8 Great Staycation Ideas

No passport? No problem! Just because you’re staying close to home this summer doesn’t mean the season can’t be memorable one. Here are a few ways to make the most of a staycation, no packing required.

1. Just say no to chores.

It’s easy to get caught up in household chores and routines — yes, even on vacation — when your time off doesn’t force you to pack up and leave town. As you gear up for your time off, whether it’s a week or two or just a weekend, tackle pressing around-the-house projects, catch up on laundry, and stock up on groceries. Get ready to relax in your own space once your vacation begins, not get distracted by everything that needs to be done.

2. Plan.

When planning for a trip abroad, you might research top restaurants, shopping destinations, and even schedule in activities in advance. Treat your staycation no differently: map out an itinerary. Staying home without a plan can lead to wasted time and the regret of not maxing out your time, whether you hope for some rest and relaxation in your backyard or adventures around town. Pay attention to dates of local festivals, concerts, and season-specific celebrations. Pencil in the few activities that you want to prioritize.

3. Consider day trips.

A staycation doesn’t mean that you can’t leave home. Sign up for an out-of-town winery tour with a few friends. Head to a nearby town to antique-shop with a style-savvy coworker. Pack a picnic lunch and go for a hike with your significant other. Embrace the field trip.

4. Or party in your own backyard.

If you don’t plan on leaving home this summer, let your backyard — or a friend’s, if your living situation doesn’t offer green space — be your getaway. Host a neighbourhood barbecue, plan a quiet date night for two, or just slather on the sunscreen and read a book all afternoon. (Cool off your feet in a kiddie pool, pour yourself a drink and you’ll really be living the life.) When the sun goes down, watch a movie projected onto the back wall of your house, or roast marshmallows over a fire pit.

5. Reconnect.

Look up friends you haven’t seen in a while. Invite them over. Or ask them to join you as you tackle your fun staycation to-do list. Double-date with an old college friend and her partner. Consider your time close to home as an opportunity to reboot relationships you’ve let fall by the wayside.

6. Be a tourist in your own town.

When was the last time you went to the zoo? The science centre? A local museum? Consult your local tourism board for staycation-activity ideas. There are likely plenty of things you’ve missed when it comes to your hometown, just because you’ve written them off as “for tourists.” Drop the pride, buy a ticket, and see your town from a new perspective.

7. Do what you love.

What do you wish you had more time to do? Do it. A staycation offers the perfect opportunity to revisit (or take up) a hobby, indulge in much-needed leisure time, and reprioritize what matters. If you’ve been dying to cook more, host a dinner party. If you’ve been feeling tense and stressed out as of late, schedule in a spa day and make time for yourself. If you wish you had more time for your siblings or parents, centre your plans around quality family time. You don’t have to go far from home to rejuvenate and re-energize.

8. Unplug.

Too many gadgets got you down? Let family and friends know you’re about to back away from the electronics and connect with people face-to-face instead. Read a book made of paper. Go to an outdoor screening of a classic film instead of downloading the latest flick on your tablet. Skip the status updates and try to live in the moment. Staycations, like most good things, must come to an end. Eliminate unnecessary distractions and make the most of yours.

What are some of your favorite staycation ideas?