30+ Staycation Ideas Perfect For When You Can’t Actually Travel

Vacations can be expensive. They’re great for making lifelong memories, relaxation, and exploration, but they can sometimes break the bank. What’s the alternative? Well, here’s an idea! You take a portion of what you would typically spend on a week-long vacation and plan a luxury staycation of your choice instead!

A staycation doesn’t mean sacrificing all the fun and opportunities you’d have somewhere else. If you can’t go on an actual vacation this year, bring the vacation lifestyle to you. There have been many times where I’ve had a bad case of the travel bug, but for one reason or another (financial, timing, etc.), I just couldn’t go. Some of the things I did in those cases: eat the foods I would have eaten at the destination country and attempt to do similar activities that I would have done had I gone on vacation.

With just a little imagination and some preparation, you can celebrate your vacation in no time, any time you’d like! Make home feel like the ultimate escape with these ideas, products and recommendations.

*Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful content. Thanks!

30 Staycation Ideas - Travels With Elle


Looking to simulate a resort and spa vacation? These ideas will get you to those relaxation and rejuvenation vibes in no time.

Luxury Staycation Ideas - Travels With Elle


Many local spas have one-day packages that can be much more affordable than getting massages and treatments at a luxury hotel spa. Try to find one that has an outdoor area (pool, restaurant, garden, or lounging area) for even more vacation vibes.


To get even more bang for your buck, grab a few face masks, some mani-pedi supplies, and soak in the zen. Or, invite a few friends over for a more social DIY spa day.


Candles, oils, and incense can do a lot to enhance any experience. Not only are they great for mood lighting, but the scents they offer are infinite and super customizable to whatever experience you want at that moment. Want to feel like you’re in the mountains? There’s a forest-scented candle for that. Want to feel like you’re sitting by the beach with a pina colada in hand? There’s a tropical-scented candle for that too.

P.F. Candle Co. is one of my absolute favorite candle brands. Not only are the candles hand-poured and made of 100% domestically-grown soy wax, they smell absolutely heavenly. If diffusers are more your style, don’t fret! They have amazing diffusers with the same wonderful fragrances. My go-to’s:


If you want to feel like you’re truly having a spa vacation, you gotta look the part! What better way to do that than with a robe and slippers? From my experience, plush-lined terry cloth robes made of Egyptian and Turkish cotton make me feel the most at ease. While you’re at it, how about treating yourself to some new luxury towels?


Many spa resorts offer other therapeutic activities such as yoga. Recreate the yoga retreats feels without leaving your living room with the right gear. As an after-class bonus, infuse some ice water with lemon and cucumber slices and spend all the time you want in shavasana. If yoga is too much, spend the hour getting in some deep stretches to relax your body instead.


Looking to simulate a tropical beach vacation? If you’re lucky enough to have a beach nearby, take advantage of that! For those who aren’t by the sea, these ideas will get you to that tropical state of mind. Who said you couldn’t have a beach vacation without the beach?

Beach Staycation - Travels With Elle


The hammock is the perfect furniture piece to get comfortable while you soak up some sun. If you’d rather stay indoors, then open the blinds and set the hammock up in the sunny spots. Sunlight is one of the most effective mood boosters in existence and best of all, it’s FREE!


You can’t have a tropical beach staycation without cocktails to match! Get creative with your drink selection with a cocktail subscription box.

  • SaloonBox | Making craft cocktails at home will no longer be a hassle. SaloonBox gives you one box each month, containing 2 new cocktail recipes and includes all the ingredients required to make those drinks. No need to run to the store or adjust your drink for missing ingredients. Each kit is designed for two people. The boxes also come with recipe cards that provide step-by-step instructions. Sign up today for this craft cocktail box!

Next, throw on some tropical beach music. There are a ton of curated playlists on Apple Music or Spotify with a focus on the “tropical beach” genre.


Okay, now that a few hours have passed–enough of the tropical music. Sometimes, we’d prefer to listen to the pure sounds of the waves and seagulls instead. Get the Calm app for unlimited hours of relaxing nature sounds. Alternatively, you can get a sound machine (which is great for sleeping purposes as well).


Winding down for the night? Sleep tends to come on easier while on vacation, and that well-rested feeling can be hard to recreate at home. Fortunately, there is a solution! A good night’s sleep is easier to come by with a little help from aromatherapy. I wish I had gallons of this pillow spray–it smells great and relaxes my body, mind, and nerves like no other.


Agriculture Wine Vineyard Grapes Winery California


The most important thing to have on hand is wine. Lots and lots of wine. Maybe even more importantly, you should have an assortment of traditional wines you know and love, as well as wines you know anything about. What you can do then: download a wine tasting sheet, or do blind tests with your friends and family to see if anyone can match the wine they’re tasting to the correct bottle. Another fun wine activity is to feature a few bottles of wine, each from a different region, and try to taste the regional distinctions.

The simplest way to get an assortment of wines shipped directly to your front door is through a wine subscription box. The greatest part? With monthly subscription boxes, you can relive your wine country staycation every few weeks!


