Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How to Plan an Unforgettable Staycation at Home in 2021

A man sitting on a sofa with his leg on the table is holding a remote control to change the channel.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Staycations are an amazing way to step back from the craziness of your everyday life without having to deal with the stress that comes along with travel, especially during the pandemic. From staying at a hotel to rediscovering your hometown to plotting out home activities this fall, it’s really just a break from your typical schedule.

Before embarking on your at-home getaway, do yourself a favor and spruce up your home. Clean your house or hire someone to do it for you. That way, you’ll feel as though you’re chilling in a luxe boutique hotel, which will make your homegrown fall vacation more realistic. You don’t need to go crazy, but kicking off your staycation with these activities will make for a more relaxed stay.

Related Guides

Why a Staycation Is Better Than a Vacation

A smiling man wearing a bathrobe and holding a mug.
Maskot / Adobe Stock

Saves money: Instead of booking a vacation where you need to arrange travel and a hotel and cover all your food costs, you can easily experience a special weekend from the comfort of your home, without having to pay any gratuity charges!

No packing bags: Forget about overpacking, or worse, underpacking. When you’re making the most of your time at home, you don’t need to pull out those suitcases. This also means that you can eat a fancy AF meal from the comfort of your best sweatpants and no one will hassle you about the dress code. Pajamas and bathrobe all weekend? Sign us up.

Flexibility: Ditch the 6 a.m. wake-up call to get on the road to beat traffic or get to the airport. When you’re indulging in a staycation, you make all the rules — what time you eat, where you go, and when.

No travel: Traveling takes a lot of time, and it is always a pain getting to and from your destination. Avoid all the frustration and headaches and spend more time doing what you actually want to do. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about getting the virus.

Hometown giveback: Now more than ever, it’s important to be putting our money back into our communities. Explore your area and support local small businesses. From small shops to restaurants, you can help put money in your neighbors’ pockets while trying out something you might not have experienced before.

What to Do

A staycation can be anything from simply taking a break from your busy life and relaxing at home to filling your day with activities that you wouldn’t normally do in your hometown or city. Whatever it may be, make your staycation feel special by stepping outside of your normal routine and trying something that excites you.

Take a Virtual Cooking Class

A man cuts salmon while looking at his tablet in the kitchen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Put on your best chef hat, take the best online cooking classes, and learn how to whip up a new meal. If you’ve never done it, try enrolling in a pasta-making or sushi-making class. Really, if it’s something you wouldn’t typically make, it’ll be fun to learn a new skill in the kitchen.

Host a Wine or Beer Tasting

A bearded man in a suit holding a glass of beer.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Head to your local liquor store and pick up a sampling of the best beer or wine. Pick up as many as you want to taste and get ready for hours of fun. If you’re doing this with a partner, you can discuss the notes and taste as you go through the selections — you might even discover a new go-to beer or wine. Make a charcuterie board or appetizer plate and get tasting.

Create a Spa Day at Home

A man with a facial mask.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The next best thing to having a relaxing day at the spa is doing it from the comfort of your own home with the best home spa products. If you’re going to do it, go all out. Get a fancy robe, light some relaxing candles, put on a spa playlist from Spotify, and get your treatments ready to go. Anything from a long relaxing bath with oils to an at-home facial with masks and creams will have you feeling as refreshed as a full day at the spa, without the outrageous price tag.

Try Out a New Restaurant Near You

A man happily eating food in a restaurant.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re not comfortable dining out, or if it’s not available in your area, that’s OK! This is a great opportunity to support a local small business and try something new at the same time. Score a table or pick up the phone and place a takeout order with a restaurant you’ve never tried before. Hot tip: Instead of using delivery apps, call restaurants directly so they’ll receive full profits rather than having to give a cut to a delivery service.

Read more: Best Restaurants in America

Make Hot Chocolate Bombs (And Spike Them)

A cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and cinnamon on a table.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you haven’t seen hot cocoa bombs all over TikTok or social media, you might be living under a rock. For a fun activity, you can DIY the hot cocoa bombs and even add a little liquor for an even sweeter treat. If you’re more into the spiked drink than the activity, you can buy


. While there are tons of ways to spice up your hot chocolate, our favorites are with Bailey’s, Kahlua, or peppermint schnapps.

