When you look at your summer calendar, you may be tempted to make up for lost time by booking sightseeing trips to far-flung destinations. However, with COVID-19 variants circulating, airfare woes, and high gas prices, vacationing via an airplane can add logistical and financial stress to your summer.
Instead of missing out on the benefits of traveling, why not try a “staycation” or a vacation spent at home taking day trips and exploring local attractions. During a staycation, you change your mindset without changing your destination. Declaring you’re going on a “staycation” helps you make a strict departure from your normal routine. It can nudge you into looking at where you live through a fresh pair of eyes.
In fact, a National Library of medicine study supports the idea of staycations in the wake of limited travel from the pandemic. Since traveling tends to make us feel good, staycations can provide us with the feeling of travel without leaving our hometown.
The best way to start a staycation is to pretend you’re a tourist in your hometown, and you can start with the following ideas:
Find & visit local attractions
If someone was visiting your town for the first time, where would you usually take them? Is there a local historical society, a museum, or a visitor’s center? You may find that you haven’t been to these tourist sites in years. You might also be surprised by what’s changed about them and what has remained the same. Visiting old haunts can bring back fond memories and help you create new ones, too.
To find places near you, do a quick Google search on “Fun attractions near me” and include your zipcode. Or hop on a travel website like, Tripadvisor and add your zipcode or nearest city
Exercise & your staycation
Depending on the summertime heat, walking around outside can feel oppressive and pose a risk to your health. However, you can take advantage of fun ways to get exercise and combine that with seeing your hometown in a new light. If there is an outdoor mall in your area, plan to go for a walk in the early morning or at dusk. This can provide you with interesting opportunities for shopping, socializing, and people-watching without the risk of overheating.
At midday, try an indoor mall. Both settings offer wide spaces for easy walking, ample places to sit and observe, and public restrooms and potentially restaurants. Regardless of your choice, don’t forget your medical alert watch with GPS, like the MGMove, to keep you safe on the go.
Plan a staycation around local events
Does your community host a local home and garden tour? If so, you can plan to be a double participant this summer. Working in the garden is a wonderful way to support your mental and physical health. Gardening can also help you enjoy spending time at home, especially with a personal medical alert device with GPS that ensures you can spend time in your garden knowing you’re protected. Take your gardening to the next level by participating in a garden tour. This will allow you to travel around your community, see new places, meet new people, and get inspiration to enrich your gardening practice.
Other events to consider during your staycation include summer fairs, festivals, or community-based events like 4H shows and farm tours, musicians in the park, or visiting artists’ studios or theater troupes. A quick internet search or talking with your local Chamber of Commerce will offer a number of events. Getting these special events on the calendar can give you something to look forward to, and they can spice up a low-key summer.
Find a local part or trail
While isolated in our homes over the past two years, many community associations took the opportunity to update local trails and parks. During your staycation, why not plan to visit a park you haven’t been to in some time or check out a new park. You can elevate the excitement by inviting someone else to join you for a picnic in the park, to play a round of cards, or sit and have a good conversation. To find a trail or park near you, visit All Trails to find local trails or Rei trail finder with groups.
Feast on new dinning opportunities
When you vacation away from home, trying new food is often at the top of your itinerary. Whether you’ve traveled primarily in the United States or abroad, most vacations involve careful planning ahead of time to ensure that you get to sample the local delights. During your staycation, you can take the same approach.
Whether you pick a culinary theme (can you find the best burger in town?) or focus on finding some local deals, making food a central part of your staycation can help you see your hometown in a new light. If dining outside the home is cost-prohibitive, consider trying new recipes during your staycation and then inviting guests over to join the feast. Or better yet, ask each person to bring a dish.
Getting the most our of your staycation
Taking a staycation can help you mix things up this summer while avoiding the potential aggravation of traveling by airplane or pubic transportation. While you’re enjoying a break from your routine at home, be sure to have a home alert systems for seniors, which can keep you or your loved ones protected at home.