Plan Your Next Staycation With These Tips!

by James SheaJuly 3, 2018

Traveling can be expensive, especially overseas. You have to pay for airfare, lodging, food and entertainment. You probably need to pick up a few gifts on the trip and visit important attractions too. That all adds up. In fact, some travel specialists have calculated the cost of a European vacation at around $5,000 for a couple.

Over the past few years, people have decided to stay home rather than travel for vacation. It’s called a staycation, and you stay at home and take day trips around your community or region. The trend started at the beginning of the 2008 recession as a way for people to save money. “Staycation” never appeared as a major search term in Google until the summer of 2008. The terms have seen trending spikes every summer since and reached its highest level since 2008 last summer.

A young woman lying on her back on her bed reading a book.

When was the last time you enjoyed quality moments in your own home? You work all day and run errands on the weekend. A staycation is a perfect way to relax at your home. Here are some tips for planning the perfect staycation.

Tackle chores in advance

Unlike a resort or hotel, you won’t have anybody cleaning up after you during a staycation. You should clean the house and do chores prior to the start of your holiday. You need to make sure the laundry is done and the towels are washed and put away. The lawn should be mowed, and you can tidy up everything around the house. It’s going to be your personal resort.

Manage meals ahead of time

You should plan out some of your meals and do some of the grocery shopping before the start of the staycation. That way you aren’t wasting valuable time grocery shopping and planning meals. You might want to think about having at least half of your meals planned. For fun, cook a few meals that you have never tried. Be bold. In addition, meal delivery services are a great way to add variety to your cooking.

Stacks of containers filled with food sit on a counter top.

Plan out some activities

There are plenty of tourist attractions in your community and most likely, you’ve never visited them. Take an outing to your local visitor’s center or go to its website. You will learn about interesting information within 50 miles of your home. If there are any really fun things nearby you’d think your family would enjoy, put your ideas in a list. The whole point of a staycation is discovering where you live. The attraction might be a museum or an historic place. It all just depends on where you live.

Add some decoration to the house

You should add some decorations to your house and make it looks like your personal resort. You can start by buying fresh flowers or purchase new towels and sheets. You want your house to have some of the same look and feel you might get on a regular vacation. A new set of candles for the bedroom or bathroom will go a long way toward enhancing your house’s ambiance during your staycation.

A woman puts white sheets on a bed.

Delete email on your phone

It’s becoming easier to communicate with the office on your days off. Your boss or co-workers can email you or contact you on a messaging system like Google Hangouts. Even though you aren’t leaving town, you’re on vacation — and you need to act like it. You must disconnect your email and delete messaging apps like Slack off your phone. You need to tell your co-workers that you won’t be checking email at all or at the most infrequently. This is your time to relax and enjoy your staycation and disconnecting will go a long way toward achieving that.

Get out of your normal routine

While you’re at it, detach from the mundane. It’s high time to break out of those old daily habits and embrace a few days to rediscover your joy. If you normally read the newspaper and drink a cup of coffee in the morning, switch things up a bit. Grab your plate, some music (a portable speaker, maybe) and sit on the deck. Or perhaps you could visit a new breakfast spot. However you unwind, it’s totally up to you!

Buy a few souvenirs

Do you always come home from vacation with a tacky T-shirt or a new magnet for the refrigerator? If you can’t get enough of tacky souvenirs, head to one of the local tourist attractions or souvenir shops. You will love your new nick-knacks from a local staycation as much as you do from Europe or the Grand Canyon. They are part of what makes a vacation special.

Cross something off your bucket list

Your staycation should be a meaningful experience. If you can, you should try to cross something off your bucket list. Perhaps, you have always wanted to skydive or ride on a roller coaster. Think about identifying something in your local community that gives you the thrills. It’s nothing like crossing something off your list of ultimate “things-to-do.”

Senior Kayaking on the lake in green kayak.

Stay a night at a local hotel or bed and breakfast

On vacation, you often travel around and stay at different hotels. You can do the same on your staycation. You could book a room for a night at a historic hotel or local bed and breakfast in your area. You aren’t going to be spending a lot of money on your staycation so a night out will be a great treat.


Sustainable vacations are becoming more common these days. People travel to other places and volunteer in the local community. It’s easy to volunteer, and there are plenty of organizations in your local area that needs volunteers. You could provide a meal at a homeless shelter or work on a project at the local Boys and Girls Club. All you have to do is send out a few emails or place a few calls. Nonprofit organizations are always looking for a little extra help.

Visit a new restaurant

Your community is filled with dozens of restaurants that you’ve likely never visited. You should plan on taking in a few. You should visit a few fine-dining establishments. You won’t be spending thousands of dollars on airfare and a hotel so you can drop a couple hundred dollars on a good meal. If you want to make your staycation a legit “stay”-cation, you can use third-party delivery services like GrubHub. Who knows, that fancy restaurant might make for some great take-out for a cozy night indoors.

Take photos. You’re on vacation!

Everyone takes hundreds of photos on vacation. well, you can do the same thing on your staycation. The options are endless, you can take pictures of your walk around downtown or the visit to a local tourist attraction. You need to document your staycation like you do any other vacation. Pictures preserve memories and you’ll love being able to look back on your staycation like other vacations.

Read a couple good books

Summer is a time to indulge your guilty pleasures. It’s time to buy a few of those summer beach reads and throw caution to the wind. A staycation can be the perfect way to relax and unwind this season.

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About The Author
James Shea
James Shea is an award-winning journalist and author. He owns Media Lab, a content marketing and search engine optimization company is Richmond, Virginia.