Every now and again we face circumstances that mean we can’t travel or even get away for a just weekend. Whether financial reasons or other circumstances beyond our control intervene to prevent travel, that doesn’t mean we lose our desire or need to get away from the stresses and pressures of everyday life. What you need are some fun and romantic staycation ideas for couples.
What can you do when you need a vacation but either financially or physically can’t get away from home?
Enter the staycation. Read on to discover some great romantic staycation ideas at home.
What is a staycation?
“Staycation” is simply a mashup of the words “stay” and “vacation.” You’re taking a vacation without actually leaving your hometown…or even your home.
It’s a great option for those who need a break but can’t get away.
Different kinds of staycations
There are many variations on the “staycation.”
- You could try a hotel staycation and book a hotel, inn, bed & breakfast, or vacation home rental (Airbnb or Vrbo) in or near your hometown.
- You could stay in your own home but make daily activity excursions in or around your hometown (e.g., local hikes, museums, beaches, food tours, etc.)
- Staycation at home where your activities are completely centered around what you can do in your own home and backyard.
Here are a few staycation tips to make your staycation feel like a vacation:
- No work. Tell your boss you are on vacation. If you are the boss, trust that your employees can handle your being unreachable for a few days or that the work will be there waiting for you after you emerge from your staycation.
- No household chores like laundry, yard work or errands.
- Commit to a vacation mindset as much as possible. This means setting aside your usual home routines. (Regular mealtimes? What are those?)
Prepare for your staycation
As much as possible do some advanced planning for this like you would any other vacation or weekend getaway. Commit to making this a real break from the everyday. You don’t want just another weekend at home. You want it to be special.
Here are some ideas:
- To make it a true couple’s staycation, do at least a little of the planning together. What activities do you both want to do, what foods do you want to eat, etc.? Try some active brainstorming together. If you get stuck, check out the great ideas below for fun and romantic staycation activities.
- Commit to “unplugging” and being truly in vacation mode. For me this often means disabling work email notifications on my phone and removing the email app from my home screen so that I’m blissfully unaware of what is going on at work. I do make sure to tell my boss and co-workers that I am not checking email at all so they know not to expect anything more than an out-of-the-office autoreply.
- Make your house feel like a resort.
- Get out those candles you’ve got stashed away.
- Stock up on your favorite foods. And when I say favorite, I mean FAVORITE. You know, those things you just love to eat when you splurge at a restaurant or a hotel stay but never think to buy for yourself when you do your regular cooking or food shopping.
- Break out those extra fluffy guest towels or even leftover hotel toiletry amenities.
- Treat yourself to some new bath and body products and turn your bathroom into a mini-spa.
- Get more ideas in my full post about how to create a resort at home.
Fun and romantic staycation ideas for couples
Try brainstorming with your spouse to come up with some activities for your staycation that you’d both enjoy. If you get stuck here are some great ideas:
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Cuddle up in front of a fire
Is there anything more romantic that curling up on the couch and cuddling under a blanket with your boo while you watch the firelight flicker and dance? I don’t think so.
If you’re planning your staycation for summer when you might not want to build a fire indoors you could do the same outdoors if you have a firepit. (Practice good fire safety, people!)
Build a campfire and make s’mores
Staycations are a great excuse to build a fire and enjoy some s’mores. Or even try cooking your dinner out over an open fire. (Maybe have a backup dinner option in case this doesn’t go well.) Obviously only do this if your town allows outdoor fires and you have a safe firepit.
Come to think of it…there’s no reason you couldn’t do s’mores indoors.
Camp out by the fire
Spend an entire night camping out in your living room by your fire…or if you’re really adventurous (and the weather is agreeable) you could camp out in the backyard.
Unplug and have a real conversation
You know? Like you did when you were first dating and were learning everything about each other. If you need to, try out these conversation starters:
- What was your favorite thing to do when you were a child?
- Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do or be that you’ve never shared with me?
- What’s the one thing you wish that I really understood about you?
Read a book together
Choose a book to read aloud to each other maybe just one chapter at a time. It doesn’t have to be particularly lofty or literary. It could even be a book that was special to either or both of you as a child. I happen to think The Chronicles of Narnia particularly lend themselves to being read aloud in this way.
Play a board game or card game together
Put out some snacks and commit to that marathon game of Monopoly or a full game of Phase 10 (boy that game can go long!). And if your relationship is strong enough to handle a full game of Phase 10, I tip my hat to you.
Watch each other’s favorite movies (without complaint)
And don’t choose something you’ve both watched together over and over already. Choose something you really love and think your spouse would appreciate (or should appreciate). Maybe even take a few minutes to explain to your spouse why you love the movie so much.
Enjoy coffee and breakfast in bed
It’s room service for your staycation. Have fun. Use trays. Put the coffee in a carafe. Put a single rose in a bud vase.
And make it a really great breakfast. Break out that waffle iron you never use or pick up some really great pastries from a local bakery you’ve been meaning to try.
What would you want if you were ordering breakfast at a great resort or your favorite inn? Make it happen.
Go for a relaxing walk together
You don’t have to go anywhere in particular. Just enjoy the fresh air and being together. If your immediate neighborhood isn’t a good walking neighborhood, visit a local park or even a college campus.
Order your favorite restaurant meal for pick up or to be delivered
Is there a restaurant in your area that delivers or offers takeout that has a particularly special meaning for you?
You could even enjoy your dinner in front of that fire you built.
For a budget staycation option, prepare a few of your favorite meals ahead of time to reheat so that you don’t have to do any cooking on your staycation if you don’t want to. No routines, remember?
But if you enjoy cooking and don’t want to give it up perhaps you could…
Cook a meal together
Break out that wedding china and enjoy a dinner you’ve cooked together. In fact, you could plan the meal and do the shopping for ingredients together. Sometimes just walking the aisles of the grocery store can bring inspiration and feel kind of like a date.
Bonus points if you try a new recipe rather than an old standby.
Take a nap together
Snuggle up under a blanket together like a couple of bunnies and enjoy the simple pleasure of napping.
So often when we travel, we’re so focused on getting the most out of time at our destination that we can run ourselves ragged. When you’re staycationing you’ve already seen everything there is to see in your home so there’s no fear of missing out!
Reminisce over photos from past events and travels
What better time to get out your wedding photos or old family albums? Sharing memories with your spouse is a great way to spark good conversation and learn even more about him or her.
And looking at your old travel photos can provide great inspiration for future travels. You might even set aside a little of your staycation time to brainstorm ideas for the next time you can travel further afield.
Just because you can’t travel right now doesn’t mean that you can’t have (or don’t deserve) the kind of break from the everyday that a vacation offers. And with a little imagination, there’s literally no limit to all the fun staycation ideas you could come up with.
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