When we go on vacation, what to do comes naturally. So why can’t we do the same at home? Well, you can! Rather than get stuck in the same old boring routines, check out these couples staycation ideas that you and your honey can enjoy together—even while you stay close to home.
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CONTENTS: In this article, you will discover 31 couples staycation ideas to help you and your special someone make the most of your time at home. In fact, you may wonder why you’d ever leave!
- What is a Staycation?
- Benefits of a Couples Staycation
- 31 Couples Staycation Ideas and Local Things to Do
- Final Thoughts on Couples Staycation Ideas
First, what is a staycation?
Simply stated, a staycation is when you take time off from your responsibilities to vacation at home.
That might mean you literally stay at home and enjoy leisure time and activities on your own property. After all, you know the saying—a man’s home is his castle, even if you might be in social isolation.
Or, it may mean you limit your explorations to your town, state, or country.
Either way, with these couples’ staycation ideas, you’ll find loads of fun, figuratively or even literally, in your own backyard.
Benefits of a Couples Staycation | Couples Staycation Ideas
Why would you take a staycation?
Well, beyond one that’s necessitated by the pandemic, there are plenty of good reasons.
Sure, international travel is glamorous (and oh-so fun!), but you’ll find several benefits to taking a staycation you might otherwise overlook.
If you’ve made your home a comfortable and a cozy place to relax, you might as well take advantage of it.
And if you’re traveling locally, you’ll discover a world that might have gone unnoticed.
Believe it or not, there are some disadvantages to travel you may not have thought about.
Here are ten benefits of couples staycations you’ll want to consider:
- Costs less/more affordable
- Less time traveling and more time to explore
- No jet lag!
- Discovery of local attractions
- Caters to your personal and unique tastes
- Less complicated than planning than a big trip
- Limits interaction with others, giving you “couples time”
- Supports your local economy
- Creates your own little love nest
- You can bring your pet or emotional support animal (just make sure to carry your ESA letter)
31 Couples Staycation Ideas and Local Things to Do
You can plan your couples staycation entirely on your own property. Or, you might staycation in the local area.
Either way, when you stay close to home and take a look at what’s around you, you’ll discover many opportunities to explore you might have taken for granted.
Here are the best couples staycation ideas we think you will both enjoy.
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1. Take a Nature Walk
You can look right in your backyard, front lawn, or to a local wildlife preserve to slow down and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Take note of the birds, small creatures, flowers and trees around you.
Bring your camera and your guide book.
There are a few free apps that will help you identify wildlife:
- The Merlin Bird ID app will help you identify birds.
- PlantNet will help you identify plants.
- If you happen to be out at night, OSR will help you identify stars, constellations, and other objects in the night sky.
Really into nature?
Dive a little deeper with some guide books.
Add a bird feeder to your property.
Get the audio series, Birding by Ear and learn to recognize the birds that you can’t see but can hear are in your area.
Learn how you can attract hummingbirds here.
Finding hobbies and common interests (like nature) helps your relationship grow closer because you can enjoy doing them together. That’s an important element to any of these couples staycation ideas.
Related: More easy tips for attracting wildlife to your backyard
2. Pack a Picnic Lunch
It’s so cliche, but packing a picnic lunch is one of the best couples activities you can do when you’re on a staycation.
Because it’s simple and inexpensive, but also is a great way to change your routine.
Novelty is great for a couples’ bonding.
You might invest in an authentic picnic basket, then pack the red checked cloth, wine & goblets, and charcuterie.
Or, you could simply pick up a boxed lunch or sandwiches to go from the local deli and park by the field.
Honestly, you could even just bring lunch out to your backyard picnic table for the change of scenery.
If you don’t want to splurge on a red gingham table cloth or camp cutlery for the full effect, tie a clean white sheet over the picnic table. This instantly creates a more romantic setting.
The key is to make the experience feel out of the ordinary.
3. Take a Sunday Drive
One of most enjoyable things to do when you’re on vacation is to take in the scenery.
