Staycations – otherwise known as ‘holistays’ are what most of us will be doing more of in light of recent events. And yes, I hear you – I’m sure you’re pretty over being at home right now. But these staycation ideas will make you feel like you haven’t spent the weekend near home at all.

Staycations are the perfect excuse to do something fun at home or be a local tourist to explore those places we never got around to. They can also be just as glamorous and exciting as going abroad if you indulge in a few ‘extras’.

So if you’re looking for that same recharged feeling that you get from going on an overseas vacation, take note of the below ideas and tips. Your perfect staycation awaits!

 

Go Camping

tent at night with campfire and stars

Packing a tent and an esky full of food (and good wine) to cook up a storm beside the campfire and sleeping under the stars is one of my favourite budget staycation activities. Camping always gives me such a grounded feeling and reconnects me to nature.

Granted, you do need to have the proper kit in order to make it an enjoyable experience (a warm sleeping bag with sub zero rating is an absolute must). But once you’ve made the initial investment, if you look after it, you can use the kit for years and years to come.

If you don’t have the budget to buy your own camping gear, ask around with friends and family. They’ll no doubt be someone with the full set up who would be more than happy to lend it to you.

If you don’t mind going a bit basic, you can find many free camp sites all around the world. Apps like WikiCamps (for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and United States) are incredible. You can find camping spots that have been rated and reviewed by other campers with a listing of what amenities they have. Some are literally just rest areas with some land where camping is permitted, others are the full works – toilets, covered seating areas, firepits, BBQ’s.. the lot.

If you’d prefer to have more amenities like hot showers and a kitchen for example, have a look on booking.com for paid campgrounds. They’re much cheaper than getting a hotel anyway!

With a group of friends or even going solo, camping is a great way to surround yourself with nature and get away from it all.

 

… Or Glamping

A lot of people are in love with the idea of camping but not in love with the reality. And that’s OK – camping in a flimsy tent with no basic home comforts isn’t for everyone. But have you tried glamping?

Glamping (‘glamorous camping’) is a pimped up version of the original concept. A proper bed, a fancier set up than a nylon tent and a stunning location are probably the key characteristic of glamping.

Just like a hotel, all you need to do is book, enjoy your stay and then leave without having to pack up anything. The tent, bedding and basic amenities are already provided for you. We all know that packing up after camping (typically often in the rain) is the worst part of it all!

What I love about glamping is that it really does have a luxury feel, especially if you book somewhere a little unusual and memorable.

To give you some glamping inspiration to kick start your research, here are some alternative glamping locations and concepts:

  • Sleep amongst the vines at a winery (there are loads of great winery glamping spots in Victoria, my home state in Australia).
  • Literally see the stars as you lie in bed within a ‘bubble’. You’ve probably seen pictures of them in Scandinavia where you can sleep under the Northern Lights, but you can find similar translucent bubble accommodation concepts all over the world!
  • Be amongst the trees in a woodland cabin. No power, phone reception and nothing but a connection with the trees. Back-to-basics at its best.
  • Choose your preferred location with a mobile teepee/glamping company. There are loads of companies that will simply set you up a glamping site wherever you instruct (if you are allowed) so you can be totally flexible. So if you’ve found the perfect spot somewhere, you can organise someone to do all the hard work for you.
  • Glamp in your garden! You don’t have to leave home at all to go glamping. Pimp out your tent with fairy lights, lanterns, cushions, comfy bedding and anything you can’t live without and enjoy some fresh air in familiar surroundings.

There are tonnes of unique glamping accommodation options on Airbnb!

 

Hire a Photographer For a Local Photoshoot

A pretty big thing to do these days is to get glammed up and head to beauty spots near your hometown for a fun photoshoot. Some people do it for the ‘gram, others do it with their fur baby, family or friends for the sentimental value, and others just to have some fun and feel good about themselves. Whatever your motive for a photoshoot, it can be a really cool way to feel like a VIP (and explore local at the same time).

Check out Flytographer who have professional photographers all over the world available for photoshoots. Get a discount off the RRP of sessions by clicking here.

And if you can’t afford a photographer – get a friend to come with you so you can get cute shots of each other!

 

Take Part in an Airbnb Experience (Online or In-Person)

A friend recently told me about how she meditated with a Buddhist monk on the Monday and then on Thursday did a cocktail making class with one of the best mixologists in the UK. Oh, and all during COVID-19 lockdown. How? By booking an Airbnb Experience which she did online!

There’s loads of different experiences you can book on Airbnb. The online activity options are especially endless. They include things like cooking classes by Michelin Star chefs, games nights, history tours, meditation sessions, classes on every interest under the sun (such as interior design,various musical instruments, gardening, art, magic, dance, writing and more!). So if you want to learn a new skill or have some fun from home, take a look!

The in-person activities sound just as fun as the online ones. I especially love specialist walking tours such as ghost or history tours and they’re usually great value. You’ll be sure to learn something about your local area that you never even knew about!

 

Stay in a Unique Hotel in Your Hometown

Whilst we’re on the subject of Airbnb, there are tonnes of totally unique accommodation options that you can indulge in for a memorable staycation.

How about sleeping a night in a castle, houseboat, treehouse, country manor, barn, old retro campervan or even a real life igloo? Airbnb is so much more than just a room in a strangers house or your bog standard rental property. There are so many quirky accommodations out there that are an experience in themselves. Check out this post I did a while back about unique Airbnb’s for some inspiration!

You can also check out Booking.com as they also have search filters that can help you find something a little unusual.

