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How To Plan The Perfect Staycation


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Britta Embry



With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, sometimes the best way to unwind and relax is to plan a staycation. A staycation allows you to have a vacation-like experience right at home, without the stress and expenses associated with traveling. Whether you are short on time, working within a budget, or simply prefer the comfort of your own surroundings, a staycation can be the perfect solution.


Staycations have gained popularity in recent years as a way to escape the monotony of daily routines and experience the joys of vacation without the need to travel long distances. This concept encourages individuals and families to explore their own city or town, seeking out hidden gems and indulging in local experiences that might have otherwise been overlooked. It’s about finding relaxation, adventure, and joy in the familiar.


In this article, we will guide you through the process of planning the perfect staycation. From choosing the ideal location to preparing your home, from setting a budget to planning activities and entertainment, we’ll cover it all. You’ll discover helpful tips for creating a memorable and enjoyable staycation experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and fulfilled.


So, get ready to unwind, recharge, and explore the possibilities right in your own backyard. Let’s dive into the world of staycations and discover how to make the most of this unique and rewarding experience.


Choosing the Ideal Location

When planning a staycation, the first step is to choose the ideal location within your own city or town. The goal is to find a setting that offers a change of scenery and allows you to feel like you’re truly on vacation. Here are some tips to help you in choosing the perfect staycation location:

  1. Research local attractions: Look for tourist attractions, parks, museums, or landmarks in your area that you haven’t visited before. This is a great opportunity to explore your own city and discover hidden gems.
  2. Consider nearby towns: If you are open to traveling a short distance, consider nearby towns or cities that you’ve always wanted to explore. This can give you a fresh perspective without the need for a long-distance journey.
  3. Look for unique accommodations: Consider staying at a local bed and breakfast, boutique hotel, or vacation rental. Choosing a different type of accommodation can enhance the feeling of being away from home.
  4. Seek out nature: If you enjoy the great outdoors, find a location that offers beautiful scenery, such as a nearby beach, lake, or hiking trail. Connecting with nature can provide a sense of tranquility and relaxation.
  5. Think about your preferences: Consider the activities and experiences that bring you joy. If you love shopping and dining out, choose a location in a vibrant area with plenty of shops and restaurants. If you prefer peace and solitude, opt for a quieter and more secluded spot.

Remember, the goal is to find a location that allows you to escape your daily routine and immerse yourself in a vacation-like atmosphere. By carefully considering your preferences and researching local options, you can choose the perfect staycation location that will make you feel like you’re miles away from home.


Creating an Itinerary

While a staycation may not involve extensive travel, creating an itinerary can help you make the most of your time and ensure that you have a well-rounded and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips for creating an itinerary for your staycation:

  1. Set goals and priorities: Determine what you want to achieve during your staycation. It could be trying new activities, exploring local culture, or simply relaxing and unwinding. Setting goals will help you structure your itinerary accordingly.
  2. Mix relaxation and exploration: Strike a balance between activities that allow you to relax and those that encourage exploration. Allocate time for lounging by the pool, reading a book, or practicing meditation, as well as for visiting local attractions or trying out new restaurants.
  3. Consider time blocks: Divide your day into time blocks and assign activities to each block. For example, you could dedicate the mornings to sightseeing and outdoor activities, the afternoons to leisurely pursuits, and the evenings to dining out or enjoying entertainment options.
  4. Be flexible: While it’s important to have an itinerary, also be open to spontaneity. Leave room for unexpected discoveries and unplanned activities. Allow yourself to go with the flow and make adjustments as necessary.
  5. Research operating hours: If there are specific attractions or activities you want to visit during your staycation, make sure to check their operating hours. Plan your itinerary accordingly to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.
  6. Include downtime: Don’t forget to include downtime in your itinerary. This is essential for relaxation and rejuvenation. Schedule time for naps, meditation, or simply lounging around without any set plans.

Remember, the purpose of creating an itinerary is to provide structure and guidance, but also to ensure that you have the flexibility to enjoy your staycation at a comfortable pace. Allow yourself the freedom to deviate from the plan and embrace spontaneity, as this can often lead to the most memorable experiences.