You can really experience the nuances of a destination as you drive along. This is one of the easiest couples staycation ideas.
In our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to be in a hurry and not really notice the beauty around us.
But it’s there, if only you make the effort to watch for it.
So, for this staycation idea, the challenge is to slow down and really see what’s going on.
Plan a “Sunday drive.”
Of course, it can be any day of the week. The term Sunday refers to when you drive by car with no destination or rush, and simply enjoy the journey.
You might be surprised at what you see around you on a short drive when you slow down to appreciate it.
If you really want to embrace this experience, rent a cool car for the day! That alone will amp up the fun.
4. Take a Hike!
That’s right, you heard me. Take a hike.
I mean that in the best possible way!
There’s nothing like getting out into the fresh air and finding a fresh perspective. In fact, you will probably discover there are hiking trails right in your own city or town that you haven’t yet explored.
Plan a day hike on your couples staycation, even if it’s a short hike or in your own back woods or the local park.
Dress appropriately with hiking shoes and bring a reusable water bottle. (I love this stainless steel water bottle because it holds plenty of water and keeps my hands free because comes with a strap!)
To discover local hikes, you can check with your municipality for a trail map.
And if they don’t have one, you could map it yourself as you go. It would be a fun expedition and a nice way to give back to the community, too.
Plus, decision making and problem solving together is an important skill for couples to develop and nurture.
Related: Find out what you should pack for a day hike.
5. Drive to the Ocean
There’s something so soothing about water destinations—they can bring us to an almost instant state of relaxation and peace.
So, plan a little trip to the ocean (or lake or any water source nearby. Even the trickling of a small stream can soothe you.)
While you’re there, enjoy watching any water birds, the sound of the ebb and flow of the water, and the visual beauty of the scene. Just “be” together by the water’s edge, sharing a beautiful experience.
If possible, dip your toes in the water or go for a swim, if that’s permitted.
Bonus points if there’s sand. Take your shoes off and “ground” yourself.
Stress and tension can really do a job on relationships, especially when it’s constant.
So, getting to the water is a great opportunity to relax and reconnect.
(Can’t get to the ocean? Look at virtual tourism options.)
6. Order Takeout From the Most Expensive Restaurant in Town
Yep, you heard that right.
If you’ve been home for an extended period, chances are you’re tired of making dinner.
You may even be tired of ordering from the “regular” places.
When you’re on vacation, you’ve padded your budget a bit to allow for a really nice dinner out.
Do the same on staycation!
Pick the best restaurant in the area and plan to enjoy a first-rate dinner with your honey. Order appetizers, entrees, even dessert for pickup.
Some local restaurants allow for cocktails to-go, as well.
To take it to the next level, break out the white tablecloth, find china, and candles.
When you treating yourself and your special someone to a romantic meal from a top-notch, it shows that you appreciate one another.
You both deserve the very best fancy dinner on occasion!
7. Walk Along the Coast
Are you lucky enough to live within driving distance of the coastline?
Take full advantage and plan a walk along the coast.
If it’s warm enough and there is a sandy beach, walk barefoot!
Not only is this a great exfoliator, but some experts extol the virtues of “grounding” to the earth.
If you’ll be walking along a rocky coast, wear solid walking shoes.
Bring along a mason jar to collect shells, smooth rocks, or other treasures as a keepsake of the day.
This is a great staycation activity for any season, not just summer. You’ll find various nuances in the colors and the scenery in the off-season.
Just be sure to dress for it because coastal destinations can be cold and windy in the winter.
It’s thrilling, nonetheless.
8. Take a Historic Walking Tour
Does your hometown have an interesting history?
You might not know about it until you reach out to your local historical society. This might be one of the most educational couples staycation ideas in the bunch.
Whether you can visit these experts in person or speak to them by phone, they will guide you to any historic points of interest in your community or nearby.
Most members of historical societies are happy to tell you all they know about historic topics they find interesting.
So, perhaps you schedule a video call or conference your partner into the phone call so you both hear the details.
