In this post: Looking for summer vacation ideas for taking time off at home? Here are 50 staycation ideas for a relaxing holiday without traveling.⇒
I love to travel!
I enjoy seeing other parts of the world and immersing myself in their unique cultures. I delight in new foods, beautiful architecture, the luxury a well chosen hotel can offer, and I particularly like to coordinate a perfect capsule wardrobe to take on my trip.
Yet I also get stressed before each trip. Have I planned everything right? Will there be hiccups I didn’t anticipate? Can I be away from our extended family without worrying constantly?
If the idea of summer travel has you more tense than eager, then maybe this is the year to consider a ‘staycation’. Perhaps you’ve gotten used to appreciating time at home the past few years or you simply aren’t comfortable spending on inflated travel prices. Vacationing at home may be just the answer for you!
However, if you’re going to commit to a summer staycation, you definitely want to be sure that it’s truly a break from your ordinary schedule and that it provides you the opportunity to refresh and recharge. You’ll want a clear-cut holiday from day-to-day life and a respite that affords you a reinvigorated perspective when you “return” to normal living. Extra points if you also see or try some things that you’ve never experienced before.
So there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to approach vacationing at home, at least if you want to gain from it the same mindset you’d get from travel.
Let’s look at 50 staycation ideas for taking time off at home.
Refresh Your Outdoor Spaces to Maximize Relaxation
The very first step in planning a vacation at home is ensuring your home makes you feel as rested as a stay in a hotel. You don’t necessarily have to revamp your entire home (although new luxury sheets and towels, scented candles and fresh flower arrangements will go a long way to enlivening your interior spaces), but putting your effort into updating your exterior living spaces is time well spent in promoting a tranquil environment. Here are ideas for creating a serene and rejuvenating atmosphere on the patio or in the backyard.
- Be sure you have comfortable and adequate seating that’s freshly cleaned.
- An umbrella makes reading in the shade an always-available option.
- A fire-pit or outdoor heater will keep you comfortable on chilly nights.
- Set an outdoor dining table for breakfast, to start your day off with fresh air.
- String lights are a charming addition for dining al fresco.
- Use a pretty accent color in pillows and planters for a lively touch.
- An outdoor grill makes cooking simple and keeps the kitchen clean.
- Keep plush towels at the ready for sunning or swimming.
- A cozy egg chair is a great place to relax with a book.
- Add a gliding bench to ‘rock yourself’ calm.
Enjoy Time in Your Own Kitchen
One of the things many people look forward to most on vacation is not cooking. And you can certainly do that, even when your time off will be based from home. You could eat out every night, order-in from your favorite places, or even hire a chef for a night or two.
But having relaxed time at home is a unique opportunity, a rare gift in fact, that you might appreciate taking advantage of. Enjoying time in your own kitchen to create, experiment, improvise and try new things is a treat when you’re not rushed to feed a hungry family or get a million other chores done.
Try some of these ideas when staycationing at home and fall in love with your kitchen again.
- Make homemade ice cream with that machine you’ve been meaning to get.
- Serve it in pretty bowls and make an occasion out of it.
- Use a bread maker to master made-from-scratch bread. Experiment with different ingredients.
- Place the fresh bread on a lovely pedestal cake plate. (Cover with a dome to keep it fresh.)
- Brew fresh iced coffee or tea in an iced tea/cafe maker.
- Serve in tall decorative glasses or if going out, use a stainless steel tumbler. No plastic cups for your vacation brews.
- For a hot cup, try a French press coffee maker and pretty coffee mugs.
- Test out a new recipe with a healthy twist using an air fryer or a slow cooker.
- Explore healthy smoothie options with a Nutri Bullet.
- Schedule a private cooking lesson at home… and don’t forget the wine!
Arrange for Some Outdoor or Unusual Activities
Just because it’s a staycation doesn’t mean you can’t leave the house. You might schedule interesting local activities, especially those that involve enjoying nature. If you have a local park with boating options, that’s a great place to start. You can also try enjoying the outdoors on your own property. Here are some ideas.
- Think about the amenities at your favorite resorts. Like to play basketball? Make sure you have a hoop and room to play.
- Set up a volley ball net, or get a set that includes badminton, as well.
- Nothing beats morning yoga outdoors. Have a mat that will accommodate your needs.
- Will your kids or grandkids be part of this vacation? Be sure you have a versatile swing set.
- Is gardening your pleasure? Get decorative new garden tools for your staycation happy place. Add a sweet watering can, as well.
- Include a golf practice net in your backyard activities.
- For more sedate activity, host a MahJong game.
- Maybe now is a good time to try mountain biking? Or regular biking?
- Have you got lakes or mild waters nearby? Consider an inflatable kayak with oars.
- Sleep in an outdoor camping dome tent, whether it be at a campsite or in your own backyard.
Coordinate That Summer Capsule Wardrobe
Half the fun of vacation is buying new clothes for the trip and anticipating the upcoming season, as well. But the packing aspect is no fun at all. Vacationing at home avoids that tiresome task altogether.
Go ahead and put your capsule together. Limit your colors so everything works well in the mix. Then wash, iron, remove all the tags and get it all vacation ready. Now hang it in your closet in an easy to reach section and appreciate that you don’t have to live out of a suitcase and that your freshly ironed items will still look perfect when you’re ready to wear them.
Here are some tips for a summer capsule.
- Pick a very limited palette based primarily around neutrals. Add one accent color if you must have some pop.
- Layering pieces like a white tee or a black tank top make great underpinnings and will go with everything.
- A few woven shirts will dress up your basics. This is a good place to include your accent color in a stripe.
- A summer capsule must include a few shorts. Think white, denim, black and natural. This year a drawcord waist style is a must.
- A white ankle jean (cuff for cropped) and a loose trouser will cover most of your pant needs.
- Another must for this year is a relaxed linen blazer. Go neutral and wear it with everything.
- Include a proper cardigan for chilly nights. You’ll be glad you did.
- Be sure to have a few dresses, after all this is for your vacation. Vary the lengths – mini, midi, maxi. There’s a place for all.
- Flat slides with chain detail, platform sneakers, a chunky strap sandal and a square toe heel will take you most places.
- A tote and a cross body bag will cover most of your needs. Bonus points for a cute clutch.
- A baseball cap, a sun hat and a layered necklace round out the package.
Some Additional Tips
- Have a very specific start date and end date and don’t let the outside demands of ordinary life get in the way. Claim your time and stick with it.
- Plan at least some of your activities in advance, as if you were traveling.
- Go off your diet. Sleep late. Limit social media.
- Try to look at your neighborhood in a new way. Take your camera and look for the beauty shots.
- Schedule a few day trips to local attractions you’ve never visited or even thought about visiting.
- Beware when you hear yourself saying, “let me just take this work call.”
- Check your email only twice a day – once in the morning, once near the end of the day.
- Get dressed every day, especially in your new capsule items. Even if you’re cooking dinner together at home.
- Use your best dishes, sheets and towels.
- Start a new book.
A staycation is all about relaxing and recharging. It’s absolutely critical that you view your time off as exactly that – time off. This is your vacation. Savor it!
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