Do you want a quick getaway from the fast-paced, moving world around you? Do you want to go on vacation but travel restrictions are cramping your style?
Do you want some fun activities that’ll make staying home fun for you and the whole family? Are you looking for ways to have a vacation that is inexpensive yet fun? I have just the thing for you.
The past year has taken a toll on all of us who love to travel by restricting us to our homes and making us afraid to even think about traveling.
How would you feel if I told you that there is a simple way to have a fun getaway from the comfort of your home? What if I told you that I know the best staycation ideas that are inexpensive? Are you interested?
Well, in this article, I will share 19 inexpensive staycation ideas that you can use solo, with your family, or even with your friends.
What is an ideal staycation?
A staycation, also known as a city break or local vacation, is when you stay at home and spend your time doing things that are fun yet relaxing.
Often staycations are planned over long weekends or holidays like Christmas or Independence Day because people want to be with their family during these periods.
However recently staycations have become a way to get away on a budget. It has also become popular as a result of travel restrictions which have prevented many of us from traveling freely.
One of the best benefits of a staycation is staying close to home which helps you stay within your budget.
By opting to stay close to home you save on travel costs such as airlines and hotels. And even if you do decide to stay in a hotel in or around your city you can still save.
How do you make a staycation feel like a vacation?
You may be thinking that a staycation cannot take the place of a traditional vacation.
I mean the whole idea is to escape from everyday life and it is kinda hard to do that when you are sitting in your own home.
However, there is a trick to getting that much-needed escape and making the most of your vacation time even if you're sitting in your own backyard.
So let me ask you a question.
What's your travel style? Do you like to explore cities or relax by the pool? Do you prefer quiet mountain retreats or a foodie escape?
The best way to make your staycation feel like a vacation is to recreate the types of experiences that you crave when on vacation.
Whatever your travel style, there are staycation ideas to match.
The staycation ideas in this list will make you feel like you’re on vacation without having to leave your neighborhood or spend a lot of money!
Whether you stay in the city or in the comfort of your home, below are some staycation ideas that I'm sure will be perfect for you.
How to plan the perfect staycation?
There are staycation ideas for every type of person, from those who love to stay inside and relax with a glass of wine to those who want some adventure.
In order to have the perfect staycation, you need to find the staycation that best suits your personality and interests. Once you've figured that out, all you have to do is start planning your staycation.
Once you have an idea of what you want to do start doing research around you. If you want to enjoy a pool day then find places in or around your city where you can do that.
If adventure is more you're style use google maps to help you identify new hiking trails or state parks that you can visit for kayaking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures.
When you're planning it is important to treat it like a vacation. Maybe this means turning off your cell phone for a few hours or trying a new activity that you've never done before.
If you love to try new foods find a new restaurant near you or try cooking a new recipe from a country that you may have visited in the past or hope to visit in the future.
What can you do during a staycation?
A staycation can mean many different things to many different people. It all depends on your staycation style and the activities that you enjoy doing during your time off.
While staying in is nice, sometimes you need a staycation with friends or family. This could include bowling, cooking night, or just enjoying some really good food while watching movies .
If you're staycation also includes friends or family, then turn it into an adventure day! The possibilities are endless. Visit a nearby theme park, go to the zoo for the day, take some scenic drives and enjoy local art galleries.
Friends staycations could also be spent doing some of your friend's favorite activities like wine tasting, bubble soccer, or even a staycation at an amusement park.
Of course, staycations are most often used for relaxation and they can be just that. Turn off your phone or laptop, light some candles around the house or take a nice bath with some relaxing music playing in the background.
Make it unique to you and your style. And here are some ideas to get you started.
19 Staycation Ideas to Try This Year
Below are 19 fun staycation ideas that will make you feel like you’re on vacation without having to leave your neighborhood or spend a lot of money!
If you love going to the movies but hate how costly it is, movie nights at home are a perfect solution. You can make your movie night as simple as possible.
This setup could simply be putting a movie into your DVD player and sitting up on the couch. Or you could even turn on Netflix and lay in bed.
How about taking your movie nights to the next level?
Some fantastic ideas for a movie night would be to watch a movie under the stars.
You could do this by getting a projector, buying, or making a projector screen (it is cheaper to make), get some bean bags or pillows and blankets.
Make some popcorn and grab some goodies for a closer cinema experience. Once you have all the stuff assembled in your movie area and wait till the night gets dark.
Are you looking for a projector screen for under $10? Try using a white flat sheet or purchase a cheap one off Amazon or eBay.
