13 Staycation Ideas to Enjoy on a Budget

13 Staycation Ideas to Enjoy on a Budget

By: Sarah Dirks


February 6, 2023

Do you desperately need a vacation, but don’t want to break the bank? Are you curious about what awesome things you can do without leaving your hometown, or even your own backyard? If that’s you, a staycation is exactly what you need.

We’ll cover some basic information about staycations, along with some of our top staycation ideas. It’s time for a vacation—at home!

What is a Staycation?

A staycation is exactly what it sounds like—the ultimate combination of staying home and having a vacation. Essentially, a staycation is finding fun, leisurely or adventurous activities in or near your city. You may not have to travel very far at all, allowing for an affordable vacation option!

What to do on a Staycation?

You can do whatever you want on a staycation. Do what you would normally do on vacation: catch up on sleep, explore the city, have a spa day, or just sit outside and read a good book. The only difference is you’re at or near your home! You can check out our list of staycation ideas further down for inspiration.

How to Make the Most of Your Staycation?

Make the most of your staycation by making it as vacation-y as you can. Don’t check your work email, don’t turn on the news, and don’t set your alarm (unless you have something extremely fun planned). The point of a vacation is to relax, get away and have fun, and your staycation should be the same way!

Treat yourself: eat the ice cream and pizza, stay in comfy clothes all day and don’t rush or stress about anything. If you plan on staying at home for most of your staycation, set up your house for the occasion. Make the bed with nice sheets, add some flowers, use fancy tableware and play your favorite music.

Work Versus Staycation

Even though you’re staying in town, you’ve earned your vacation days. Your work doesn’t need to know where you’re going or how far you’re traveling, only when you’ll be back in the office. Don’t tell them you’re staying home if you feel like they’ll try to reach out for trivial requests.

If your job requires you to be in occasional contact (like if you’re a health care professional), be sure to set clear boundaries about your availability and response time.

Remember, a staycation is a vacation too! Keep reading for our top staycation ideas.

13 Staycation Ideas

Now that you know what a staycation is, it’s time to plan one! Check out the following staycations to get started.

1. Be Spontaneous

“Plan” your staycation to be completely unplanned. Instead of making dinner reservations, wander around town and stop in a restaurant that looks good. If you want to stay in a hotel, just book one of the first ones that looks appealing to you. Or, you can even go for a walk around your city with no destination in mind. Don’t make an itinerary, just do what piques your interest in the moment.

Staycation tip: To find some great last-minute hotels, try the HotelTonight app.

2. Get Outdoors

Whether you’re near the ocean, in the mountains, or somewhere in between, getting outside is a great staycation idea. Go on a local hike, or if there aren’t any trails near you, walk around a scenic park. You can also take a day trip to the beach, go canoeing, paddleboarding or boating, or visit a local pool with your family. Embrace and explore the outdoors during your staycation!

Staycation tip: Check out this list of apps to help you find local trails and hikes!

3. Go Camping

Camping is an incredible staycation idea! Find a campground near your home, pitch a tent, and enjoy nature. If there are no campgrounds in your area, you can also camp in the backyard. Even though it’s not too far from home, backyard camping is a fun change of scenery. Or, if you’re not too keen on sleeping outside (even if it is your yard), clear out the living room and set up your tent inside!

4. Be a Tourist

Traveling to new and exciting places warrants doing all the touristy things you can find. But have you ever been a tourist in your hometown?

If you live in a big city, there are probably many attractions and activities out-of-towners rush to see. Pretend you’re a tourist and see your city through a new set of eyes. Visit museums, wander around a local gallery, or find historic sites in the area to learn more about your hometown. You can even stop in local restaurants or businesses you don’t visit often.

5. Eat Some Great Food

One of the best things about going on vacation has always been trying new cuisine and discovering new restaurants. During your staycation, instead of making your typical weeknight or weekend dinners, try fun and special dining options in your city. Visit a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, or a local spot you only frequent for special occasions.

Staycation tip: Make it a couple’s staycation by taking a cooking class together or making a romantic dinner at home.

6. Try a Food Tour

Food tours are becoming more and more popular. Either book a tour with a professional guide or organize a tour yourself (just research thoroughly and create a plan). You can even theme your tour around a single dish, like tacos or pizza. If your favorite food is pasta, go on a pasta tour around your city and hit all the top-rated Yelp joints!

Staycation tip: If you’re thinking of hiring a professional guide, consider checking out some popular companies like Secret Food Tours or Eatwith, or find a local tour in your city.

