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Staycation Ideas For Your Vacation

Updated on August 23, 2017

Staycation Ideas For Relaxation Or Adventure

As is often the case, I didn't realize until recently that I've taken many staycations without knowing there was a name or category for it. We love coming up with fun and relaxing staycation ideas.

When my husband and I decide to take a vacation each summer, we always enjoy traveling within a few hours from home.

With gas prices soaring just in time for summer, many people are looking for ways to spend their vacations without having to pay extra to have fun.

There are many things one can do locally and still feel very rested and satisfied when it's time to return to your regular schedule. If you aren't quite sure what you want to do for your staycation and are looking for some direction, I will share some ideas to get you started.

Image courtesy of cayobo

Backyard Staycation

Backyard Staycation
Backyard Staycation

Why Take A Staycation? - Reasons For Vacationing Close To Home

Image Above Courtesy of jenny.nash712

I must admit that I had to look to make sure I understood exactly what the term "staycation" means. When I checked, this is what it had to say - "staycation or stacation: a holiday in which leisure activities are pursued while staying at one's own home."

So there you have it. As long as you sleep in your own home, you can go as far as you like for your staycation activities. Read on as I share a partial list of reasons we like making our vacation a staycation.

  1. Make our own schedule!

    We love being able to sleep in or get up early if the mood strikes and set out on our day's adventures. So the number one reason for planning activities at home or close by is the flexibility of it all. We are pretty independent and love doing things our own way and in our own time. If you are like this and don't care that much for group activities then this will probably appeal to you too.

  2. Save on gas.

    Granted, we can still rack up some bucks on gas if we travel to places a few hours away, but we are still saving much more than if we chose to drive to more than one state for our vacation.

  3. Savings on other travel expenses.

    We do eat out sometimes when we take our staycations but many times we will pack several beverages and food in a cooler when we take off for the day. This saves us a bundle in eating expenses and we would rather put our money towards gas and souvenirs. We also save by not paying for expensive travel and flight packages. Another big incentive for us.

  4. Encourages us to be more adventurous.

    One thing my husband loves to do on a staycation is for us to pack food for the day and just head off in a general direction and drive until we want to stop and investigate something. Sometimes we will stop at a roadside stand to see what is for sale and other times it might be to visit a park we've not been to before. The sky is the limit when you leave your plans open for the day!

  5. Allows us to be more physically active.

    When we are staying close to home and can leave whenever we would like, we are more likely to take more walks around our neighborhood and get more exercise in general. Being out on our day trips usually includes a walk or hike of some kind during the day. We like this way better than being cooped up in a car or an airplane while traveling for long distances on a more extensive vacation trip.

  6. Allows for more communication with each other.

    Driving around, going on long walks, or just being in the same house with each other while on our staycation encourages us to talk and communicate more with each other. If we were to plan a big vacation trip filled with tons of things for us to see and do, we probably wouldn't have as much time or energy to talk and just share on a more relaxed level.

  7. We don't have to get someone to watch our kitty while staycationing.

    Many folks have dogs, cats, and other pets that they have to arrange for their care while away on vacation. This can run up another expense if you have to board your pet or pay someone to come and take care of your pet while you are away . Taking a staycation means we don't have to worry about that as we know Smoky will be just fine until we get back home.

Staycation Or Vacation?

Do you want to take a Staycation or would you rather take a Vacation this year?

Spend Time With Mother Nature

Spend Time With Mother Nature
Spend Time With Mother Nature | Source

Things To Catch Up On While On Staycation - More Staycation Ideas

Image above is of the Hoh Rainforest and is Copyright by Me - ItayasDesigns

How many times throughout your busy week do you have wistful thoughts of things you would much rather be doing? Well a staycation is the perfect time to make a list and catch up on some of those things!

Here are a few examples to help you compile your list.

  • Sleep! This one doesn't even need explaining or good reasons. Just go for it. Sleep all you want or need. When you wake up, there will be plenty you can do for the rest of your staycation.
  • Watch your favorite TV shows or movies. If you have been recording a lot of shows for 'when you have time' now is the time to indulge!
  • Read a stack of books or magazines. Oh how delicious it is to sit and read for several hours straight! Go for it.
  • Eat everything from your cabinets and freezer.Who wants to go grocery shopping on their staycation? Probably not many of us. So make a promise to only eat and cook all the food items you already have. You can restock next week when your staycation is over.
  • Talk for hours on the telephone and catch up with friends and family. Just pile up in a cozy chair and chat the hours away and enjoy catching up with all you have been too busy to devote attention to of late.
  • Better yet, take a day trip to visit family or friends. We have family and friends that are scattered all over Washington state so it's pretty easy to find someone we can take a day trip to visit and spend some unhurried time with. I only get to see my three siblings maybe twice a year so I'm always happy for an excuse to drive and visit.
  • Work on your SuDoku, puzzles, and games that you never have enough time for. I like to buy those books that are full of SuDoku puzzles and go through them one at a time. There are even sites online that you can print SuDoku puzzles from as well as other puzzles to take with you on your day trips if you like. These would be fun to give to the kids to work on while traveling. I have put together a list of several links to puzzles of all kinds below. Many are printable too!
  • Work in your garden. I know that many will not think of this as something to do on a staycation but many others will find it very relaxing to putter around in their garden. I like sitting out in nature and weeding my herb gardens and other plants. It is very soothing to me and may be for you!
  • Spend hours with your arts and crafts. If you are an artsy crafty person as I am then giving yourself permission to spend hours doing something that brings you creative joy may be just the thing you will want to catch up on while on your staycation.

