Staycations are a great alternative to traveling abroad and are a great backup plan for when plans fall apart or your travel situation changes. As annoying as it can be to have to readjust and deal with the knowledge that you won’t be able to see a new country, it can also be looked at as fate. Everything happens for a reason; maybe fate is taking you away from and protecting you from badness; maybe you’re meant to do something else close to home. You never know where life will take you.
However, I think preparation is also key. In addition to having your bucket list, keep some things to do and see close to home, or stateside. This way, if plans change, you can automatically bust out that to-do list and say “ok, here’s what we’re going to do instead”. It makes it less painful, and you waste less time.
What follows are some staycation ideas to do, or to get you thinking about what you can do, if you are stuck. The great thing about most of these activities is that it requires very little planning and you can pick what you want at the last minute.
Staycation Ideas if You’re Stuck at Home
If for some reason you have to stay at home and can’t leave, you can still stay busy and be creative. Here’s a list of some potential options to keep you occupied; you can do just one, or all!
Check out these fun staycation ideas:
- Game nights (make it a competition and have a winning trophy!)
- Pitch a tent in the back yard and go camping
- Movie nights, or movie marathons
- Spa Days (see if you can call anyone to your home, for instance, and indulge in an in-home relaxation massage!).
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and learn something new
- Take online classes
- Experiment in the kitchen with new recipes
- Pick up a new hobby you’ve always been wanting to try
- Head to your local craft store and stir those creative juices
Be productive (not as fun, but still a good use of your time)
- Organize different areas of your home
- Catch up on life stuff- pay bills, home maintenance etc.
- Catch up on work stuff – look up those new job postings you’ve been eyeballing; reach out to your network and see if you can arrange for some phone calls or meet ups.
- Learn to meditate
- Get into a workout routine
- Try to get rid of a bad habit (for instance, stop biting your nails!)
- Catch up on sleep (probably the best thing ever)
- Start a book club with your family or friends.
Staycation Ideas Close to Home
Maybe you can’t explore a new country, but have you taken the time to explore your own home town? Or home state? Check out these staycation ideas close to home!
Play tourist in your home town
You can visit historical sites, take a tour (city tours, boat tours, pub crawls etc), or take classes (cooking, art, etc). Groupon and Living Social are great resources to see what’s available. Viator also has tour options and ideas, and of course, Trip Advisor is a reliable go-to.
Take part in different activities
If your home town or home state has access to cultural activities like theater shows, comedy shows, ballets, symphonies…then be sure to check them out! There is amazing talent out there and seeing these shows live is an experience in and of itself.
Depending on the time of year, you can take also take advantage of visiting your state fair. In addition, if you have one close by, you can take a short day trip to an amusement park or local water park.
Visit your local parks
Get outside and check out your states parks, go camping or glamping, have picnics or family game days. You can also find hiking trails and excursions at some of these!
Day trips to nearby cities and towns
A weekend getaway to a nearby city or small town you’ve never been to can teach you a lot about your neighbors, open your eyes to how other people spend their time and live their lives. You don’t have to go abroad to see cultural differences. Sometimes it exists by just going from small town to big city or vice versa.
With these getaways, you can spend the night in a nice hotel, or go glamping, or rent a small home and help support local economies. Plus, get some of the best local food! And sometimes the drive itself can provide you with breathtaking scenic views!
Visit the beach
If it’s nearby, take a fun day trip to your local beach! It’s a no-fail for allowing you to relax, get outside, and enjoy the weather. Plus, you have all the water activity options at your fingertips, including kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, jetskiing, etc, to pass the time and enjoy your staycation!
Staycation Ideas Stateside
While I will always advocate for going abroad and exploring the world, I also think that exploring your own country can teach you just as much. There are different ways to see your own country, though, that you maybe haven’t thought of.
For instance, if you haven’t experienced a train ride, maybe you can do that! Hop on the Amtrak and take a ride to a nearby tourist site or big city.
You can also do the classic domestic flight to anywhere in the states that you have maybe wanted to see and visit and haven’t had a chance to. There’s plenty to do and see in the US, both in and out of the big cities, including parks, hiking, camping, mountains, skiing, waterfalls, nice restaurants, fancy nights out, etc. Find what interests you and go for it!
There are also stateside cruise options available (Alaskan cruise anyone?)
In short, a having to stay home may not be a bad thing. With these ideas you can make staycation feel like a real vacation. All it takes it a little bit of planning, preparedness and creativity.
No matter if your plans fell apart, or you were forced to change, stay positive and remember that you have a backup plan and it can be just as fun!
Sanjana is a physician anesthesiologist, avid traveler, and entrepreneur. She founded The Female Professional in order to give women a voice and a platform to express themselves. With her experiences as a physician, as a CEO of a startup, and as a writer, she understands the struggles and frustrations that women face. She also understands what it takes to move past those things and come out on top. Through this platform, Sanjana aims to empower women to be their best, authentic, selves, achieve work/life balance, and live life to the fullest.