10 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Staycation

10 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Staycation

Traveling may take us across borders but it doesn’t always get us out of our own heads. But, perhaps, by changing our perspective we can discover that what we need to have a memorable time doesn’t require a plane ticket. If your travel plans have been disrupted, see it as an opportunity to plan something new, in the comfort and safety of your own city. To make the most of your staycation, here are 10 ideas that will help you get out of a funk without getting out of your hometown.

1. Spend a Night Away

There is no reason why you shouldn’t treat your well-deserved vacation as anything less than that. It doesn’t matter if you are not hopping on a plane to a faraway destination. Use your vacation and your savings to give yourself the break you need. What we get out of being away from home is a change of scenery, a fresh perspective. What we get out of staying at a hotel is not just accommodation. It’s the ultimate comfort of not having to worry about chores and instead enjoying a good breakfast, a giant made-up bed and the hotel bar. It may sound counter-intuitive to stay at a hotel when you have a perfectly fine home of your own but that’s not the point. The point is to give yourself a break and treat yourself to a moment of luxury and rest. Don’t resist it. Let someone else take care of you.

2. Discover Your City

Another advantage of staying away from your home is that you can discover something new in your own city. If you miss that feeling of getting out in the morning and just being a tourist, you can do that by exploring a different part of town. Rent a cool loft in an area that you don’t know very well or simply don’t live in. Spend the day or the weekend getting out and discovering the neighborhood around you. Get some coffee in the morning, find a nice place for lunch, meet your friends for drinks in the evening. The truth is most of us don’t know all the secrets of our own hometowns. You’ll be amazed to discover how much of a tourist you can be if you just show a bit of curiosity.

2. Discover Your City

Another advantage of staying away from your home is that you can discover something new in your own city. If you miss that feeling of getting out in the morning and just being a tourist, you can do that by exploring a different part of town. Rent a cool loft in an area that you don’t know very well or simply don’t live in. Spend the day or the weekend getting out and discovering the neighborhood around you. Get some coffee in the morning, find a nice place for lunch, meet your friends for drinks in the evening. The truth is most of us don’t know all the secrets of our own hometowns. You’ll be amazed to discover how much of a tourist you can be if you just show a bit of curiosity.

3. Embark on a Photo Expedition

Now that you’ve established that you can be a tourist if you want to, all you need is appropriate gear – aka a photo camera or your phone. You don’t need to be laying on an exotic beach to find beauty or inspiration. Spend the day being an observer. See what you can capture when you really pay attention. A monument you haven’t seen before, a colorful street, a vibrant market, a passion for photography? Photography can be extremely meditative. In addition to taking your mind off of menial things, you can bring back lovely memories of a special day, whether they are on your camera or not.

4. Sign Up for a Guided Tour

If your photography tour sparked a renewed curiosity in your hometown, take advantage of your city’s cultural offering and use this time to learn something new. Many studies show that learning and curiosity are key for maintaining long-term happiness, so get out there and start discovering! Sign up for a guided tour, find an interesting exhibition, go on a thematic city walk, download a city guide. There are so many exhibitions available these days, online as much as in person, from the invention of television to the life of homo sapiens and anything in between. Take some friends and make a co-educational day out of it. There is always an opportunity to learn, if we’re willing to do it.

4. Sign Up for a Guided Tour

If your photography tour sparked a renewed curiosity in your hometown, take advantage of your city’s cultural offering and use this time to learn something new. Many studies show that learning and curiosity are key for maintaining long-term happiness, so get out there and start discovering! Sign up for a guided tour, find an interesting exhibition, go on a thematic city walk, download a city guide. There are so many exhibitions available these days, online as much as in person, from the invention of television to the life of homo sapiens and anything in between. Take some friends and make a co-educational day out of it. There is always an opportunity to learn, if we’re willing to do it.

5. Take a Cooking Class

If what you miss about traveling is discovering a different culture, there are lots of ways you can do that from afar. Search for a cooking class in your hometown or better yet, book one online. Many travel service providers, including AirBnB, are now offering online food experiences that you can enjoy from the comfort and safety of your own home while immersing yourself in a different culture and cuisine. You’ll learn new skills, you’ll have a delicious meal, you’ll make new friends, you don’t need to leave the house – how amazing is that?

6. Try an Online Experience

Speaking of AirBnB, there is a whole RANGE of fun and educational online experiences you can try and Udemy offers online courses on any topic you can imagine. Times may be different and difficult right now but we can only make the best out of our circumstances. And one of the best things to happen to us is the wealth of information, resources, activities and experiences that have been made available to anyone anywhere in the world. Bet you didn’t know that you can get a taro card reading, spend a day with an Egyptian family, learn how to roast coffee, try acting, make tacos and go on a scavenger hunt all while sitting on your couch? Don’t think that just because you are at home, you can’t discover anything new or enriching. You just need to go online.

