Seven Staycation Ideas

This year has been the year of saving for my husband and I. We’re planning to go on a beautiful vacation to the Amalfi coast next year for our second wedding anniversary but that means that this year we’re being extra frugal and not travelling anywhere (aside from the occasional weekend away). But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a fun and relaxing vacation where we are! In lieu of an exotic summer getaway, I’ve begun planning us an awesome staycation! If you’re in the same boat as us and are planning on staying close to home this summer, here are seven staycation ideas that are fun for the whole family:

Be a tourist in your own town. This is one of my favourite summer activities. My husband and I love booking a hotel room in Toronto, and slowing down to see the sights that tourists are always excited about in our city. We’ve tossed around the idea of booking a sightseeing bus tour to learn more about the city’s history in a fun way. If you live in a small town – don’t fret! It’s still fun to stay the night a local hotel just to get out of the house for a while. Especially if they have an outdoor pool and/or free hot breakfast – it’s a relaxing time away, but without the stress and expense that travel often brings.

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Plan a beach day. Who says you have to fly across the globe to lay on a beautiful beach?! Most of us have at least one nice beach within driving distance. Make a day of it with friends or family and roadtrip there! Buy some floaties and get that ‘gram. Bring a guilty-pleasure magazine (mine’s Cosmo) and take in those rays! You can play volleyball, eat ice cream or chip truck fries, splash around in the water, or just veg out.

Kick it old-school with a night at the Drive-In. I’ve lucked out because the nearest drive-in theatre is in the same town as the nicest beach within driving distance. My girl friends and I often spend a day at the beach and end it with a drive-in movie. There’s something so fun and nostalgic about building a blanket/pillow bed in the back of the car, grabbing popcorn from the concession stand and watching a movie under the stars. (Cue Danny Zuko/John Travolta’s ‘Stranded at the Drive-In’)

Take it easy and rest up. This seems obvious to those of us who have been in the grind for months, patiently awaiting time off. But how many of us are guilty of overbooking our vacation and end up going back to work even more exhausted than when we left? Make sure you use your staycation time to really relax. Sleep in, read that book you’ve been meaning to, order takeout instead of cooking, spend an entire day in your pajamas. Do what makes you feel the most at ease. Just chill.

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Visit local festivals/street parties. Where I live, there are literally HUNDREDS if not thousands of festivals all summer long. I’ve already made plans to attend the Toronto Jazz Festival in late July. Look up street parties, music festivals and food festivals in your area. I bet you’d be surprised how many are upcoming! It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon in the sunshine, eating delicious food and hearing amazing music.

Have a backyard movie night. I love a good movie night. I love it even more when I’m surrounded by my best girl friends cozied up in the backyard with a bonfire going, s’mores roasting, and sangria galore. If you can get your hands on a projector (or even build your own using your smartphone! There are tons of DIY instructions on YouTube and Pinterest), hang up a white sheet in the backyard, play your favourite flick and enjoy with friends and family! There are some amazing ideas on Pinterest to make your setup look extra cute and cozy, so don’t forget to look there for inspiration.

Book a spa day. We can so easily neglect physically relaxing. A staycation is the perfect time to get that TLC you deserve. There are many cost-friendly spas in every town, so find one that suits your needs and budget, and book yourself a day there. It’s a great way to force yourself to unwind and disconnect from all the avenues that demand our attention.

I hope this post gave you a couple ideas for your upcoming staycation! Don’t forget to turn on out-of-office alerts and spend time with the people you care about. Take some time to yourself and truly RELAX. Enjoy your time off!