Unfortunately, sometimes we just are not able to go on a vacation as we hoped. Maybe you cannot afford it this year, you got sick, you are snowed in, or you just can’t get the time off work! Whatever the case, these staycation ideas for couples and families will help you create an epic staycation!
Of course, you can always be a tourist in your hometown, but sometimes you want a real stay-cation where you don’t leave your home at all!
Sometimes it is nice to spend your time off in the comfort of your own home, and there’s nothing wrong with that- being a homebody definitely has it’s perks (think pajamas and your own bed!)
Staying at home doesn’t have to be boring- there are plenty of ways to transform your home in a way the entire family will love! Have kids? No problem! We’ve got ideas for them too so you won’t have to hear, “Mommmm, I’m bored!” For the hundredth time this hour.
Making your home look and feel different will be just the trick you need to scratch that travel itch, even if you can’t leave the house this year!
Spend some quality time with your friends, family, or partner, and get ready for an in-home vacation adventure you will never forget!
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Make a Plan
The most important of all staycation ideas for couples is to make a plan. Decide with your partner, family, or friends what you plan to do with your mini stay-cation. Create an itinerary or general ideas of what you will do (Don’t make these travel itinerary mistakes!)
Making a plan ahead of time will help prevent you from going back to your normal, everyday routines. Because you are in your own home, it will be easy to fall back into your day to day activities. Stick to your plan as much as possible for a more authentic vacation feel!
Here are some things to consider when making a plan for your vacation at home:
- How long will your staycation last? One night, the whole weekend?
- What is your budget? How much can you spend on preparing for your mini-vacation, and on what?
- Who is invited? Make sure to account for each “travelers” needs!
- Will you be inside, outside, or both? Consider the weather!
- What kind of activities will you be doing? Do you need to buy anything?
Because after all, you will be at home- don’t take this part too seriously! If all else fails, you are still in the comfort of your own home and can adjust plans as needed. Have fun with it, and try to pretend it is a real vacation!
Clean Ahead of Time
Cleaning your home is one thing you should always do before going on vacation, and a stay-cation is no different! If you try to have a stay-cation in a home that still has dirty dishes and laundry to be done, chances are you won’t be able to relax!
Make sure you clean your home as much as possible before attempting to vacation at home! Here are some suggestions on how to transform your home into a resort:
- Clean the sheets and make the bed. Put the throw pillows on top and make it look nice! You can even fold a towel like an animal like they do at the resorts!
- Clean the bathroom, and layout some new hand lotions and soaps.
- Put together a cheese and crackers platter for snacking.
- Rearrange the living room to make things look and feel different!
- Buy some flowers or a tropical plant for a real vacation feel
- Get all your laundry done and “pack” your clothes for your “trip”! You can even put them in a suitcase!
Also, make sure you go grocery shopping ahead of time to get all the snacks and ingredients you will need for your vacation!
Get all those pesky chores out of the way, so you can “vacation” worry-free!
Cook a Vacation Inspired Meal
Need staycation ideas for couples or families? Cook a vacation-inspired meal of course! A vacation isn’t a vacation without some good food, and it should be no different with a stay-cation!
Take some time to cook together to create your favorite meal from a previous vacation. Maybe you had some amazing pasta in Italy- get a pasta maker and try to recreate it! Maybe you had some delicious pad Thai or som tum in Thailand- try to recreate it together!
If you don’t enjoy cooking (or it turns out to be a disaster!) order in from a local restaurant that specializes in these meals!
You can even try to find a bottle of wine from that country or one that you drank while there! Follow the traditional norms of eating in that country such as eating with chopsticks, or eating on the floor. Make it as realistic as you can (even if it is delivery!)
Related: How to stay healthy on vacation
Pitch a Tent/Make a Fort
One of the most fun staycation ideas for couples or families is to pitch a tent! You can do this in your backyard if you are feeling ambitious, or you can even put it up in your living room! Pack the tent with lots of pillows and blankets, and vow to only use flashlights and lanterns for light!
If inside, you can even leave the zippered door open so you can watch TV or a movie marathon. Bring in the snacks and drinks, and enjoy it!
If you are outside, consider getting the night sky app on your phone, and do some stargazing as long as it is not too cloudy!
Another option if staying indoors is to make a fort out of couch cushions and blankets! Remember when you used to do this when you were little? Why not do it again! Spend some time having fun making the perfect fort, then put a bunch of pillows and blankets inside to snuggle up!