Preparing Your Home

One of the advantages of a staycation is the ability to fully enjoy the comforts of your own home. To create a vacation-like atmosphere, it’s essential to prepare your home accordingly. Here are some tips for preparing your home for a perfect staycation:

  1. Clean and declutter: Before your staycation begins, take the time to give your home a thorough cleaning. Clear away clutter and organize your space to create a calming and inviting environment.
  2. Create a relaxation zone: Set up a dedicated relaxation zone in your home. This could be a cozy corner with comfortable seating, soft cushions, and warm lighting. Arrange books, magazines, and relaxation tools like candles or essential oils to enhance the ambiance.
  3. Transform your bedroom: Make your bedroom feel like a luxurious hotel room. Change the bedding, add extra pillows, and incorporate soft and soothing elements like candles or a diffuser with relaxing scents.
  4. Designate a spa area: If you have a bathroom with a bathtub, turn it into your own private spa. Fill the tub with warm water, add some bath salts or oils, and indulge in a relaxing soak. Play soft music and dim the lights to create a serene atmosphere.
  5. Create a movie theater experience: Set up a movie night in your living room by rearranging the furniture, setting up a projector or large-screen TV, and creating a cozy seating area with blankets and pillows. Pop some popcorn and enjoy a cinematic experience from the comfort of your home.
  6. Add decorative touches: Enhance the ambiance of your home by adding decorative touches that evoke a vacation vibe. Incorporate elements like seashells, tropical plants, or beach-themed artwork to create a sense of escape and relaxation.

Preparing your home for a staycation is all about creating a serene and inviting space where you can truly unwind and recharge. By decluttering, transforming your bedroom, and incorporating relaxation zones, you can make your home feel like a true sanctuary during your staycation.


Setting a Budget

Just like any vacation, it’s important to set a budget for your staycation to ensure that you stay within your means and avoid any financial stress. Here are some tips for setting a budget for your staycation:

  1. Define your spending limit: Determine how much you are comfortable spending on your staycation. Consider factors such as accommodation, dining out, transportation (if applicable), and any activities or entertainment expenses.
  2. Research costs in advance: Research the prices of attractions, restaurants, and other activities you plan to indulge in during your staycation. This will help you estimate how much you need to allocate for each category and make adjustments to your budget if necessary.
  3. Plan for both free and paid activities: Mix free or low-cost activities with more expensive ones. Take advantage of local parks, hiking trails, or public events that don’t require any entry fees. This will help balance out your expenses and allow you to have a fulfilling staycation without breaking the bank.
  4. Consider alternative dining options: Eating out at restaurants can quickly add up, so consider alternative dining options. Plan some meals at home and get creative in the kitchen. You can also look for deals or discounts on local dining experiences to save some money.
  5. Explore affordable transportation options: If you plan to explore your city or nearby areas, consider using public transportation or walking instead of relying on taxis or rideshare services. This can help keep transportation costs down and add a fun element to your staycation.
  6. Reevaluate unnecessary expenses: Take a look at your regular monthly expenses and see if there are any non-essential items that you can temporarily cut back on to allocate more funds for your staycation. This could include subscriptions or memberships that you don’t necessarily need during this time.

Remember, setting a budget for your staycation allows you to enjoy a stress-free experience without worrying about overspending. By planning ahead, researching costs, and making conscious spending decisions, you can ensure that your staycation remains within your financial comfort zone while still providing a memorable and enjoyable break from daily life.


Planning Activities and Entertainment

One of the key elements of a staycation is planning a variety of activities and entertainment options to keep you engaged and entertained throughout your time off. Here are some tips for planning activities and entertainment for your staycation:

  1. Explore local attractions: Research and make a list of local attractions you’ve always wanted to visit or haven’t had the chance to explore yet. This could include museums, art galleries, historical landmarks, or amusement parks.
  2. Try new outdoor activities: Take advantage of the outdoor activities available in your area. Go for a hike, rent bicycles, try water sports, or have a picnic in the park. Engaging in physical activities will not only keep you active but also allow you to appreciate the natural beauty of your surroundings.
  3. Indulge in cultural experiences: Check out cultural events, festivals, or concerts happening in your city or nearby. Experience live music, theater performances, or art exhibitions to immerse yourself in the local culture.
  4. Create themed days: Have fun planning themed days for your staycation. You could have a spa day where you pamper yourself with face masks and massages, or a DIY craft day where you unleash your creativity. Get creative and tailor the themes to your interests and hobbies.
  5. Plan movie or game nights: Set aside specific evenings for movie marathons or game nights with your family or friends. Choose a movie genre or game theme and gather everyone together for a fun and relaxing time.
  6. Take virtual tours or classes: If you’re looking for something unique, consider taking virtual tours of famous landmarks or participating in online classes or workshops. This allows you to explore new interests and learn something new from the comfort of your home.
  7. Connect with nature: Spend time in nature by taking long walks, going bird watching, or having a picnic in a nearby park. Engage your senses and appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

Remember, the key to planning activities and entertainment for your staycation is to strike a balance between relaxation and exploration. Mix outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and leisurely activities to create a well-rounded and fulfilling staycation itinerary. Tailor the activities to your interests and preferences to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience.


