Charlotte Foster

Domestic Travel

14 staycation ideas for a great getaway close to home

14 staycation ideas for a great getaway close to home

Holidays are one of life’s best pleasures, but sometimes your mini-getaway is not an option – like now, for many of us!

Whether it’s because you’re travel ideas have been curtailed by lockdowns, it’s not in the budget this year, you don’t have enough time off, or you just feel safest staying local, you can have all the fun with way less hassle by trying one of these staycation ideas.

Have a pillow fort sleepover

Don’t just build a pillow fort; build the best pillow fort ever!

Go all out, draping sheets over furniture and building an indoor adventure. Hang fairy lights. Bring in a TV. Whip together recipes for a picnic. Break out the classic board games.

The dress code is strict: Jammies only! Then when it’s bedtime, you have the perfect setup for a sleepover.

Have a fondue night

Eating a fondue meal is a unique culinary experience, and it’s one you can bring to your home.

Heat up a fondue pot (or two!) and lay out a spread of dippables.

Start with savoury dishes like meat cubes, bread and steamed vegetables dipped in melted cheese.

Then finish with dessert, dipping fruit, cake and marshmallows into melted white and dark chocolate.

Visit a nearby national park

Our national parks are underrated treasures.

With over 500 of them, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

There’s plenty of hiking, but most national parks have other things to do as well, including wildlife spotting, horseback riding, swimming or kayaking, and so much more.

Set up an outdoor movie theatre

Projectors have gotten better and cheaper, making it easier than ever to set up a DIY backyard movie theatre.

Pick a blank side of your house (garage doors often work great), set up your laptop and projector, and pick a holiday-themed movie.

Invite your neighbours to bring their lawn chairs (if you’re able), add popcorn and drinks, and you have a perfect night out, err, in.

Tour your own city

Every state has some must-see tourist attractions.

When people come to visit, you probably have a list of sights they should see and things they should do.

Now is the time to use that list yourself! Visit a museum, go to a concert, check out historical buildings, walk on the pier, or hike those hills.

View your city as a tourist might. Heck, you can go so far as to buy the souvenir mug.

Go to a drive-in movie

It’s true that there aren’t nearly as many of them as there once were, but those remaining drive-ins offer a much safer big-screen experience than a regular cinema.

Find a drive-in movie theatre near you, check show times, and stock your car with goodies to eat and drink.

Or find a friend with a pickup truck and put a mattress in the back for more comfortable viewing.

Take a bike tour

Riding a bike is a great way to see your city or a destination.

It’s faster than walking, but you don’t have to worry about parking a car or finding an Uber.

Plus, you get to be in the fresh air. Many places offer guided bike tours, or you can come armed with a list of sights to stop.

Indulge in a spa day

Tired mums will love getting a day to relax and pamper themselves, although this is definitely one of the staycation ideas that most people will enjoy.

You can schedule a full day at a local spa and get the deluxe treatment, or you can put one together at home.

Get a fluffy bathrobe, stock up on sheet masks for your face, and choose a new nail polish.

Then top off your glass of wine and fill the bathtub for a relaxing soak.

Have a girls' or guys' night in

Some of the best types of holidays are guys’ or girls’ weekend getaways.

Don’t want to risk it during the pandemic? Host your pals at home for the night.

Invite a small group friends for a girls’ or guys’ night in (current restrictions notwithstanding!).

Mix a signature drink, play a fun game, watch a movie, or just talk.

Or set up the guest room and make a weekend of it.

Have an outdoor dance party

Dancing with others is fun and good for you.

But going into crowded dance clubs probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list right now.

Thankfully, all you need for your own dance party is an outdoor speaker and a flat spot for dancing.

String up some lights, fill a couple of coolers with drinks, and invite your neighbours or some close friends.

Hit the beach

This is one of the most popular staycation ideas and for good reason.

A day at the beach is like its own form of meditation. If there’s a body of water nearby, chances are there’s some type of beach.

Bring a beach picnic, set up a sun umbrella, lay out your towels, and spread out the sand toys.

Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen.

Take part in a house swap

Got friends that live in fun places?

If you’re not in a locked down area, you can still skip the hassle and uncertainty of a hotel by swapping houses for a weekend.

Each of you gets to check out a new place with a comfortable home base to come back to at night.

Be sure to also swap lists of the must-see sights in your areas.

Camp under the stars

Avoid crowds, stay close to home, and take in the night sky by going camping.

Keep it simple and head to a nearby scenic spot for one night.

Pack a light backpacking tent, but if temperatures are mild and skies are clear, you may not even need it.

Sleeping under stars is one of those life-changing experiences that we’ve nearly forgotten about in modern society, making it one of our favourite staycation ideas.

Image credits: Shutterstock

This article first appeared in Reader's Digest.

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