Read a Vacation Book

A man reading a book on a couch in the living room.
Westend61 / Adobe Stock

You might be reluctant to head to the beach right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pour yourself a refreshing drink and indulge in the best travel books. If your reading list has been growing longer, now is the time to knock a book or two off your list.

Have a Couch Marathon

A smiling man watching TV and eating snacks in the living room.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If your normal routine consists of tons of running around, relaxing on the couch could easily be the easiest staycation you’ve ever taken. If you haven’t already conquered your list of show and movie binges, now is the time to pick up your popcorn maker and start lounging. Make sure your marathon has the right ingredients — the best blankets, pillows, snacks, comfy clothes, and your favorite pizzeria on speed dial.

Read more: What to Watch Right Now

Get Outside

A man sitting and listening to music through his Bluetooth earbuds in the forest.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When your days consist of working from home, getting outside for some fresh air is a great change of scenery. If you live in a hike-friendly area, tackle a new trail that you’ve never tried before. If you’re in a city or area without trails, try walking around a new neighborhood to explore new territory.

Try a New Exercise Class

A man exercising with a stretching band while watching a video from his tablet at home.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’ve always wanted to try Pilates or a dance class but never made time to go to the studio, now is the time. Get your blood pumping and try a new workout class. With tons of at-home workouts, you can try something you might have been too nervous to try in person or a class that isn’t available in your area.

Tackle a DIY Project

A man holding a piece of paper while typing on his laptop at home.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you find yourself watching TikTok hacks throughout the week, wishing you could transform your boring kitchen table into a cool spray foam table, now is the time. Tackling a couple of small DIY projects you’ve been wanting to do not only is a fun activity, but you’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment at the end of your staycation.

Editors' Recommendations

Zoe Roscoe
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Zoë Roscoe is a freelance fashion and lifestyle writer based in New York. Her writing has appeared on a number of lifestyle…
The 5 Best Tropical Vacations You Need to Experience
Tropical beach image.

Picture this: White sandy beaches, room temperature seas, lush flora, and of course, sunshine. We call this the perfect cocktail for an ideal tropical vacation. But choosing where to spend your free time basking under the sun can be difficult as each destination offers its own charm. Some intrigue you with their natural beauty. Others offer unique cultural attractions. And a few offer memorable adventures. It's just a matter of finding the perfect fit. From the Caribbean to Mexico, this list of tropical vacation destinations covers some of the most beautiful (and not too far) places in the world. Vacation mode starts now!
Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Riviera Maya is a stretch of Caribbean coastline on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula. It's known for its all-inclusive resorts, yoga retreats, ancient Mayan ruins, and long, white-sand beaches. Fairmont Mayakoba offers the ultimate tropical beach vacation and is the best way to experience what Riviera Maya has to offer. At Fairmont Mayakoba, guests can spot exotic birds, turtles, and even crocodiles from a resort boat in the mangrove-filled jungle. Marine wildlife lovers can snorkel among sea fans, giant sponges and moray eels, or take a catamaran out on the water. Golfing, spa services, mezcal tastings, or Mexican delicacy cooking classes are also offered within this tropical paradise. If you can imagine it, they probably offer it at the resort! The private, gated 240 hectares property is surrounded by lush rainforest (that can be cycled along) lined with waterways, right on the Caribbean shoreline.
Explore Fairmont Mayakoba

Read more
Florida Vacation Travel Guide: How to Plan a Great Getaway
A view of a beach in Florida.

All those stories about spring breakers in April, humidity as thick as hot pea soup in May, and rain until September might have knocked Florida off your warm-weather vacation list. But for a lot of Sunshine State destinations, summer is actually the best time of year to visit. With a little thoughtful planning, you can enjoy everything the Sunshine State offers without so much as a sunburn.

Related Guides

Read more
The Best 8 Tiny House Vacation Rentals to Escape to in the U.S.
The Escape Traveler XL surrounded by trees.

After a few years as the hot new housing trend, the tiny house movement is here to stay. And that's good. Not only do these tiny houses make great lodging options, but they are also more affordable and eco-friendly. They come packaged with resort-style amenities and quaint interior décor, with many of them situated in lush natural surroundings for a more socially distanced vacation.

If you’re a vacationer looking for a much-needed bucolic, pandemic-friendly getaway, consider renting a tiny house. Read on for our list of the best tiny house vacation rentals for you to book this season.
Bozeman Carriage House
Bozeman, Montana

Read more