Paradise is a state of mind, so use these ideas to liven up a day trip!

Every once in a while, I find a new word to add to my vocabulary. Apparently, a “staycation” is a vacation where you stay put instead of traveling out of your way!

From what I can remember, we’ve always called these “day trips,” but it’s enlightening to think about getting the same fun out of your own back yard as you could from an exotic trip.

The main idea behind a staycation is to save money because we often look far and wide for only the coolest and most adventurous things to do, when really, there’s plenty to enjoy right under our noses that costs less. Most importantly, I think a staycation is about being creative and able to have fun because you know how to bring the fun with you.

Try these ideas to stay put but also feel like you’re on a getaway!

1. Campout and stargaze.

An ornament with 3 poeple sitting by a campfire roasting marshmallows in front of their tent. All can be personalized with names | OrnamentShop.comYou may have to find a nice hill to climb if you live in an urban area, but the sky is both beautiful to look at and accessible from everywhere in the world. You can pair this idea with other activities, like building a fire, roasting marshmallows, and having a sing-a-long.

Whether you have a camping tent and can pitch at a campground for a night, or if you want to roll out the sleeping bags in your own backyard, have a night where you enjoy the serenity of the sky. It’s free!

2. Stay at a hotel or bed and breakfast.

When you go on a vacation, most of your expenses come down to getting to your destination. If you don’t need gas money or plane tickets, you’ll be surprised to find nearby hotel rates are affordable for a little getaway. A bed and breakfast might be even cheaper with its own additional charm.

A three dimensional lodge or bed and breakfast ornament with pine trees and snow on the roof. The inside is customized with secret little scenes. | OrnamentShop.comYou could also splurge on a spa visit for during the day, wear a nice outfit to dinner, and then sleep in a down feathered bed as if you’re in a totally different city! It’s important to set your budget at the start of your trip, then you can think of relaxing excursions. You could also have simple outings, from window shopping to seeing a new movie in theaters.

This isn’t a perfect idea if you want to turn your staycation into a family trip, but if it’s either just yourself trying to get away or yourself and your significant other, this is a great one to make the most of. One cute way to make your staycation unique is to come up with a new identity for the day and pretend you’re a different person. If you’ve never done this before, it’s delightful and worth a try!

3. Make a bucket list and a map.

Instead of sleeping out (since you are so close to your own bed) you can also think of your staycation as a road trip morning-to-evening getaway with a few stops. Think about anything around you that’s worth trying at least once, come up with a budget, then make a whole day of going from one place to the next. Here’s a list that I came up with: A pizza ornament with mushrooms, pepporoni, sausage and bell peppers. |

  • Site seeing in Chicago. When we’re so close, we forget we can act like tourists, too!
  • Taste test local food. I would love to try a few Chicago style pizzas back-to-back and declare a winner. If there’s a famous style of food where you live, you could try this one, too.
  • Take a trip down memory lane. There are a few pictures I have from years ago, and it would be so much fun to spend a day re-creating them like a before and after photo shoot.
  • Use unique transportation. I think it would be fun to ride in a hot air balloon, a trolley, or an old-fashion ferry just to enjoy the journey instead of the destination. A Ferris Wheel might even check this off my little bucket list!

With these ideas, you’ll find that staying close to home was less stressful, cheaper, and just as much fun as any other vacation.

Do you have any of your own staycation ideas? Tell us in the comments below!