Become a hometown tourist
Travel restrictions, have inspired us to do one thing. That one thing is to get to know our hometowns better.
Yes, we know where the shopping centers are or the closest gas station. But do you know how many hidden trails and local businesses there are in your area?
It's okay if you don't. I think we all tend to focus more on where we can explore next than seeing all that our hometowns have to offer.
This is the perfect opportunity to become a tourist in your hometown. Look for free walking tours hosted by your town or go on google maps and search for things near you. You may be surprised at what you find.
Host a brunch in your home
Nothing is better than having brunch with the girls, but how good would it be to be able to do it at home? Champagne and charcuterie sound like a match made in heaven.
You can keep it simple by setting up a grazing table filled with many goodies like extravagant cheeses, a mix of meat cuts, olives, and fruits. Brunch is a perfect way to socialize in a relaxing setting.
Or go all out and plan a meal with favorites like french toast, sliders and of course don't forget the mimosas.
Stargazing is a great activity to do on your staycation. It allows you to become familiar with the night sky that changes our specific view of how we view the world for a second.
Try to find all the star constellations or find the milky way. You could even pull up a lawn chair and some wine and enjoy the view.
Stargazing isn't just pointing out the astrology signs there are in the sky. It also reminds you that there is a bigger world out there.
Meditation is a great way to awaken your mind and slow down the body into relaxation. There are so many different ways to meditate, such as using a singing bowl, using crystals, or use some essential oils.
You can download a free meditation app on your phone such as Insight Timer, Headspace or Calm. You can also find amazing meditation on youtube for free as well.
Do some backyard yoga.
Yoga is a great way to stay healthy and stay flexible. And even if you have attended classes in the past doing yoga at home is a great way to add a moment of relaxation to your day.
It is simple to create an inexpensive yoga area in your backyard. All you need is your yoga mat, an open space to move freely, and of course, it would help if you chose a quiet location.
Find a video on youtube or you can even attend a live stream yoga class on apps like Insight timer for free.
You can also make a group activity by inviting your family or friends to join you.
Read that book
Have you been putting off reading that book you bought that has been collecting dust for quite some time now?
It’s time to pick up the book, dust it off and find a comfy place to lay or sit and read a couple of chapters.
I recommend sitting in a quiet area that has a lot of sunlight. Or even outside where you can get plenty of fresh air and hearing the world go on around you.
Grab a snack and something to drink and get lost in your book.
Start a blog
Have a little downtime on your staycation that you want to make profitable? Try starting a trendy blog. You don’t have to be a blogger to start a blog up.
You will need to have a passion for writing about the niche you want to express with your viewers. Perhaps you could start blogging for poetry, a short story, or even about your life!
Blogging is a great way to connect with the rest of the world and bringing out your more creative side. Plus, blogs can be a great side job to make an extra couple hundred dollars or so.
Host a board game night
If you love playing board games, why not host a board game night with a couple of friends or family?
There are many fun board games from the old school days, like scrabble or trouble to today's board games like cards against humanity or blockbusters.
Boardgame nights are loads of fun and are a fun indoor staycation idea at home during the pandemic or even for a Friday night.
Board games with your friends or family are perfect for cheap entertainment and a way to bring everyone together.
Learn a new skill
Learning a new skill is a perfect way to use up your staycation. Not only are you have fun and learning something new.
But you are also preoccupying yourself with wasting time watching tv all day or going out and spending more money.
If you have been postponing learning the things you’ve wanted to do for ages, this is the perfect time to do so.
Can’t think of a new skill? Try learning something fun like calligraphy, crocheting, or photography. You don't need to take an expensive class, find some highly rated YouTube videos, or even read people's blogs.
Visit your local fresh food market.
Visiting your local fresh food market not only provides you with the freshest ingredients to whip up delicious meals. But it also helps support the local farmers who grow the food to perfection.
Visiting a farmer's market is a great staycation idea to add in some healthy eating and physical activity. It doesn't take much time to pick out the best produce, and you can make delicious meals at home when you get back.
Challenge yourself to try something new while you are at it. Just like when you're traveling this is a great opportunity to experiment.
Bonus: Make it a day trip and don't just check out the farmer's markets in your own town. Visit nearby cities and see what kind of goodies you can find to take home for a delicious meal.
Get some fresh air
Yes. That means go outside.
If you have a couple of hours free during your vacation, it is always a good idea to get some fresh air.
And by that, I mean, go for a walk. You could even go for a run, go on a hike or even take your mountain bike along a bike trail.
