
Does this sound like your kind of staycation? Click to share it on Twitter!
Which staycation sounds like the ideal way to spend a long weekend? Tell us in the comments below and remember, no matter which staycation you opt for, there are a few necessary steps you should take to prepare for your perfect “trip:”

  • Block off your staycation on your calendar weeks in advance. That way, there is no temptation to schedule a meeting or other event that may take away from the fun.

  • Hire cleaners. Before AND after your staycation. One of the most relaxing parts of going away is that the basic maintenance is taken care of. Treat yourself to the same luxury while at home.

  • Create an out of office reply for your work email. This will help coworkers understand that you will not be checking email regularly (and you shouldn’t at all!).

  • Set your phone to airplane mode. While this may not be feasible for the entire duration of your staycation, set your phone to airplane mode, or turn it off completely, during key moments so you, and your loved ones, can fully enjoy them.

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