Sounds of Nature Video for Relaxing at Home - Staycation Ideas

This video is 60 minutes of beautiful nature sounds that was filmed in the USA in Pennsylvania. You can find several videos similar to this on that will take you away from it all while soaking in the tub, sitting in the backyard, or while falling asleep at night. Enjoy!

Visit A Farmer's Market

Visit A Farmer's Market
Visit A Farmer's Market

Fun Things To Do On Your Staycation - Ideas For Day Trips And Adventures

Image above courtesy of ianmalcm

As I mentioned earlier, we live in Washington state in the USA. We are fortunate in that we can go in several directions and end up doing something we love for our staycation. Throughout the year we make mental notes of places and things we would like to visit when we take our vacation. Then off we go to explore!

Also, check your local newspaper for the pullout section of local events for the coming week. Ours comes in the Wednesday and Sunday papers. If you don't look at this section regularly, you will probably be amazed at all the wonderful activities going on in your area each week!

Here are some ideas that you may or may not be able to do where you live but will help you think of similar things in your area.

  1. Visit a Farmer's Market. If you are thinking that you only go to Farmer's Markets to buy locally grown food, think again! There can be lots of booths featuring original art, photography items, hand knitted items, hand sewn items and more! The farmer's markets in our area are so much fun to go to. It's like a street fair every time. Each booth has something either home grown or handmade. I love that there is a huge selection of organically grown vegetables and fruit to choose from. Plus there is usually food you can purchase and eat while strolling among the booths as well as musicians keeping things lively. I could travel each week to a different farmer's market and never grow tired of them. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce (they are probably online) if you aren't sure if there are any farmer's markets in your area that you can visit.
  2. Pack a picnic lunch and head to a local park. We visited the Hoh Rainforest (I talk more about it here) some years ago and I recently told my husband I really want to go back again. Hopefully it won't be pouring rain during the week we decide to take vacation. Many parks have trails for hiking or biking. The Parks Commission in your area should have info for you about your local parks and what you can expect when going there. I know that staying outside your home isn't technically a staycation but many of the local parks feature camping facilities, just in case you want to stay overnight. For me, going to a park and being one with nature is all the vacation I need.
  3. Go for nature walks around your neighborhood with a camera. It is amazing what we rush by each day in our own neighborhoods and never even notice. Consider taking a long and leisurely stroll in your neighborhood and take as many photos as possible to remind you later of your awesome staycation.
  4. Have friends over for a cookout on the grill. Have a potluck gathering so that you don't have to stress over making all the food and then enjoy visiting with friends, family, or neighbors you don't usually have time to visit with. Set up tiki torches, string outdoor lights, or light candles to set a more relaxing tone for the evening.
  5. Spend the day at the zoo. There is probably a zoo near where you live that you haven't visited in a while. Load the kiddies up or round up some friends and have fun with the animals for the day. Be sure to take plenty of snacks for the day.
  6. Take an art walk or visit an art museum. In our area, each month several local businesses host an art walk. The business will host a particular artist in the area, serve light refreshments, and you can walk from place to place visiting the different artists and businesses all in an evening. It may be the third Friday of the month each month or something similar. Check to see if there is anything like this in your area or go to more established museums for the day.

Our Staycation Photos - Images Copyright ItayasDesigns - The Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park - Click for Larger Views!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A tree that we nic-named 'Bat Tree' because it looked so much like a bat was growing out the side of it!
A tree that we nic-named 'Bat Tree' because it looked so much like a bat was growing out the side of it!
A tree that we nic-named 'Bat Tree' because it looked so much like a bat was growing out the side of it! | Source

Learn To Meditate On Your Staycation

Learn To Meditate On Your Staycation
Learn To Meditate On Your Staycation

Free Games For Your Staycation - Have A Game Night During Your Staycation

Image above courtesy of Wonderlane

Check out these free games that you can play on your staycation. Many of them are printable so you can print and pass them out for everyone to enjoy.

Why not have a Game Night and have friends or family sit around playing games like mad while munching on snacks!

I would love to hear your thoughts about taking staycations, vacations, or just to say Hi!!

Will You Be Taking A Staycation This Year?

