It is looking like another Spring Break and possibly Summer where staycation may be the best option! Whether or not you want to vacation at home this year, there is still plenty of opportunity to plan some fun and adventure in your own city. Whether you are planning a couple’s holiday, have a family to please, or you are single, all of these tips will give you some great staycation ideas! I’ve rounded up what I hope are some new ideas to have the best holiday near home, with or without kids.
Atlas Obscura labels itself as “The definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders.” The name really says all that you need to know, it’s an atlas of the obscure, which makes it a great guide for finding interesting spots in your own city or province/state! If you live in a smaller town, you might not find anything within city limits, so search by your location and look on the map for anything within driving distance. You are sure to find a couple of interesting places to check out. If you are in a bigger city there may be many points of interest nearby.
Spend some of your staycation time exploring local oddities, or challenge yourselves to find and add your own!
I LOVE Reddit. That probably means it’s not cool anymore, but that doesn’t matter. Find a subreddit for your city (or general area) and search for new and interesting places to see and things to do.
Here are some helpful search ideas: “Hidden Gems” “Secret Places” “Quiet Spots” “Cool Places” and of course “Things to do” or “Staycation.” Of course you could always post the question too! If you have lived in your city for some time, many suggestions may not be a surprise, but I have still found a lot of good ideas on there.
If you are looking for some outdoor adventure during your staycation, find a new path or trail to explore! AllTrails is an app (and website) in use worldwide for finding trails to walk, bike, or run. There is a great range of lists in the app from “Top Trails” to “Best Views,” “Family Friendly” and even “Trails Less Travelled.” There are also lots of user photos and updates, to help you decide where to go!
Check Out the Suburbs
If you live in a bigger city, why not visit some of your neighbours? Take a stroll through some smaller “downtowns” and stop in at a new cafe. There is not a lot of history where we live, so I find it really fun to explore these oldest parts of nearby places. Try out one of their local restaurants, and visit a new playground or spray park. You can also use AllTrails and find a new place to take a stroll.
Of course visiting downtown is a great thing to do in your own city too. Especially if you don’t find yourself there often. For some reason strolling downtown and getting something to eat or drink always feels a little vacation-y.
Whether you are staying in your own town, or exploring one nearby, a farmer’s market is always a great time! I really enjoy the farmer’s market in one of our neighbouring towns, and yet I never make the time to go! Add it to the staycation itinerary! Budget a little something to try a new coffee or let the kid’s pick a treat.
Antiquing is also really fun, whether you buy anything or not. It’s fun to look through old local treasures. It’s like a museum, but not.
Whatever food trucks have survived the pandemic, they will surely need your support. Make a few searches on Google, Reddit, or Facebook for local food trucks and enjoy a DIY foodie tour! If you can’t find any food trucks, try an ice cream stand, or order some takeout tacos to picnic at a park.
Of course there may also be a genuine foodie tour in your city that you want to try, so that’s another option!
You might not think you will find something new locally to do on Trip Advisor, but it could surprise you! Search for top restaurants, coffee shops, and of course, things to do! If you are willing to go further afield, search your state or province for top things to do, instead of your city. If you want to stay somewhat local, try searching a nearby town.
In addition to the standard Trip Advisor lists, you can also search the forums for the suggestions of other locals.
Do The Obvious
Maybe not the suggestion you came for, but try going full tourist and doing all the things a visitor to your city might do. Try the popular attractions like the zoo or a waterpark. Eat at your favourite spots. Take a tour. Many cities have Segway or bike and scooter tours. You could also see a live theatre performance. Visit the museums or explore an art gallery.
Stop at your local tourist information for some pamphlets and guidebooks to give you some touristy ideas for your staycation.
Many of us staycation to save some money, but if you can, splurge a little while you are still saving on travel costs. Budget spending money to do some shopping, or for tickets to a local attraction you wouldn’t normally spring for. (Hello World Waterpark at West Edmonton Mall!)
Planning a staycation for a couple or just for yourself? Go get a massage, or a mani-pedi!
I hope this gave you some great ideas for your next staycation! Whether that is Spring Break with the kiddos, or a budget holiday for you, or as a couple!
What is your secret to a good vacation at home?
For more ideas about what to do when the kids are out of school, check out my post of 9 activities that are easy and cheap or free!