Relaxation and Self-Care Tips

A staycation is the perfect opportunity to prioritize relaxation and self-care, allowing you to recharge and rejuvenate. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your staycation with relaxation and self-care:

  1. Create a dedicated relaxation space: Set up a cozy corner in your home where you can unwind and relax. Fill it with comfortable cushions, blankets, and scented candles. This space will serve as your sanctuary for moments of quiet reflection and relaxation.
  2. Practice mindfulness and meditation: Take advantage of the extra time during your staycation to cultivate mindfulness and inner peace. Engage in daily meditation or mindfulness exercises to clear your mind and reduce stress.
  3. Engage in self-care activities: Treat yourself to pampering self-care activities. Take long baths with aromatic bath salts, give yourself a facial, or enjoy a soothing massage. Self-care activities will help you feel recharged and rejuvenated.
  4. Disconnect from technology: Dedicate some time each day to disconnect from technology. Turn off your phone, silence notifications, and indulge in activities that promote relaxation and presence in the moment, such as reading a book or practicing yoga.
  5. Get plenty of rest: Use your staycation as an opportunity to catch up on much-needed rest. Allow yourself to sleep in, take naps, or have lazy mornings in bed. Prioritizing quality sleep will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
  6. Engage in hobbies and passions: Use your staycation to engage in activities and hobbies that bring you joy. Whether it’s painting, cooking, gardening, or playing an instrument, dedicating time to your passions will enhance your wellbeing and provide a sense of fulfillment.
  7. Spend time in nature: Connecting with nature is a great way to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Make time to go for walks in the park, have a picnic by the beach, or simply sit in your backyard and soak in the beauty of the natural world.

Remember, your staycation should be a time of self-care and relaxation. Take advantage of the opportunity to prioritize your wellbeing and embrace activities that promote relaxation, mindfulness, and self-reflection. By incorporating these tips into your staycation, you’ll come out of it feeling recharged and ready to take on the world.


Stocking up on Supplies

Preparing for a staycation also means stocking up on supplies that will enhance your experience and make your time at home more enjoyable. Here are some tips for stocking up on supplies for your staycation:

  1. Food and drinks: Plan your meals and snacks in advance and make sure to stock up on all the necessary ingredients. Consider trying out new recipes or indulging in your favorite comfort foods. Don’t forget to have a variety of beverages on hand to quench your thirst throughout your staycation.
  2. Toiletries and self-care products: Ensure you have an ample supply of toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and skincare products. Treat yourself to luxurious self-care items like bath bombs, face masks, or scented candles to enhance your relaxation experience.
  3. Entertainment options: Make a list of books, movies, or TV shows that you’ve wanted to read or watch. Stock up on new or classic titles that you can immerse yourself in during your staycation. Consider creating a playlist of your favorite music or podcasts to set the mood.
  4. Games and activities: Gather board games, card games, puzzles, or any other activities that you enjoy. These will provide entertainment and quality time with family or friends, fostering bonding and creating lasting memories.
  5. Comfort essentials: Ensure you have cozy blankets, pillows, and comfortable loungewear for ultimate relaxation. Stock up on your favorite teas or hot beverages to sip on during quiet moments.
  6. Outdoor supplies: If you plan on spending time outdoors, make sure you have sunscreen, insect repellent, and any necessary equipment for your chosen activities, such as hiking gear, picnic blankets, or beach towels.
  7. Cleaning and organizing supplies: Before your staycation begins, have all the cleaning and organizing supplies you need to keep your space tidy and organized. This will contribute to a serene and stress-free environment throughout your staycation.

By stocking up on these supplies in advance, you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips, allowing you to fully enjoy your staycation without any last-minute shopping trips or interruptions. Take the time to ensure you have all the essentials to create a comfortable and personalized experience.


