With 2020 being one of the craziest years, I know that many people won’t get the chance to take a bigger trip this year. But, that’s okay! There are probably plenty of things to do in your area that you haven’t done before.
I’ve put together this list of staycation ideas for couples because before we moved from the USA to Amsterdam, we realized there were so many incredible things to do near where we already lived. We didn’t take advantage of them because they were always there. None of the activities were new and exciting because we knew about them. But, that’s the secret! You knew about them but never explored nearby. Now is the time. Be curious. Get creative. Be a tourist in your hometown.
This is written for when we have normal lives again, but in the time of corona, I realize some of these aren’t possible. However, I made sure there are some you can do while social distancing.
Stay in a hotel or local resort
Sometimes a staycation involves a hotel and actually staying the night somewhere else. I love this idea if it’s something you want to do and can afford. Is there a local hotel that everyone knows about but never goes to? Head there! Take in the whole experience.
Go camping or glamping
Not everyone likes the fanciness of a fancy hotel and would prefer to be in nature. Whether it’s a tent or a cabin, being out in nature is one of the best things you can do for yourself. We came from nature, so it only makes sense.
Find a local brewery or winery to have a tasting
Around much of Europe and the United States, you’ll find some sort of winery, brewery, cidery, or distillery nearby that offers an experience. We’ve always enjoyed going to these places because there was usually an outdoor space to sip the drink and have a picnic or you could order food there. Besides, supporting local businesses is always so nice. They work hard for the community!
Visit a factory
Where we used to live, we had some of the most delicious potato chips, and going to the factory was kind of a big deal (#smalltownlife). They had samples of all the flavors, and you could buy the huge bags to take home for the next BBQ. Maybe you have a chocolate factory or ice cream factory in your area. Any of those would be a blast to visit!
Visit a farm
Ok, I’m from farm country, so this is an obvious one to me. We had a lot of livestock around and the smaller farms not swallowed up by the big guys were always happy to have people around to see where their food comes from. But dairy farms are great so you can see the whole process of cheese-making and such. Let’s not forget about the farms for fruits and veggies! Pick-your-own fruit was a big thing where I’m from. I love the concept.
Take a walk through a park hand-in-hand
Simple and so lovely. Nature gives me energy (and I believe most people are the same), so head out into the green world and absorb the energy from being in a calm environment. Hand holding is also kind of a big deal. Be present with your partner, put down the phone and just feel.
Plan a few hours to hike a trail
One of my favorite vloggers, Ashley from Wingin’ it with Ash, is from Washington state and has been getting outdoors and getting on the trails. Whenever I watch her videos or Instagram stories, I feel calm.
Have a brunch date
Whether in a restaurant, take-out, or a make-at-home version, treat yourself to a “fancy” brunch. For me, that means Eggs Royale — which is Eggs Benedict but with smoked salmon instead of ham. Then I add avocado, because, well, Millennial, and it’s the best brunch ever.
Go on a photo scavenger hunt
Do a quick Google for a scavenger hunt list, make up your own, or check Instagram and go on an Instagram hunt. You’ll see your city or region from a different perspective.
Go mini-golfing or bowling
This might seem old-school, but hey, it’s fun! We have a blacklight mini-golfing place in Amsterdam, but I tend to like the outside ones. Maybe it just makes me feel like I’m playing real golf! Which would you prefer?
See your town from above
If there’s a good view of your city, get up high and check it out. This might be after a little hike, a tall building…or a helicopter! You might also find other creative ways to get a new view.
Enjoy an afternoon tea
If you’re staying home instead of taking a big trip, maybe you can splurge a little. Check some of the smaller restaurants and tearooms, first, and see if they offer afternoon tea. And if you live in a big city, check the fancier hotels.
Be classic and go to dinner and a movie
What restaurant have you been dying to go to? Make a reservation and make it happen! I’m not sure how many good movies will be coming out, but if you aren’t up for the theater, head home for some Netflix, Amazon Prime (or whichever streaming service you use).
Get a couples massage
Get relaxed together while all those knots are worked out with soothing lotions and oils along with calming sounds. Maybe even take a spa day and spend hours getting pampered and relaxing.
Take a cooking class
Whether virtual or in-person, cooking classes can be a great couple-y thing to do together. At the end, you’ll have a delicious meal that you prepared with your own 4 hands!
Go to the pool or beach
Pretend you’re far away and enjoy a relaxing time at the beach or the local pool. Sometimes it’s just nice to be by the water so you can take a dip…even if it’s not a 1,000 miles away.
Attend a wine and paint night
Do you know if your love is a good painter? Find out with a wine and paint night! It’s a ton of fun and you get a piece of art to take home! Whether it’s worth putting up in your home is another story…
Have a blast at a concert
Whether at a county fair or an arena, grab your partner and get ready for some great music! It doesn’t matter if it’s music you can dance to or music that you sway with, being together for the experience is where the magic is at.
Find the best ice cream shop
I mean, why not? Go taste-testing and finally figure out which spot really is the best. This is probably my favorite suggestion on here! What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Mine is cherry chocolate chip and we had a shop one block away with the best version ever.
Have a BBQ in the park (or at home)
There’s nothing like a good BBQ! Some parks in the U.S. have stationary grills you can use, so heading to the park for a nice day out sounds lovely and delicious! Maybe take some friends if you’re up for it. I mean, since the grill is hot…use it 🙂
Take a bike ride
Living in the Netherlands means that this might be the easiest thing in the world to do. But, hopefully, it’s accessible to you as well. Look for some bike trails near you or country roads. Just stay safe!
Get on the water
There are so many ways to get in the water. I mentioned beaches and pools above because those are the first places people think of. But check out some lakes and rivers. Look for a kayak or canoe rental. Maybe stand up paddleboarding is more your speed. Go out, get active, be together.
Check out the local/quirky museum nearby
Every town has a museum. The town we used to live in has a fire department museum and a quilt museum, just to name two. It’s also a very historic area, so there are historical markers around the whole city. What does your city or county offer?
It’s basically a worldwide treasure hunt. Download the app, follow the clues, and discover the “treasure”. Of course, you don’t take it, just take a picture and log it. The activity is definitely a bonding activity because you have to work together.
Hire a photographer and take photos
This is especially great if you are celebrating a milestone that year. We are obsessed with taking photos when we travel, but what about at home? Major milestones just pass by without taking a snapshot of that time. Some people don’t like photos of themselves, but maybe your family would appreciate up-to-date photos.
I hope you have a fantastic summer and have fun! Even if you don’t travel internationally, doesn’t mean you can’t have a really enjoyable time off. These activities will help you get out there and be together while saving money so your next big trip can be even more epic.
Wishing you joy and travels!