The Truth About Staycations (And How To Plan Better Ones)

“Why yes, I’d love to use my hard-earned vacation days to not leave home and pretend to be a tourist in my hometown instead of whisking myself away to a romantic Italian vacation in the vineyards of Sicily,” said no one ever. Staycations tend to be touted as great alternatives to vacation – but if we’re going to be brutally honest, there isn’t really an alternative to vacation.

That being said, sometimes staycations are about all the ol’ budget can really give us room for. It can feel like a letdown to stay within the bounds of home, but sights and sounds are really only part of what makes vacation so much fun. A large part of vacation’s appeal is that in many ways, it’s the exact opposite of daily life. No set schedule, no work responsibilities, no pressing social obligations. You get to kick back, relax, and let your hair down – while letting someone else change the sheets and do the cooking and all of those fun adult things. And while a staycation may not give you quite the same experience, we have a few tips that will leave you feeling well-rested, relaxed, and like you got a well-deserved break.


Tip #1 – Make Some Changes

As creatures of habit, humans have a really hard time changing up the daily schedule if we aren’t somewhere new; so step number one to having a relaxing staycation is to steer clear of the temptation to stick to your normal daily routine. Don’t set an alarm; don’t go out and check your mail in the morning like you usually do; go out and get coffee instead of turning on the coffee maker as soon as you roll out of bed.

If making little changes won’t cut it, try doing something more drastic: Move the TV out of the bedroom so you’re more likely to go out and actually do things at night, or sleep in the guest room instead of your bedroom. Even something as simple as putting a fresh bouquet of flowers on the table and making sure all of the counters are clear of things like bills or junk mail can make your space feel a little less like day-to-day life.


Tip #2 – No Working

It can be so tempting to just check your email ‘real quick’, or answer that text from your coworker….but don’t you dare do it. If your company knows you stayed in town for this year’s getaway, they may be more likely to try and get in touch with you. Don’t let them do that – vacation time is vacation time, no matter where you’re staying!


Tip #3 – Chores Can Wait

While things like dishes need to be taken care of, stay away from doing chores as much as you can. With the money you’re saving by not flying to a new destination, see if you can afford to have someone come in and clean professionally while you’re out enjoying the town! It’ll feel like you’re being taken care of, and will keep house stress at bay.


Tip #4 – Eat Out 

It’s so fun to try new restaurants and cafes in a new place, but chances are you haven’t tried everything your own town has to offer! If there’s a restaurant that’s usually just a little outside the budget – go for it! If that cute new cafe has been calling your name, get dressed up and spend an afternoon eating croissants.


Tip #5 – Try New Things

Do you ever wonder why in the world people come to vacation in your town? It’s not that exciting, there are really only a few things to do…but that’s just because you’re already familiar with what your home has to offer. Try going on Yelp or TripAdvisor, and look at things to do in your city as if you’ve never been there before. Is there something on there you’d like to try? Or something you’ve done before that would be fun to do again?

Another option is AirBNB experiences: Go to, and type in your town. People host a myriad of fun things, from art classes, to nature hikes, to learning how to make your own wine. If your town doesn’t have a whole lot to offer, see if a town within driving distance has something that would make your staycation feel more like a getaway.


While staycations don’t always feel as adventurous and exciting as an international escapade, they can still be filled with fun memories, new experiences, and a time to replenish your energy. Have you taken a staycation? What are your tips for making it feel more exotic? Let us know in the comments!