Another fun way you can spend your staycation is to have a picnic! Get a cute picnic basket and a blanket, and pack a nice meal and a bottle of wine! A good picnic meal could include some sandwiches, grapes, and crackers, and cheeses.
You can have your picnic in your backyard if the weather is nice, or you can even have an indoor picnic in your living room! Maybe even have the picnic in your tent or blanket fort.
If outside, bring a frisbee or an outdoor game to play when you are finished eating. If inside, maybe play some cards or listen to music! Enjoy each other’s company and a fun meal together!
Have a Spa Day
Because every good vacation has relaxation right?! Plan an hour or two (or more!) during your stay-cation dedicated to pampering yourself. Vacations are all about relaxing, so give yourself a little love!
Here are some ideas for a spa day at home:
- Take a long bubble bath
- Put on a moisturizing face mask
- Wear some cucumber eye pads
- Relax your feet in a vibrating foot spa
- Have a nice massage with some body oil
- Exfoliate with a good body scrub
The possibilities are endless! Paint your nails, do some yoga, whatever feels good to you!
Related: Practicing self-care on vacation
Take a Virtual Tour
When you can’t physically visit a new place, you should visit it virtually! Many museums and attractions now offer free virtual tours, so you can feel like you are (almost) really there!
Here are some awesome free virtual tours you can watch:
- Visit three exhibits at the Louvre
- See 26 exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Take a self-guided tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- Watch the Pandas at the Atlanta Zoo
- Go under the sea at the Georgia Aquarium
- Tour London’s Buckingham Palace
- Go to the Great Wall of China
Go to an Online Concert
If you can’t physically go to a concert, try to find one online! Youtube and Amazon music has TONS of free concerts that were recorded live, so pretend you are there!
Find a live concert of your favorite band, and turn the volume up! Maybe even wear your band T-shirt if you have one, turn off the lights, and go crazy! Dance around, sing at the top of your lungs into your hairbrush, and have fun with it!
At least you won’t have to worry about your embarrassing dance moves, or have a limited vision from the tall guy in front of you! Plus, you won’t have to overspend on expensive concert tickets and overpriced drinks!
One of the best staycation ideas for couples and families in the summertime is to go swimming! If you are vacationing in the summertime, you might want to pretend you are relaxing at the resort pool or beach. Already have a pool? Great! If not, you can get this awesome inflatable pool that has a bench inside, for only $40! Fill it up with the hose, let the sun warm it up for a bit, then enjoy!
You can even get an inflatable hot tub if you are looking for something on the more relaxing side, especially if the weather is cool. It even fits 4-6 people, enough room for the whole family!
Make some tropical drinks or smoothies, bring out a mini speaker for some pool music, and enjoy!
Related: How to go to the beach in style
Bonfires are a fun activity to do whether it is in the summer months or a cool fall night! Get a bonfire ring, find some logs and sticks, and get cozy!
Spend time with your family, friends, or partner telling stories, playing campfire games, and enjoying each other’s company. Maybe make some smores and marshmallows, and enjoy the warmth of the flames.
If you are feeling extra ambitious, try cooking a meal or snack over the fire! See if you can survive not using the grill for the night!
A great way to relax in the outdoors is by relaxing on a comfortable hammock. Tie the hammock around a couple of trees and take a quick snooze in the warm breeze.
If you have nowhere to hang the hammock, you can buy one with a stand, so you can relax anywhere! You could even bring this one inside with you if the weather is too cool to be outside. Put it in your living room or bedroom, grab a snack, and watch a movie!
You can even bring a book with you, listen to some music, or just sway back and forth for awhile.
Play board games
Another one of the best staycation ideas for couples or families is to dust off those old board games, and give them a try! I’m sure you have tons of board games that haven’t been opened or even look at in years, so why not give them a go?
If you don’t have any board games, get a deck of cards! There are so many games you can play with a simple deck of cards, that can keep you busy for hours.
Games are a nice way to spend time offline while spending quality time with your loved ones. You might also choose to put together a puzzle, or do a craft! Who knows what you might find in that old game closet? See if you can find the oldest game in your house, and play it together!
Last but not least, take some pictures! You wouldn’t take a vacation and not take any pictures while you are there, right? So a staycation should be no different!
Take pictures during all your fun activities in the day or weekend, and make some goofy faces! You will love to look back on these memories in the future and remember all the fun you had just in your own home!
Print some out afterward and put them in a frame, or even make a scrapbook!
Read more about how to take the best pictures on vacation!