By the end of this article you’ll have 10 ideas for what to do during your staycation. You might even find new appreciation for staycations altogether and will consider scheduling them more often. Now, let’s hop in with the basics.
What is a Staycation?
A staycation is a vacation in your home or city. Rather than taking a week off from work to travel, you instead spend some time relaxing around the house.
4 Benefits of a Staycation
A Staycation vs A Vacation
While a vacation is more about the experience of another locale be it domestic or international, a staycation is all about relaxing. I, personally, never see a vacation as an opportunity to relax because traveling takes a lot out of you. Packing, waiting at the airport, standing in line, and cramped flights are a staple of most vacations and you have to do it twice.
Then, once you’re at your destination you’re often moving a mile a minute to get in as many activities as possible in your allotted time. Perhaps you even go on vacation with a group of friends and feel obligated to participate in activities rather than doing your own thing.
When you get back home you feel hosed, and then you head back to work on Monday with an albeit amazing trip under your belt but not as refreshed as you’d like.
With a staycation, you get to focus on feeling refreshed before returning to work which helps you reset mentally and perform better. That said, a staycation does not have to mean writhing in boredom in your living room. There is lots to do on a staycation, and I’m going to break it down for you.
A Staycation Is Your Chance To Fully Disconnect
More people work from home now more than ever. Still, that doesn’t mean you feel like you’re in permanent staycation mode. In fact, when you have a home office it can be harder to separate yourself from work. Especially if your main relaxation areas double as your workspace. For example, if your desk and laptop are in your living room and you hear an email ding, you may be tempted to respond to it, or at least take a peak. It’s even worse if your desk is in your bedroom.
The same temptation holds true if you work in an office. Logically, one has to wonder why you need work email on your phone if you go into an office every day. Is it because your employer expects you to respond to emails asap while you traverse the halls in between meetings? Or, is it because your employer wants you available for work even after you’ve given them your time in the office? It’s probably a mix of both, especially in high-pressure positions. You have to wonder why if you’re not delivering babies why you’d need to be so tapped into work at all times.
A staycation is your chance to fully disconnect without replacing work obligations with the stress of travel. So, turn your work email OFF. Once you notify your employer that you’re taking a vacation, you are NOT obligated to work during that time. In fact, it’s illegal in most cases for your employer to expect you to do so.
If you’re tempted to work during vacation because you have an underlying fear of demonstrating your worthiness or value, you’re only going to exacerbate it by being at their beck and call while you’re supposed to be relaxing. An employer/employee relationship is an agreement to produce in exchange for a wage and that’s it. And, that relationship is crucial to remember if you’re committed to work-life balance.
A Staycation Is Easier To Schedule
Often times when scheduling a vacation you have to take all of your vacation time just to ensure you have the ability to take a day to get ready for work again. Or, maybe you want to spend more time in your destination than you did traveling to get there. What ends up happening is that you only have the chance to schedule one vacation per year.
With a staycation, for example, you can schedule one for 4 or 5 days depending on your benefits and one week-long vacation for a total of two stretches of time off from work.
A Staycation Is Cheaper
Even if money isn’t an issue, it’s way cheaper to explore your city than to book travel, accommodations, and excursions for a vacation.
10 Staycation Ideas
Planning what you’re going to do during your staycation is a fun anticipatory activity and there’s no shortage of ideas. Still, we wanted to help out by giving you activities to explore.
1. Start A Hobby or Dive Into One
A staycation is an excellent time to discover your interests. We wrote an incredibly popular article about hobbies for women where we listed 50 hobby ideas to get you started. You should certainly read it if you’re struggling to think of fun ways to fill your time. Or, perhaps you have a hobby that fell by the wayside because you got too busy with work. Get excited about immersing yourself in that abandoned hobby during your staycation.
2. Explore Your City
Get out of the house and discover the cool parts of your city. You don’t know what you don’t know about your city but luckily there are apps to assist. Foursquare is an app dedicated to highly curated lists of restaurants and events in your area.
Foursquare users are typically foodies or highly interested in the given activity and they provide reviews and ratings that you can utilize as your guide. While Yelp has a reputation for being the app where disgruntled customers go to ruin a business, Foursquare reviews still appear to be thoughtful and more in-depth.
Use Foursquare to help you explore your city by typing in cuisines, liquors or activities you really enjoy and choose which places you want to try out from the list. Here is a list of places to consider going during your staycation:
Tourist Hot Spots
3. Try New Recipes
If you have a knack for cooking or want to learn the basics, there’s no better time than a staycation to break out your cookware and find a delicious sounding recipe to give a try. You may even consider inviting friends over so that they can partake in your culinary creation.
4. Plan A Small Party
If you’ve been really busy with work, you probably have been a little M.I.A. to some of your favorite people. Order some take-out, add some new board games to your collection, grab some liquor or make it an adult tea party, and invite friends over. A staycation is the optimal time to catch up with friends and family because even if you stay up late catching up, you have no obligations the next day!
5. Complete A Project
Do you have a chair or piece of furniture that can be jazzed up? Have you been meaning to redecorate or reorganize a room? A staycation is a perfect time to do so especially if you’re someone who can’t sit still. You may like to stay busy, but that doesn’t have to mean for your job. Instead, on your staycation, you can keep your mind and hand occupied with fun creations.
6. Create A Streaming Watch List
Log into your Amazon Prime, Netflix, or HBO accounts and set up your entertainment line-up. What are some titles you’ve been meaning to watch? There are probably entire shows available that have several seasons for your viewing pleasure.
7. Practice Meditation
On a staycation you aren’t limited to when you can practice meditation, you can even have multiple sessions a day if you choose. Additionally, because you’re completely disconnected from work you’ll be able to hold that relaxed feeling for even longer. When you do return back to work you’ll feel like a new person.
We write a ton about meditation here, so if beginning or exploring meditation sounds like something you’re interested in check out our books on meditation, how to create a meditation room ideas for small spaces, meditating with music, and meditating lying down articles.
8. Binge Read A Couple Books
Binge read a couple books that you’ve been meaning to finish or new books you’ve been waiting to crack open. A staycation is an ultimate time to veg out on the couch and plow through several chapters of a good novel. In preparation for your staycation, get your reading list ready. If your friends are aware you’re planning a staycation, they may be down for reading the same book as you and doing an impromptu book club night, with wine of course.
9. Correct Your Sleep Schedule
If you’ve been struggling with insomnia or oversleeping, a staycation is a good time to address that by being intentional about your sleep schedule. If you know you need your 7-8 hours then intend to relax a couple hours before, perhaps take melatonin and read a book and do this consistently for several days. We wrote an article titled how to fall asleep fast where we really go into detail about how to address wonky sleep habits.
10. Run Errands
This one may seem counterintuitive to the goal of a staycation, but it really isn’t. Sometimes there’s no better time to take care of obligations than when you can devote your full attention to them. So, have you been meaning to schedule home repairs, pet grooming, dry cleanings etc.?
Whatever you couldn’t accomplish during work hours, you can accomplish on a staycation and you will feel much better having done so. When you do get back to work, you’ll feel much more at ease having accomplished so much during your staycation.
Above all, a staycation can just be a duration of time where you get to focus on the things that make you happy. So, while planning your staycation activities focus on what makes you happy and in an ideal time off what would you be doing? Depending on your level of exhaustion, your desired activity could be to be lazy and that’s incredible. Or, you can choose to devote your staycation to catching up on things. It’s up to you.
So that’s our take on staycations. I know of few activities more related to self-care than they are.