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    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Great ideas here. I was especially happy to see and hear your forest sounds video. They are very soothing! Staycation is such a lovely idea. Thanks for your encouragement!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love staycation day trips! With four kids it's more affordable to plan a fun day out or a weekend getaway rather than a foreign vacation. :)

    • junebugco profile image


      5 years ago

      I have expanded my vocabulary by reading your lens. I have never heard he word staycation before.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      You have some wonderfully well thought out lists based on what you have done yourself and are feeding us great ideas....I sighed when I read, "Spend hours on your arts and crafts", now that's on my heart to do! Your first list reminded me of my sister and her husband, they often go on day trips in a direction that ends up walking trails or going through antique shops, but like you say....its mostly about being together in sweet companionship. Very well done with ideas for anyone's staycation anywhere, congratulations on your purple star! :)

    • ItayaLightbourne profile imageAUTHOR

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      @jennysue19: Thank you for the suggestion JennySue! :)

    • jennysue19 profile image


      5 years ago

      I think this is a good lens. Maybe what you should do, to get a better ranking is to check your tags are geared to giving you a good Google rank. You may just have to 'put it to bed' for the winter, and then shortly before vacation time, revise, smarten up, update any Amazon modules with new material. Lovely photos - maybe some with your family in would be good, show that you are enjoying yourselves!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I will take a staycations and visit more of Toronto, Canada.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'd love to go to Europe or maybe Bali for vacation, but that's just not gonna happen this year :) A staycation is a smart alternative!

    • DIY Mary profile image

      DIY Mary 

      6 years ago

      I expect I will take at least one staycation before the year is up.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      6 years ago from Colorado

      Today's a holiday and I am staycationing. Just as you have the perfect place for unlimited, awesome staycations, I also have no shortage of amazing things to do here in the exquisite state of Colorado. All I have to do is walk out my back door. Love your gorgeous, gorgeous photos. Feel like I've had a refreshing staycation just soaking in your scenery. We are very much kindred spirits. As I read your lists, I kept nodding my head and thinking "exactly." I especially like #4 on list one.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great information. Great lens. Thanks

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 

      6 years ago

      A great lens with very good ideas to maximise out of staycation.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I will be taking a staycation next weekend:)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I loved this lens! I had a similar idea but you presented it so much better and with such a wealth of ideas and suggestions.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This was a great lens with lots of ideas for staycations. Which would be great for times when weather not good for traveling

    • Mark Shearman profile image

      Mark Shearman 

      6 years ago from Alicante Spain

      Looks really nice thanks for sharing.

    • kristalulabelle profile image


      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great ideas for a staycation! I love the Farmer's Market idea!

    • ShariSmith profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for publishing this great and helpful lens! :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      nice lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, some time. Great lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent lens. And particularly like the links to online games!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great set of ideas! Thanks for sharing! ;-)

    • LabKittyDesign profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes! Reading just the right book is like going on a vacation in your brain! Recommended: The Hobbit. Not recommended: Blood Meridian.

    • Millionairemomma profile image


      6 years ago

      What a lovely calming summer staycation. Congratulations on the purple star.

    • OliviaDaughter LM profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 

      6 years ago

      Great Lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Fantastic lens! Great job!

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      The new approach to vacations is becoming mainstream! SquidAngel blessings.

    • nicks44 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks a lot for sharing these ideas ... Very beautiful!

    • KandH profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, and you gave me a few great ideas for my next one :)

    • sarasentor lm profile image

      sarasentor lm 

      6 years ago

      Very Helpful and Interesting lens. I appreciate you for making such a splendid lens. It deserve THUMB UP!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      My last lens of the evening. I'm so happy I dropped in .. you have made a fine lens and .. I got a pleasant surprise ... Thank you for featuring my lens A Staycation Vacation here.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      My last lens of the evening. I'm so happy I dropped in .. you have made a fine lens and .. I got a pleasant surprise ... Thank you for featuring my lens A Staycation Vacation here.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We always do as in the summer, we go home to Canada and this is practically what we do.

    • lilymom24 profile image


      6 years ago

      Just the money saved by not needing a motel is quite a lot. Nice lens and congratulations on being on the front page. =)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      It's great to take a Staycation and keep the money you spend local

    • MrInfopreneur profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for your lens. Just reminded me that i should take a picnic..

    • Brandi Bush profile image


      6 years ago from Maryland

      Excellent! I love how you laid out your page and the photos are perfect. Great job! :)

    • chas65 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks goodness gas prices are going down, but still nice to find alternatives close to home.

    • rallo-smith profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes I will be especially after reading your lens visit The Hoh Rainforest.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      6 years ago from Albany New York

      Very nice variety of suggestions and well done lens.

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image


      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Styacations to save money and stress of planning and travel of a real vacation.

    • MermaidDoc profile image


      6 years ago

      I will definitely be taking a staycation this summer, I also live in the Pacific Northwest and can't quite imagine wanting to spend my time off anywhere else. I like the lists that you used in this lens, especially the listing of the benefits of staying at home.

    • fifta profile image


      6 years ago

      I love to do staycation, but occasionally I have some road trips to neighboring cities.

    • designsbyharriet profile image


      6 years ago from Indiana

      There is always so much to do at home that can make for a fun vacation. You certainly have hit on many of them.


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