Making Meals Special

During your staycation, one of the ways you can elevate the experience is by making your meals special. Whether you’re cooking at home or ordering takeout, adding a touch of creativity and intention can make dining a memorable and enjoyable part of your staycation. Here are some tips for making meals special:

  1. Set the table: Instead of simply eating in front of the TV, take the time to set a beautiful table. Use your best dishes, add a tablecloth or placemats, and set out some candles or flowers for an elegant ambiance.
  2. Try new recipes: Use your staycation as an opportunity to try out new recipes or experiment with different cuisines. Look up recipes online or dust off those cookbooks you’ve been meaning to use and challenge yourself to create delicious, gourmet meals.
  3. Create themed meals: Plan themed meals based on different cuisines or countries. Research traditional dishes and prepare them at home. This can transport you to a different place and add an element of adventure to your staycation dining experience.
  4. Have a picnic indoors: If the weather doesn’t permit an outdoor picnic, bring the picnic indoors. Spread out a picnic blanket on the living room floor, pack a basket with finger foods or sandwiches, and enjoy a cozy and casual meal together.
  5. Indulge in breakfast in bed: Treat yourself to a special breakfast in bed. Prepare your favorite breakfast dishes or get creative with pancakes, waffles, or French toast. Savor your meal while lounging in bed and enjoying the leisurely start to your day.
  6. Host a virtual dinner party: If you’re missing social interactions, organize a virtual dinner party with friends or family. Coordinate a menu, set a time to connect online, and enjoy a delicious meal together, despite the physical distance.
  7. Transform dining into a multisensory experience: Pay attention to the ambiance and atmosphere while you dine. Play soft background music, light scented candles, or dim the lights to create a relaxing and enjoyable dining experience for all your senses.

Remember, the goal is to make your meals feel special and different from your regular routine. By adding personal touches, experimenting with new recipes, or creating themed dining experiences, you can turn mealtime into memorable occasions during your staycation.


Enhancing the Ambiance

Creating the right ambiance can greatly enhance your staycation experience. By paying attention to the atmosphere and setting the mood, you can elevate everyday moments into memorable and enjoyable ones. Here are some tips for enhancing the ambiance during your staycation:

  1. Lighting: Pay attention to the lighting in your home and choose appropriate options for different activities and moods. Use soft and warm lighting for relaxation, such as dimmed or candlelight. Opt for brighter lighting when engaging in activities that require good visibility.
  2. Music: Set the tone with the right music. Create playlists that match different moods and activities. Play calming tunes to relax, upbeat music for energizing moments, or your favorite feel-good songs to enhance your mood.
  3. Aromatherapy: Use scents to create a soothing and inviting atmosphere. Light scented candles, use essential oil diffusers, or simply simmer a pot of fragrant herbs and spices on the stove to fill your home with delightful aromas.
  4. Decorate with ambiance in mind: Consider your staycation theme or desired ambiance and decorate accordingly. Add cozy blankets and pillows for a warm and inviting feel, incorporate plants for a touch of nature, or hang string lights to create a magical atmosphere.
  5. Disconnect from technology: Create a technology-free zone or designated technology-free times during your staycation. This will help you disconnect from constant notifications and distractions and foster a more serene and mindful ambiance.
  6. Use nature as inspiration: Bring elements of nature into your home to create a calming and refreshing ambiance. Place fresh flowers or potted plants, display seashells or stones you may have collected on past vacations, or hang landscape artwork that reminds you of your favorite natural scenery.
  7. Choose comfortable seating: Invest in comfortable seating arrangements that invite relaxation. Whether it’s a plush couch, a cozy armchair, or floor cushions, having a comfortable place to sit and unwind will enhance your staycation experience.

Remember, ambiance plays a crucial role in setting the mood and enhancing your overall staycation experience. By paying attention to lighting, music, scents, and décor, you can create a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere that takes your staycation to the next level of relaxation and rejuvenation.