7. Go on a Picnic

Want to relax outdoors and eat great food? Go on a picnic! Pick your favorite park, grab a basket (with food, of course), and enjoy a meal outside. Be sure to pack your favorite snacks and drinks, plates, napkins and silverware, and maybe some bug spray or citronella candles. Bring your family and friends or enjoy a peaceful afternoon with your favorite book.

8. Visit an Amusement Park

Nothing screams fun like an amusement park! If you enjoy roller coasters, thrill rides and festival foods, there’s no better time to visit your nearest park than on a staycation! Some parks will charge different rates depending on the day of the week (usually weekdays are cheaper), and you can also save money by buying passes online. Do your research to find the best deal!

Staycation tip: Visiting an amusement park on a weekday will save you money, but it will also save you time! Many parks are most busy during the weekends, so spend less time standing in lines and more time having fun during the week.

Staycation bonus tip: Some amusement parks offer special deals for locals only, e.g., Disney World offers Floridians 40% discounts on 4-day passes and 30% off for 3-day passes.

9. Plan a Spa Day

Are you looking for a relaxing, peaceful staycation? Book a spa day! Most spas offer a wide range of treatments and services, so almost anyone can enjoy a self-care day. Whether you frequent the spa often or have never been, treat yourself while you’re on vacay. Or, you can also create a spa experience at home! Buy your favorite products, light some candles and read your favorite book while soaking in the bath!

10. Have a Movie Night

Skip the theater and have a movie night at home. You can either rent a new film or stream one of your favorites. Make sure to stop by the store to get all the snacks: chocolate, candy and popcorn. If you want to extend your screening, have a movie marathon!

Make your movie night extra special by setting up the screen outside! Grab a projector, drape a sheet, set up some lights, and bring your blankets and pillows to the backyard to watch a movie under the stars.

Staycation tip: Some rental locations offer inflatable outdoor screen and projector rentals, allowing for neighborhood-sized parties.

11. Host Game Night

Celebrate your staycation with a game night! Invite your friends and family over, grab a deck of cards or some board games, and settle in for some friendly competition. Ask your guests to bring their favorite games so you have a variety of options and can try something new!

Staycation tip: Check out this list of some of the top family-friendly board games, or find a list of classic board games here.

12. Book an Airbnb or hotel

Even though it’s a staycation, you don’t have to be in your home the whole time! Pick a hotel, Airbnb or rentable vacation home nearby and spend the night. Even though you’re still in the same city, it’s a major change in scenery. Go to the pool, put on a movie, or order room service to embrace your vacation so close to home.

13. Look into Virtual Tours

Just because you’re not going very far doesn’t mean you can’t experience new places and see new things. Many businesses and establishments offer virtual tour opportunities. You can check out incredible attractions from all across the world, national parks, museums and more. Our suggestion: Get a tour of the Louvre from the comfort of your couch!

Staycation tip: Find even more awesome virtual tours in this blog.

FAQs Staycation Ideas

Q: What should I buy for staycation?

A: To determine what to buy for your staycation, you need to figure out what you’ll be doing! If you’ll be doing an at-home spa experience, be sure to buy face masks, a robe, candles and more. If you’re going to set up a movie in the backyard, you’ll need a projector and snacks. If you’re going camping, be sure to have all your outdoor gear! First decide what you want your staycation to look like, and make a list of what to buy from there.

Q: How do I organize my staycation?

A:  The first thing to do after deciding to take a staycation is figuring out what you want to do! From there you can make a budget, do more research and stick to your plan (if you’re not being spontaneous).

Q: What are good staycation ideas for couples?

A: Many of the staycation ideas above would be great for couples. Consider a spa day, take a cooking or painting class together, go on a picnic, or even make a special dinner!

Q: How do you make a staycation feel like a vacation?

A: To have a productive staycation, you have to make it feel like a vacation! That means don’t check your work email, don’t overbook yourself, pamper yourself and go the extra step to make your house feel like a vacation home.

Q: How long should a staycation be?

A: A staycation can be as long as you’d like! Take a few days off work or go on a short weekend getaway. Your staycation could even be a week long!

Wrapping Up: Staycation Ideas

We hope this list of staycation ideas has inspired you to take your own staycation! Whether you’re in need of a weekend getaway or want to spend a day or two off exploring your city, a staycation is a perfect solution.

If you’re ever on the lookout for self-storage, check out Store Space! While you’re not on your staycation, keep all your toys (paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, motorcycles and more) with us. Or, make your home the ultimate staycation space and declutter ahead of time (and utilize self-storage!).

Just use our storage finder to locate your nearest facility.

We care about your staycation!

Sarah Dirks content writer

Sarah Dirks is a Content Writer for Store Space who enjoys watching movies, being active and cheering for the Boston Red Sox.


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