You know what they say about all work and no play. You don’t have to plan an extravagant or expensive trip out of town to catch a little bit of R&R. You can decompress from a long, stressful week with a staycation. The next time you need to get away without going anywhere, try one of these fun ideas:
- Act Like a Tourist
- Visit a Museum or a Historical Site
- Enjoy the Great Outdoors
- Attend a Festival
- Take Your Inner Child to an Amusement Park or Theme Park
- Crawl Around Town
- Pamper Yourself with a Spa Day
- Paint the Town Red
- Spend a Night Away from Home
- Stay at Home and Disconnect
Whether you’ve lived in the same city for years or you just moved to town, being a tourist in your hometown allows you to find new and exciting things about the place you live. Venture to areas of your town where you’ve never been. Visit places you’ve always read about in local publications or seen on television. Even if you’ve lived in the area for a long time, there are bound to be some changes or new developments that you’ve never explored.
Chances are your city or a nearby town has some type of museum, historical site, or both. MuseumsUSA has a list of museums categorized by state and city. You can discover historic sites and landmarks in each state on the National Park Service website. These are perfect for experiencing the culture and history of your hometown.
If you’re the adventurous type, visit a state park or take a hike. You can find a list of parks to explore at the U.S. National Park Service. The website TrailLinks has a list of trails categorized by state. You can even find hiking itineraries and city guides on the site to plan your day.
If your city is famous for something, it probably has a festival to celebrate it. Your local convention and visitors bureau or center should have a calendar listing festivals and events in the area. Established, annual events are guaranteed to provide everything from people watching to food to entertainment.
You spend all week meeting responsibilities and living up to other’s expectations. Embrace your inner child and experience the freedom of having fun. Find an amusement or theme park in your area. Leave behind all the fears that came with adulthood and brave the rides just for the thrill of it.
When you go on vacation, you tend to indulge in food and drink. Forget about your diet for one day by going on a crawl. Some cities have organized crawls of pubs, breweries, and other establishments. If your town doesn’t have one, plan one of your one. For example, your crawl might be as general as visiting all the bakeries in your area or as specific as sampling pies at various establishments.
Vacations are all about rest and relaxation. For a staycation, escape your everyday stress with a spa day. Spend the day getting pampered, from your head to your toes — literally. Don’t just get a massage. Get a body brushing or a scrub. Treat yourself to a facial, manicure, and pedicure. Not only will your body feel refreshed but so will your mind.
Eating at unfamiliar restaurants is always an adventure when you go on vacation. For a staycation, make a reservation at a fancy restaurant that you’ve never tried. Pay a little extra for menu items that you normally wouldn’t order. After dinner, continue your evening exploring the nightlife of your area. Go to the theater or a night club and stay out past your bedtime. In the wee hours of the morning, go home or continue your staycation with the next tip.
The best part about going on vacation is waking up someplace different. If you can afford it, spend the night in a nearby five-star luxury hotel or resort. While the price may be more than you would normally spend on accommodations, remember that your overall budget is less because you don’t have traveling expenses. If you’re on a tight budget, try to find a bed and breakfast or even a short-term rental in a different area of town for a change of scenery.
The simplest and least expensive staycation is never leaving your house. The trick is to not do anything that doesn’t bring you joy or a sense of peace. To help, turn off and put away all your electronic devices. If disconnecting from yourself from the outside world is too difficult, at least try not to answer any calls or texts that aren’t urgent.
Focus on offline activities like reading, cooking, woodworking, or other hobbies. If you can’t give up on electronics completely, binge watch that series you have heard about but have never seen, or watch all your favorite old movies. All your responsibilities will still be there tomorrow, so you can enjoy yourself for at least one day or a weekend.