5 Tips for an Amazing Staycation

Sometimes we just can’t get away. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a moment—a weekend or even a week—to take some time to ourselves.

Enter the “Staycation.” But what exactly is a staycation? My idea of a staycation is a mini getaway, either in your hometown or somewhere within a quick drive of home. The purpose: to have a vacation in your hometown and feel like you are getting away while kind of “staying” put.

So if you aim to get some rest and relaxation and rejuvenate yourself, check out these 5 tips that make for a successful staycation.

  1. Location, location, location.

Think about the location you want to explore. Perhaps stay in an area in town that you don’t frequent, so that you feel like you are in a different city. Or perhaps do a search of places that you can get within a two-hour drive of your city.  For example, from Los Angeles, you can get to Santa Barbara (wine tasting), San Diego, Palm Springs, or Big Bear Lake, all within a two-hour drive. Or for an even closer excursion, if you live inland, head to near the ocean/beach/lake in your hometown. The whole key is to feel like you are getting away, even though you are just taking a quick jaunt.

  1. Splurge a little (or a lot)!

A staycation is a perfect opportunity to splurge a bit on yourself. You are saving money on transportation by not buying an expensive plane ticket… so live it up a little bit! Stay a little bit more expensive hotel, or upgrade yourself. Rent a convertible to drive to your destination. Do something to make it feel like you are really getting away, even if you are a stone’s throw from home.

  1. Pamper yourself.

This ties in with tip #2.  Because the purpose of a styacation is rest and rejuvenation, pamper yourself. Get a spa treatment. Order room service. Book a hotel with a pool and Jacuzzi, and get a cabana by the pool. Finally catch that play or musical that you have been dying to see. Take some “you” time, be it by yourself, with your family, or with friends.

  1. Be a tourist in your hometown.

Chances are, you live somewhere where tourists come (or should come) to visit. Every locale has something unique and interesting to offer, so be a tourist in your hometown. I recently wrote a post on being a tourist in Chicago, where I grew up, and it was such a fun day.

So partake in tourist activities. Do a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. Or partake in another type of tour: a walking tour, a foodie tour of the city, a photography tour, or even an architectural tour. If your locale is near any sort of body of water, take a mini cruise on a lake or up the river or along the coast. Take an authentic Southern cooking class if you are in the south, or go to a brewery or a winery if you are in wine country. Just think: If I was visiting this city from out of town (or if you were entertaining guests from out of town), what sites or activities would a tourist love? What would give them a glimpse of the city, the culture?

  1. BYOB!

This is my favorite tip! You are driving somewhere for this staycation. So BYOB! Bring your favorite wine, beer, or liquor and ingredients for a cocktail. There is no reason not to enjoy your personal favorite bottle, and we all know hotels charge ridiculous upcharges for the same wine you have in your refrigerator. So stock up ahead of time to ensure a great time.

Sound off! What are some of your favorite staycation ideas and activities, and how do you ensure you have an amazing time close to home? 

Staycation Photo: Shutterstock/Pincasso. Convertible Photo: Shutterstock/g_stockstudio


I am a lawyer. I am a journalist. I am a writer. I am a photographer. And I love to travel.

35 comments on “5 Tips for an Amazing Staycation”

  1. I am all for Staycations! I have a Staycation section on my blog and I been traveling outside the city so much I haven’t done a Staycation post in a while!

  2. i love a good staycation. A spa day is definitely what I recommend plus a great meal at a restaurant you may not typically enjoy. Also, a night of dancing! The Hubs and I miss going out dancing.

  3. You hit the spot. I haven’t explored Atlanta at all and I have been here for over 10 years and its a shame. I think next Summer that will be the goal. Summertime in Atlanta.

  4. I’m all for a staycation. You can have a blast in your own town. It’s funny b/c the locals are typically the ones that haven’t seen all of the spots that the tourist go to when they come to visit.

  5. I’m all about the staycation! In fact our staycation will be right in our home. Waterparks or hotels with waterparks are a great way to take a staycation if it’s in your budget.

  6. Okay, I definitely love the idea of a staycation and I have actually been strongly considering doing that this summer because I can’t quite afford a “real” trip. But I love your idea of BYOB! I would have never thought of that, thanks for sharing!

  7. Great tips. I should do more staycations sometimes. I agree to go to an area that is different to make it seem like you went some where. Especially not near your house. Last time I was like umm I can just go home lol

  8. I love this idea! We moved to new town over a year ago and still have not been out on the lake. We should at least go on a dinner cruise around the lake before it gets too cold to do such things.

  9. my staycation idea is to book a room in a hotel (not too expensive) in an area that you need to play tourist. this Fall, I will be booking a room downtown and explore the Battery Park area.

  10. Sometimes staycations are the best because you tend to do a lot of travel and running around during a vacation, often over excerting yourself to see the sights. But a staycation can be more relaxing. I like the idea of a staycation.

  11. My husband and I have many special needs pets so staycations are the only way we can travel together. It’s amazing how many things there are to do within driving distance that we’ve never visited.

  12. Great post. I love staycations. We try to stay within 3 hours of our home which is perfect because we live near the Blue Ridge Parkway and love the mountains. I like the BYOB. That can save you tons of $$. With fall coming it’s time for us to go again.

  13. When we travel I love getting to try new foods, so for staycations I think that taking a cooking class is a great idea. This way I still get my foodie fix even though we are close to home!

  14. Our family does a lot of Staycations because we can’t really afford to go to far so we just find places around to enjoy.

  15. These are some awesome tips! I am all about the staycation. In fact I’m going to Palm Springs this weekend with family and friends for that very reason. We are so lucky to live in LA where the staycation destinations are abundant

  16. These are some pretty great tips! Bringing your own alcohol is always a plus to a staycation since it’s easy to just throw in the car!

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