Connecting with Loved Ones

One of the beauties of a staycation is the opportunity to connect with your loved ones. Whether you’re spending quality time with your family, reconnecting with friends, or even strengthening bonds with yourself, fostering meaningful connections can enrich your staycation experience. Here are some tips for connecting with loved ones during your staycation:

  1. Plan family activities: Engage in activities that the whole family can enjoy together. Have game nights, movie marathons, or outdoor adventures. These shared experiences create lasting memories and deepen family bonds.
  2. Arrange virtual hangouts: If you are unable to physically meet up with friends or loved ones, organize virtual hangouts. Schedule video calls to catch up, play online games, or even cook a meal together from separate kitchens. Virtual connections can help bridge the distance and keep relationships strong.
  3. Have deep conversations: Take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere and intimate setting of a staycation to have meaningful conversations. Reflect on past experiences, share dreams and aspirations, or simply engage in heart-to-heart conversations with your loved ones.
  4. Write and send letters: In today’s digital age, receiving a handwritten letter can be a special and heartfelt gesture. Take the time to write letters or cards to loved ones, expressing your appreciation and love. Sending them through traditional mail will add an element of surprise and anticipation.
  5. Support local businesses together: Explore ways to support local businesses and make it a group effort. Order takeout from local restaurants, shop at small boutiques, or participate in virtual classes offered by local studios. Supporting your community not only strengthens bonds but also contributes to the local economy.
  6. Engage in collaborative activities: Plan and engage in activities that require collaboration. This could be cooking a meal together, working on a puzzle as a team, or even creating your own DIY projects. Collaboration fosters cooperation and creates shared experiences.
  7. Take time for self-reflection: Connecting with loved ones also means connecting with yourself. Set aside moments of solitude for self-reflection and self-care. Use journaling, meditation, or mindfulness exercises to delve deeper into your own thoughts and emotions.

Remember, staycations provide an excellent opportunity to bond with your loved ones and strengthen relationships. By engaging in activities that foster connection and communication, you can create lasting memories and deepen the bonds that truly matter.


Capturing Memories

A staycation is a time filled with special moments and experiences that you’ll want to remember for years to come. Capturing these memories will allow you to look back fondly on your staycation and relive the joy and relaxation you experienced. Here are some tips for capturing memories during your staycation:

  1. Take photographs: Grab your camera or smartphone and capture the moments that bring you joy. Whether it’s a beautiful sunset, a delicious meal you prepared, or a fun activity you engaged in, photographs serve as visual reminders of the special moments you experienced.
  2. Keep a journal: Dedicate a journal to your staycation and use it to write down your thoughts, feelings, and highlights of each day. This allows you to reflect on your experiences and keep memories alive through written words.
  3. Create a scrapbook: Collect mementos from your staycation, such as ticket stubs, postcards, or brochures, and put them together in a scrapbook. Include photos, write captions, and decorate the pages to create a tangible keepsake of your memories.
  4. Make videos: Record short videos of your staycation adventures. Whether it’s documenting a day trip, capturing funny moments with loved ones, or narrating your experiences, videos add a dynamic element to memory keeping.
  5. Document special moments: Take the time to document special moments such as a family game night, a romantic candlelit dinner, or a spontaneous dance party. Record videos or take photos to immortalize these unique and cherished moments.
  6. Share on social media: If you feel comfortable, share some of your staycation highlights on social media. This allows you to connect with friends and family, and also serves as a digital journal of your experience.
  7. Create a memory jar: Write down memorable moments on small pieces of paper and store them in a jar. This simple and interactive activity allows you to capture memories in a tangible and interactive way. You can revisit the jar later on and read through the memories you’ve collected.

Remember, the purpose of capturing memories is to preserve the special moments of your staycation for the future. Whether you choose to use photographs, journals, videos, or any other creative medium, find a method that resonates with you and allows you to relive and cherish the memories of your staycation for years to come.



Your staycation is a chance to unwind, recharge, and discover the beauty and relaxation right in your own home or city. By following the tips in this guide, you can plan the perfect staycation and create lifelong memories.


Choosing the ideal location within your area, creating an itinerary that balances relaxation and exploration, and preparing your home for a vacation-like atmosphere are key steps in ensuring a successful staycation. Setting a budget and planning activities and entertainment, as well as prioritizing relaxation and self-care, will further enhance your experience.


Stocking up on supplies, making meals special, enhancing the ambiance, connecting with loved ones, and capturing memories are all additional elements that contribute to a memorable staycation. Take the time to fully immerse yourself in the experience, savoring the moments and finding joy in the little things.


Remember, a staycation is not only a time to relax but also an opportunity to explore the beauty of your own surroundings and connect with the people and activities that bring you happiness. Embrace the staycation mindset, be present in the moment, and make the most of this special time to rejuvenate and indulge in the pleasures of leisure.


So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your perfect staycation today and embark on a journey of relaxation, exploration, and joy, right from the comfort of your own home.