7 Summer Staycation Ideas

By Kealia Reynolds

Preparing for a vacation can be stressful, time-consuming, and costly, especially if the whole family is involved. If you haven’t gotten around to planning a vacation this summer, or just want to take a break this year, a staycation could be the perfect remedy. It’s a great way to not spend money and gives you the flexibility to do whatever you want, whenever you want, in the comfort of your own home. Here are seven ideas for a summer staycation.

1. Camp out in your backyard

Basically a less expensive version of glamping, camping in your backyard allows you to enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about a lack of plumbing. After spending all day in the sun, build a backyard bonfire and roast s’mores with friends and family before calling it a night or project movies onto a screen or sheet.

If the humidity levels are unbearable or a storm starts approaching, you have the flexibility to go inside and finish your campout in the living room (s’mores can be made in the oven and a makeshift tent can be made with blankets and pillows).

2. Have a mid-day picnic

Nothing quite says summer hygge like a mid-day picnic. Find a shady spot in your backyard or throw some pillows together in your sunroom to create a cool and relaxing environment. Enjoy a cheese board, tea sandwiches, and flavored sparkling water.

3. Get active

Find the motivation to workout by switching up your workout routine and running in a nearby park, going to that cycling class you can never make it to, or doing pilates in your home gym. Here are some other ways to stay active on your summer staycation:

  • Go paddle boarding or kayaking.
  • Join a local running group (and meet up for beers after).
  • Catch up with friends and go on a power walk around a local museum or mall.
  • Go to a street festival and don’t leave until you hit at least 5,000 steps.
  • Sign up for a 5K with friends and compete with each other to see who can run the fastest time.
  • Take a ballroom dance class by yourself or with your significant other.
  • Find a map of historic homes in your city and walk them all.
  • Try out a new yoga studio (most studios offer free or inexpensive intro passes for about a week).

4. Learn something new

Maybe you’ve been meaning to take a calligraphy class or learn how to make beer at home. Visit your local recreation department or community college—they likely offer a variety of introductory classes that will be free or won’t require a huge investment.

5. Sleep in

You’re on a staycation—don’t feel bad about sleeping in! Turn off all your alarms, close your blinds, don your favorite sleep mask, and sleep in until noon. You deserve it.

6. Take a day trip

Probably one of my favorite summer staycation ideas, a day trip is easily doable (and affordable). Leave early in the morning for the beach and return after sunset or go up to the mountains and hike various trails. If you’re nowhere near a beach or mountain range, travel to a nearby city and immerse yourself in the local food and shopping scene.

7. Volunteer

If you’re feeling a little stir-crazy, consider getting involved with a local community garden or non-profit organization. You can also visit VolunteerMatch and get matched with all types of volunteer efforts in your area.

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