6. Try an Online Experience

Speaking of AirBnB, there is a whole RANGE of fun and educational online experiences you can try and Udemy offers online courses on any topic you can imagine. Times may be different and difficult right now but we can only make the best out of our circumstances. And one of the best things to happen to us is the wealth of information, resources, activities and experiences that have been made available to anyone anywhere in the world. Bet you didn’t know that you can get a taro card reading, spend a day with an Egyptian family, learn how to roast coffee, try acting, make tacos and go on a scavenger hunt all while sitting on your couch? Don’t think that just because you are at home, you can’t discover anything new or enriching. You just need to go online.

7. Organize a Wine Tasting

No need to travel far for an educational wine experience either. See this as an opportunity to replace your usual beverage of choice with something new. Most of us tend to drink the same preferred drink unless…we are traveling. But we are lucky to live in a world of international trade and that makes cultural discovery so much easier. There must be a wine or a drink you’ve never had before. Find a specialized shop or online store that sells wines or spirits from around the world and read up on that country and the origin of your drink. Maybe it’s meant to be consumed with a specific dish? This is where your culinary curiosity can meet your thirst for aperitif, all in your own kitchen.

7. Organize a Wine Tasting

No need to travel far for an educational wine experience either. See this as an opportunity to replace your usual beverage of choice with something new. Most of us tend to drink the same preferred drink unless…we are traveling. But we are lucky to live in a world of international trade and that makes cultural discovery so much easier. There must be a wine or a drink you’ve never had before. Find a specialized shop or online store that sells wines or spirits from around the world and read up on that country and the origin of your drink. Maybe it’s meant to be consumed with a specific dish? This is where your culinary curiosity can meet your thirst for aperitif, all in your own kitchen.

8. Create a DIY Project

This is a great way to spruce up your place without investing money into new furniture or a full-on renovation. Think about making more space for books, trinkets, shoes or anything else that feels like it’s currently being crammed away. Decorate, organize, paint, fix – there is likely to be something that you’ve been putting off or that you’ve added to your pinterest board that you can do yourself. There are also lots of wonderful ideas for creating your own beauty and cleaning products that don’t actually require many ingredients. If you’ve been wondering how to reduce your environmental impact, the added bonus is you will be using less chemicals and less plastic. So many benefits – explore your creativity, own your project, improve your home, have fun!

8. Create a DIY Project

This is a great way to spruce up your place without investing money into new furniture or a full-on renovation. Think about making more space for books, trinkets, shoes or anything else that feels like it’s currently being crammed away. Decorate, organize, paint, fix – there is likely to be something that you’ve been putting off or that you’ve added to your pinterest board that you can do yourself. There are also lots of wonderful ideas for creating your own beauty and cleaning products that don’t actually require many ingredients. If you’ve been wondering how to reduce your environmental impact, the added bonus is you will be using less chemicals and less plastic. So many benefits – explore your creativity, own your project, improve your home, have fun!

9. Go Outside

With so much time spent inside during the pandemic, it should feel great getting out and recharging on some vitamin D, especially if you are working from home. Movement is important. It will help you feel better physically but it also helps us feel better mentally by taking our eyes off the screens and our minds off our to-do list. Do more than just go for a walk – organize a picnic, throw a frisbee, go on a bike ride, practice outdoor yoga, venture out into a forest/lake/riverside/hills/mountains. It can only do you and your mind some good.

9. Go Outside

With so much time spent inside during the pandemic, it should feel great getting out and recharging on some vitamin D, especially if you are working from home. Movement is important. It will help you feel better physically but it also helps us feel better mentally by taking our eyes off the screens and our minds off our to-do list. Do more than just go for a walk – organize a picnic, throw a frisbee, go on a bike ride, practice outdoor yoga, venture out into a forest/lake/riverside/hills/mountains. It can only do you and your mind some good.

10. Be Present

If you’ve read this whole post and decided you’re too tired or too lazy to do any of the above, you know what? It’s totally okay. My piece of advice – do what feels right. A staycation is a precious opportunity to unwind, disconnect from the noise and reconnect with yourself. But it will only feel like a real vacation if you make a conscious decision to feel that you’re on vacation. Maybe it’s learning to cook an exotic dish. Maybe it’s ordering a pizza and watching Netflix. Or maybe it’s just about turning off your phone and not looking at your emails. Whatever you do, be present and do it with intention. Traveling may take us across borders but it doesn’t always get us out of our own heads. So listen to yourself, take care of yourself and enjoy your vacation, wherever you may be.

10. Be Present

If you’ve read this whole post and decided you’re too tired or too lazy to do any of the above, you know what? It’s totally okay. My piece of advice – do what feels right. A staycation is a precious opportunity to unwind, disconnect from the noise and reconnect with yourself. But it will only feel like a real vacation if you make a conscious decision to feel that you’re on vacation. Maybe it’s learning to cook an exotic dish. Maybe it’s ordering a pizza and watching Netflix. Or maybe it’s just about turning off your phone and not looking at your emails. Whatever you do, be present and do it with intention. Traveling may take us across borders but it doesn’t always get us out of our own heads. So listen to yourself, take care of yourself and enjoy your vacation, wherever you may be.