You'll be surprised to find miles of trails near you that you never knew about. Check out sites like AllTrails to search for hidden gems in your backyard.
Have a picnic
Picnics are one of the best activities to do during your staycation. You can literally have a picnic anywhere.
Try having a picnic at the national parks or your backyard. You could even have a picnic in your living room. Picnics are great to enjoy with your family, your spouse, or even by yourself.
Do you wonder what else you could do on a picnic? How about trying a game of frisbee, or catch, or fly a kite. We personally like to get a game of Monopoly Go during our picnics.
If the weather is less than desirable for an outdoor picnic then consider creating an indoor picnic. You can set up a blanket right on your living room floor.
All you need is a good meal and good company. And the willingness to create memories.
Staycations are a fantastic time to put some focus and love back into yourself. Plus, this is a great budget-friendly activity to do at home.
When you’re working all week and catching up with unfinished tasks on the weekends, you forget to give yourself any attention.
It’s time to pay it forward and listen to what your body needs. So, light a candle, get a yoga mat out, and start stretching.
How about you give yourself a pamper day with a foot massage. How about using the masks that you have but don't use. It’s time to eat healthy and nourishing foods and not worrying about doing a single chore.
Crafting is a great way to great your creative side to awaken. There have been many popular trends of people and their crafts on TikTok of people showing their creative minds at work. Due to many being in lockdown, it has been the perfect time to do so.
You could try crafts such as resin work to felt poking and many more fun crafts to try. Possibly try your hand at making videos and posting them up on social media.
Have a themed dinner party
It doesn't need to be someone's birthday to have a themed party. Why not host a themed dinner party just because you want to?
Wouldn't it be fun to grab your girlfriends and enjoy a nice dinner that isn't casual but also isn't formal?
If hosting a themed dinner party sounds like something you’d like to do. Here are some examples.
Try ideas such as Bohemian-themed, casino night, murder mystery, or even something fun like breakfast for dinner.
Start an herb garden.
Most urban homes don't have the room for a big blooming garden in their backyards.
Why not start a small herb garden that only takes up your windowsill. This activity is a great way to use up time on your staycation.
Not only do seedlings cost under $5, but you can start growing your own herbs for half of the price you’d get them in the shop.
Some great herbs to start your herb garden would be the ones you use often. These herbs include parsley, thyme, basil, or coriander.
Watch the sunset with some wine.
Take some time out of your busy staycation, and spend some time indulging in some wine. Grab a lawn chair and watch the sunset over.
Now watching the sunset doesn't have to be on some picturesque lookout. You could always sit in your driveway or backyard and still get a glimpse of the transition of the sky.
Another great place you could watch the sunset could be in a local park or even better, the beach.
Camp at home
If you love camping, this is a fun activity to do. Camping at home is great for tight budgets. Instead of paying to park your caravan or paying to pitch a tent.
Why not do the same thing for free and in the comfort of your home?
Inside the house or in the backyard, camping can get done anywhere. Smores, family, or friends and pitched up tents. Can you think of anything better?
Go on a Food Tour.
A food tour is a great way to spend your staycation time. You can do it yourself or sign up for a local food tour near you. (I did this one in Vancouver and it was awesome).
If you choose to DIY the food tour google maps is a great resource. Pick a theme and find cafes and restaurants in your area that fit that them.
For example, let's say you are trying to recreate an experience from your favorite destination. Focus on eateries that serve food from that destination.
Get your family and friends involved. And let them help in picking spots along the way.
The best staycation ideas when you're itching for a getaway.
If you're really looking to get out of the house here are some more ideas to consider.
A staycation can be much more than just staying in your own house. With the best staycation ideas, you could stay overnight at someone’s place, go on an outback camping trip, or even stay for one night only in a hotel without having to pay extra money.
Book a hotel in the city and don't forget to treat yourself to room service. Go on a mini road trip and explore a nearby town. Book a spa day at your local spa. Visit local museums.
Fun staycation ideas
You deserve to take a break!
If you're itching for an escape, but don't want the hassle of packing and traveling, I hope these staycation ideas have inspired you to plan that mini escape.
Whether you choose to explore your own city and check out the local restaurants. Plan a weekend getaway to a nearby national park. Or check into a local hotel. It's all about getting into that vacation mindset.
When was the last time you actually took some time off? It's probably been too long if your answer is anything more than “yesterday.”
We hope these staycation tips will motivate you to take that much-needed break.
What are some ways you like to spend your free time when at home (besides work)? Let us know in the comments below so other readers have even more ideas before they start their own staycations.