Bring that countryside vineyard feeling to your home staycation with just a few upgrades. Use real, traditional wine glasses with stems to make the wine tasting experience more authentic.


Of course, you couldn’t simulate a wine country staycation without cheese and meats. Nothing feels more like a proper day at a winery than a charcuterie board with various cheeses, cured meats, nuts, and dried fruits.


Enjoying your meals outdoors doesn’t have to be limited to high-end cafes and restaurants while you’re on vacation. Simulate that Tuscan villa garden ambiance with a dinner that takes place outdoors. Set up a small table, bring out your homecooked dishes, and eat with your loved ones under the night sky. Spice up your set up with some string lights, formal table placements, and even make an effort to fill the empty table space with fresh flowers.



Itching to get in some good food, sightseeing, culture, and wine? Use these ideas to simulate a vacation in Europe!

Photos That Will Inspire You To Visit Bruges, Belgium - www.travelswithelle.com


Experience thousands of museums throughout Europe (and the rest of the world) in the comfort of your own home. Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, not only can you view your favorite masterpieces through the virtual tour experience, but you can also use the Street View to actually simulate walking through the museums. Talk about virtual reality. The Google Arts & Culture’s collection includes the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and hundreds of more museums where you can learn about culture, art, history, and science. Check out the collection here.


Gourmet specialty stores tend to carry a lot of international goods. Check out the following online stores:


If you’re anything like me and love pastries and bread (oh, Parisian croissants), go to your local bakery and pick up some delights to simulate breakfast in Europe. Coffee and croissant, anyone?


Europeans love their wine. Head to the nearest wine shop or grocery store to pick up a few regional wines and make a wine tasting night out of it. Better yet, sign up for a wine subscription box. Don’t forget the charcuterie board.


Even when you can’t get away for a camping trip in the wilderness, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying the great outdoors right in your own backyard. If your typical vacation includes classic camping and good eats by the fire, then recreate that experience with these ideas!


Light up the grill! If you want to simulate the cooking experience while camping, you can cook your meals in foil packets or directly over the grill. Getting a portable grill is a great option in case you want to grill at a park, the beach, or at a friend’s house instead. We got the Weber Liquid Propane Grill this year and have never been happier at home. It’s an investment that will easily pay itself off! Meat skewers, shishito peppers, and grilled chicken whenever I want– it’s a summertime dream come true.


Setting up your outdoor space is going to important if you want to recreate the camping experience. Furnish your outdoor area with some affordable camping chairs and bust out the tent! String up outdoor lights for that extra flair and turn on the fire pit for an unforgettable night outdoors. Make sure you have some bug spray on hand.


Make s’mores in your fire pit or with a fireless s’mores maker. Enjoy them while sharing ghost stories outdoors. Who needs a campground or a real campfire?


Throw on your hiking boots and take a day hike, have a long run around the park, or stroll along the beach. No matter where you decide to go, make sure you get enough time outdoors. All that nature and all that sun will do the soul some good. Even better– pack a picnic and a cooler full of cold drinks and bring this with you. It’ll be such a treat after your day being physical outdoors.


Many of us spend our days working, running errands, and staying home–even on our days off. But I’m here to tell you that life at home doesn’t have to be mundane! Another great staycation idea is to spend a day or a weekend playing tourist in your own city (or nearby metropolitan city).

Mendocino to Redwood National Park Road Trip - Eureka


Night In Boxes is the perfect way to spend time with your partner. This subscription box essentially gives you a date night with zero planning. Each box includes 3-5 unique and interactive activities that result in memorable, quality time with your significant other (rather than you guys both zoning out during movie night or being distracted by phones). Each date box also includes a custom Spotify playlist and suggested dinner recipes. It’s the whole shebang!


A quick drive to a nearby town or an unfamiliar suburb in your own city can make for a fun adventure. Or, hop on a train and get off at a random stop– let’s call it travel roulette!


Spend time enjoying the little things. Visit the museums, local attractions, or historic districts that you may have overlooked and rediscover the charm that your city/town has to offer. Pop into the little shops that you usually just drive by, take a stroll in the little neighborhoods you never think twice about, or try a restaurant you’ve been meaning to eat at for a while.


Everyone needs to eat. But you are in control of how you eat! Instead of the same old grocery store, make a trip to a farmer’s market and pick up fresh, local ingredients to attempt a dish you’ve never made before.


Ok let’s be honest, cooking is probably not top of mind for many of us when we’re trying to vacation. Consider using meal planning and subscription services, such as Blue Apron or Freshly. These companies take out most of the hassle that comes with cooking– they do all of the meal planning, shopping, and prep work for you and ship you everything you need for a delicious meal.


Now is a great time to pick up a new hobby. Some great options include ceramics, painting, floral arrangement, and photography. Check with your local community center or community college to see if they have free or low-cost classes for kids and adults. Some stores even offer one-day workshops you can take advantage of. If you’d rather stick with self-paced online classes, here are a few great resources:

Hoping you have a wonderful staycation that’s just as beautiful as a vacation abroad!

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Elle Leung

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger and adventurer based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in my state (and all around the world too)!

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