 

Have a Posh Picnic

Whether it’s in your garden, at the beach or in a local park, a picnic is great way to have a chilled out day in the sun. This alfresco dining activity is a fun way to get the family or a group of friends together. It also makes a cute low-cost date idea.

Nothing says bougie on a budget than a charcuterie platter with cheeses and meats, a fresh crusty baguette, sundries like olives and nuts, strawberries and a chilled bottle or two of bubbles. Not forgetting all served out of a cute wicker basket and on a blanket with some comfy cushions.

 

Have a Sleepover With Your Mates

When was the last time you had a good sleep over? When you were in high school probably! But you don’t need to be a teenager to appreciate a night in with friends, a good movie, a comfy set up and tonnes of snacks (and wine… because well, you’re an adult now!).

Nothing quite gives you that feel-good feeling than lots of laughs with some good company. Think about everything you did when you were a teenager – face masks, trashy magazines, nail painting. Why not go all out retro and get in touch with your childish side?

 

House Swap With a Friend or Family Member

Just a change of scenery can do heaps for your mental health and make you feel like you’ve had a complete break. How about house swapping with a friend or family member and mixing things up a bit?

The best thing with house swapping is that it doesn’t cost you a thing. If you end up staying somewhere new, you’ll be able to discover tonnes of things that you may not have had the opportunity to (or even thought about) before.

Do you have any friends with a holiday home that is sitting empty, or a house that makes you envious? There’s no harm in reaching out to ask… Just make sure you clean up after yourself so you stay in their good books!

 

Rent a Van or Campervan For a Road Trip

If you don’t have a reliable car that can hack a lot of miles or have something you can sleep in to save you accommodation costs, you could always look into hiring a car or camper for a local road trip.

Car share companies like Car Next Door are a great option for short trips. However, for something a little better, hire a car from a professional company as opposed to someone’s personal car. You can compare the cheapest car rentals here.

If you live near national parks, areas of natural beauty or famous road trip routes such as the Great Ocean Road, now is your chance to do them!

 

Indulge in a Spa Day

If you’re feeling like you need a good pamper then you should totally consider indulging in a full day spa package that many hotels, spas and salons offer.

Packages can include a combination of massages, facials and pampering treatments. If you go somewhere posh, you can even experience full health retreats with swimming pools, saunas and wellness classes such as yoga. A spa day is ideal to do on your own, with a friend or someone like your mum.

You can also host a spa day at home on the cheap with treatments such as steam facials, face masks, hair masks and home done manicures. Light those candles, put some relaxing music on and zen out!

 

Go on a Multi-Day Hike

If you’re a fan of hiking then grab those walking boots, pack a backpack and head out to the great outdoors for an epic multi-day hike. To discover some great hikes near you, use an app like All Trails. Or if you’re nervous about going it alone, book a guided tour or get a group of friends to come with you.

There’s something really rewarding about doing a hike over multiple days. It’s often a mental and physical challenge but if you prepare well, it’s totally worth it.

 

Play Tourist in Your Hometown

This is probably the most obvious staycation activity but I can bet there are tonnes of things on your doorstep that you have been meaning to do for years but never got around to.

See what galleries and events are going on, do those ‘must do’ hikes, eat at those ‘must eat’ restaurants (or get take-out) and go to the tourist hot-spots. Take a look on TripAdvisor to see if there’s still something you’re yet to do!

If you’re in the US, check out CityPass for discounts on big attractions or if you want to join a local tour, have a look on Klook. There’s bound to be something super fun to do nearby!

 

Volunteer or Give Back

Use your time at home to get involved in a local cause by donating your time, skills and energy. Whether it’s sorting clothes at a charity shop, helping at a food bank, animal shelter, library or a community project or event, volunteering is a humbling way to remind you about how much you have.

Volunteering is a totally productive and feel-good way to take some time off from your routine.

 

Staycation top tips:

Before you plan or head out on your staycation, consider these tips to help you make the most of your experience.

 

1. Break the routine:

If you decide to stay at home or visit somewhere in your hometown, the temptation will naturally be to fall into the same old habits, perhaps without you even realising. If you do, there’s just no way the staycation will give you the mental break you deserve.

To really give you that vacation feel, you won’t want to be doing the laundry or vacuuming. Get as far away as you can from your daily habits, even if that means turning your phone off, getting someone to look after your dog for the weekend or taking an alternative transport method to your daily commute. Do anything that will give you a break from your normality.

The mindset to have for your staycation is simply anything that you wouldn’t do if you were abroad on vacation, don’t do at home too!

I repeat: break the damn routine!

 

2. Get household chores out the way

The above being said, you won’t find yourself doing household chores on your home staycation if you get them out of the way beforehand. Prepare your space the day before to get everything clean and tidy so there isn’t the temptation. That feeling of walking into a pristine hotel room is a feeling you’re wanting to recreate.

 

3. Disconnect

Similar to point one, one of the best ways to feel reconnected with yourself is ironically by disconnecting. Go somewhere with no phone reception, turn on aeroplane mode and don’t you dare look at those work emails or sit aimlessly scrolling on social media! Disconnecting is easier said than done, but set yourself up with good intentions (such as a social media blocking app for example) at least.

 

4. Invest in some ‘extras’

If you’re staying at home, you’ll want to make your space feel more attractive and relaxing than normal. Consider buying things like some scented candles, some fresh flowers, a plant or some fairy lights to transform your space.

 

I hope these staycation ideas have inspired you and have kick-started your creativity. I’d love to know if you have any other staycation ideas you’d add to the list and what you do when you aren’t travelling abroad!

 

*This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click through and purchase something, I’ll earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.*