Staycation Tips & Ideas for a Cheap Holiday

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Planning for a staycation might sound oxymoronic. After all, the point of a staycation is doing nothing, isn’t it? Plan a Lake District staycation. Sleep in, binge-watch your favorite shows, order takeout, chill. However, it is still a good idea to plan the staycation, and here’s why.

If you don’t have some structure of sorts, you can easily slip into your average weekend routine of playing with your phone, scrubbing the shower, checking your work email, etc. Use the staycation ideas and tips provided here to help you plan your time off so that it feels like an actual vacation.

1.         Complete the Prep Work Before the Start of the Staycation

If the staycation is in your own home, spend some time to make it start feeling like a hotel. One simple way to do exactly that would be to hire a maid service. It will also free you from any desire you might have to dust your baseboards during the staycation.

To make your home feel more like a hotel, buy fresh flowers and invest in a nice candle or two. If you love coffee, buy fancier coffee than you usually do. You can even consider buying some delicious pastries for the next morning’s breakfast.

2.         Set a Theme for the Staycation

Everybody has their own traveling style – relaxed or active, healthy or indulgent – and you can easily apply this to your at-home vacation. Defining your approach will help you come up with fun ideas for your staycation such as:

Active Traveler: Attempt athletic pursuits that you have always been curious about such as mountain biking, stand-up paddle boarding, or even rock climbing. You can even hire an instructor to help you improve your tennis or golf game.

Serenity Now: Do a 7-day yoga challenge. You can find some guided meditations online to download. Book a reflexology, massage, or acupuncture session. Try out a treatment that you haven’t done before such as a Korean bath or saltwater float pods.

Runaway Gourmet: Make reservations at 3 of the best restaurants your city has to offer. Taste unfamiliar cuisines such as Guamanian or Indonesian. You can also take a brewery or food tour.

Tourist in Your Own Town: Visit local attractions and museums that you haven’t tried previously. Join a walking tour of local historic sites.

Try a New Life: Nobody says that you have to be confined at home. Search HomeAway or Airbnb for something nearby but totally different from your boring old home, such as an urban loft or a Victorian farmhouse. If you switch your suburban home for an urban one, embrace the associated lifestyle such as rooftop bars, concerts, and gallery openings.

Grown Up Summer Camp: Summer camp for grown-ups is a real thing, but it is also possible to recreate the experience with a staycation. Go camping, rent a canoe, get crafty, and roast marshmallows.

3.         Set a Budget for the Staycation

If you have zero budget for your staycation, you won’t have much fun. It’s hard to feel like you are on vacation if all you eat are leftover takeout and freezer-burned chicken fingers. However, a staycation is aimed at avoiding the expense associated with a trip. What can you afford spend to achieve your desired goals and still save money?

One way is to calculate just how much you are actually saving. If you forego a hotel stay, plane tickets, and restaurant meals, you may have already saved over $1,000. Could you spend even a third or half of that and still feel virtuous?

Alternatively, you can find staycation deals. Let’s assume you are planning a wellness staycation. 7 days of yoga could easily cost $100. A saltwater float $80. A massage $75. You can reduce such costs by hunting for deals online or opting for virtual courses.

4.         Buy Some Souvenirs

Getting to bring home a few meaningful mementos is one of the pleasures of traveling and there’s nothing preventing you from doing the same during your staycation. Shop local boutiques or simply buy something lovely for the house. For instance, you can buy that set of mugs you have always wanted to buy, pull them out of their box on the first day of your staycation and drink coffee out of them every day of the staycation.

5.         Protect the Staycation

Just like an actual vacation, things can and will probably go wrong on your staycation. Fortunately, you can do a few things to defend it:

Avoid telling your colleagues that you are doing a staycation: They will expect you to be available to handle crises at work since you aren’t “really” gone. A better idea would be to tell them something vague about heading out of town and turning on your out-of-office autoresponder.

Avoid telling friends, too: Whether you an extrovert or introvert, there is something great about being completely free from social obligations during the staycation.

Protect staycation trips with travel insurance. Insurance companies generally define a ‘destination’ as a location more than 100 miles away from a primary residence where more than 24 hours of your trip are spent there. So, if you will be spending part of the staycation at the beach or in a nearby city, you should consider covering your prepaid costs with travel insurance should you need to cancel for a covered reason.