Many of us ran into the new year with hopes for new adventures. Unfortunately, 2020 had other plans. Vacationing at home may feel like the opposite of what you’d hoped for. Luckily, there are some fun and easy ways to satisfy the adventure in you, no matter where you are. 

What is a “staycation”?

Well, a staycation is exactly what it sounds like: a vacation where you stay at or around your home. You can still reap some of the biggest benefits of a vacation without ever leaving your house. You don’t need to get away to have a great getaway!  

Try to focus on the same aspects of vacation that bring you joy, like spending time with loved ones, trying new things, not worrying about work or the news, and making time for your favorite activities. 

For the Foodie…

1. Travel Around the World From Home

Cooking is a great way to bring the magic of travel into your own home. Experiment with recipes from the places on your bucket list. You can even practice speaking in the language of a country you planned to visit. Once you’ve plated your food, close your eyes and let the smells, tastes, and textures take you to exotic places, far and wide.

2. Backyard Grilling

Even if you already consider yourself a grill master, there’s always more to learn. Whether you want to try your hand at something new or perfect that meat you’re already good at, you won’t be sorry you invested some time in upping your BBQ game. Pick a new dish, a new meat, or a new style and get to work. With so many online resources available, getting that perfectly cooked burger or juicy chicken to come off your grill is a delicious way to spend a staycation.

3. Take an Online Culinary Class

Culinary classes are a great way to get to know a new destination. Luckily, there are also plenty of cooking classes you can take online to emulate that experience at home. Learn to make homemade pasta or the secrets to making the best pie and let the adventure cooking begin.

4. Order Takeout From a New Restaurant

While many restaurants may not support indoor dining right now, many of them are still doing takeout orders! Take time to acknowledge your local small-business restaurants, and consider placing an order to support them. If you enjoy their food, leave a review about how good their takeout service is so others can do the same! 

For the Adventurer…

1. Take a Virtual Tour

With travel basically at a standstill, it’s time to embrace a new way to see the world – virtual travel and virtual tours! Thanks to the World Wide Web we can go pretty much as far as desired, even without a passport. Book online tours and experiences that will make you feel like you’re in another country. A fun, cheap, and excellent way to travel from the comfort of your home!

2. Backyard Camping

Plant a tent in your backyard and have a night in. You can set the mood by building a fire, roasting s’mores, and telling scary stories. If you don’t have a backyard, put out a tent in the living room or even build a pillow fort. Use sleeping bags and nature sounds for extra realism.

3. Go Stargazing

If your night sky is dark enough, you can head out at night and do some stargazing. If you have an area you can go to that is away from the city lights but still gets good cellular coverage, you can use an app to guide you through the night sky and help you identify the celestial bodies you can see.

Smartphone apps like Star Walk, Night Sky, and Star Rover will help you find constellations, planets, galaxies and more. Even if you can’t get away during the pandemic, you can explore the cosmos without needing a telescope! .

4. Take a Hike

Whether it’s a hiking trail or urban park, spend some time outdoors. You can pack up a picnic lunch, get some fresh air and learn about flora and fauna in your area. Of course, be sure to practice social distance, wear a mask when outdoors, wash your hands frequently, and carry hand sanitizer with you.

5. Play Tourist in Your Own Town

Drive or bike around your hometown and pretend you’re seeing it for the first time. Grab a guidebook and stroll through the landmarks. Rediscover the best parts and explore the unknown: this may lead to unique experiences and encounters.

Many apps like Tripscout and GeoTourist offer audio walking tours that you can download to guide you through your city. Learn some historical fun facts and see your own town through a fresh lens.

For the Party Animal…

1. Throw a Dance Party

Every good vacation has a playlist, so create one to help set the vibe with some classic songs, beachy tunes, summertime hits or your personal favorites.

Quarantine is a great time to pick up new skills you can learn from home, such as dancing. Throw a dance party in your living room to add some fun to your staycation and get some exercise, too.

2. Backyard Concert

Although you may be missing live music, you can still catch many of your favorite bands performing in new ways. Check out livestreams, previously unreleased footage and even old shows from all kinds of musical acts. Pick up an outdoor projector and watch (and dance!) from your backyard for a true concert experience. 

3. Family Game Night

It’s safe to say that there’s plenty of time to play games right now, and it’s a fun way to get the whole family involved in activity. Test your teamwork and competitiveness by designating a night to play games with others, such as board games or video games. Keep in touch with friends and family by playing virtually through video chat, streams or online game sites that allow multiple players.

4. Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts aren’t just for kids, and they are a great way to keep yourself busy while stay-cationing. You can play with your friends, your family, or even by yourself: plant treasures around your house, give a clue that leads to the next one, and have fun! For a solo scavenger hunt, try a nature scavenger hunt. Consider downloading the iNaturalist app and using the app to help identify the plants, trees, tracks, and creatures you discover! 

For the Relaxer…

1. Create an Oasis at Home

Try to decorate your home so that it looks a little less like home and more like a resort, with anything from tropical table settings to new wall hangings to fake or fresh flowers or string lights.

2. Have a Spa Day

Spa days are a fun and relaxing way to stay-cation at home. Plus, they’re really simple to do! Pick up some fresh bath towels, scented candles, and bath salts. Run a hot bubble bath and round out the ambience with some soothing music and your favorite book.

Finally, put some relaxing music on, and give yourself a manicure or pedicure. Home spa days are refreshing, relaxing, and a great way to spend an evening.

3. Movie Night

Pop some popcorn, pull out the cushions and blankets, turn off the lights, and spend the night watching movies with your nearest and dearest. You can splurge and rent the movie you wanted to see in the theater, or have your family members take turns choosing a movie.

4. DIY Projects

Pick a project that is not crazily expensive and start working on it: it could be painting your fence or just rearranging the furniture in your room. Anything that will allow you to see a change in your daily life. The feeling of starting and completing your own DIY is a great reward! 

Although 2020 has been a rough year for so many people, there are still lights at the end of the tunnel. Using this guide to help you through, you can plan and execute a safe, fun staycation which lets you switch off, have a change of scenery, and a well-deserved break.

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