Then, plan out a historic walking tour. You can visit each of the stops you talked about, giving it more relevance.
Perhaps you think you know your hometown or city very well. You can decide to explore it in further depth.
Or, for your couples staycation, you can make a plan to broaden your horizons. Say, by about 25 miles around your home.
Using your address as the center, draw a circle in a radius on the map to get an idea of how far out you want to go.
A 25 mile radius from home is pretty good for a day trip. You can also use this radius tool to layout the distance from home for you.
Then, pick a direction, a destination, and head out for the day.
If you’ve never planned a road trip, you can read about road trip essentials here.
At minimum, bring some snacks, a lunch, and a rough route to begin your adventure.
9. Create a Scavenger Hunt
This one takes a little planning, but can be very rewarding.
A scavenger hunt is another fun way you can put your problem-solving skills to work as a couple. Playing games together can foster a playful relationship, and also may bring out your competitiveness!
Playing a board game is a great time, but this takes it to the next level when you’re looking for fun staycation ideas.
So, what is a scavenger hunt?
It’s a treasure hunt of sorts, usually outdoors, where you collect various items from a list.
Plan a route and set aside a couple of hours for the scavenger hunt.
Then, to keep it interesting, seed the adventure with small gifts that your loved one will be happy to find. For example, the gift could be a:
- Fishing lure
- Tasty cookie
- Love note
- Coupon for a back rub
Make sure the last prize is the best to build the momentum!
Put clues in envelopes to serve as guidance along the way.
You can customize it based on your partner’s interests and even create a separate list for each other based on a certain area, route, or place you plan to visit.
An alternative approach is instead of small gifts, make the incentive a local experience.
So, you might find a heart drawn on a stone wall, taste choux pastry at the local bakery, and look for a wine-label with a romantic scene.
Part of the fun might be to take a selfie together as you find each item on the list.
Then, not only will you have spent a carefree day together, but you’ll have a treasured keepsake to remember your fun.
10. Find and Climb to the Highest Point in Town
Have you ever wondered what the highest point in town is, and what it looks like from up there?
Depending on where you live, you might discover a great new perspective!
And if you’ve already been there, plan a return visit in a different season. It’s amazing what a change occurs to the scenery and wildlife in just a few months.
First, you must find out where the highest point is.
You might search for this information online, or call your town’s geographic information.
Some towns use a Geographic Information System or GIS – a great opportunity to showcase your brains or talk up your partner’s logical side.
At minimum, you’ll want to dress accordingly, wear good hiking shoes, and bring water. Make sure you gauge the distance and difficulty before embarking, to be sure it’s a good fit for your abilities.
Then, head for the high point. And don’t forget your camera!
11. Go Out for Ice-Cream
Seriously, how does it get better than ice cream?
Just the idea of going out for a cone of your favorite flavor brings a smile to most people’s face. Such simple pleasures offer glorious rewards!
And, when you’re on vacation, ice-cream is bound to fit in your itinerary somewhere, right?
So, of course, you can go to your local ice-cream shop, if you have one.
Or, for a change of scenery, read online reviews to find the best ice-cream shops nearby.
You might even do a weekly review of a different ice-cream shop, if you’re a fan of this creamy frozen treat.
Create a twist on the pub-crawl for an ice-cream crawl. Anyone?
I know someone who has ice-cream Sundaes for dinner at least a few times in the summer. You should, too!
So go ahead, enjoy a cone, or a sundae, or a frappe, or an afogatto if you can get one at a trendy ice-cream shop while you’re on staycation.
You won’t regret this extra treat!
Related: Love sweet finishes? Discover the best desserts in the world.
12. Tour the Nearest Botanical Garden
If you’re a lover of flowers and things in bloom, plan a trip to the nearest botanical garden.
You will enjoy a relaxing stroll through beautiful surroundings filled with intoxicating scents. Don’t forget to hold hands!
You may also find all kinds of inspiration here for your own home garden.
If offered, you might buy a few new plant varieties for your garden as a follow-up project you can do together. Working on shared goals at home and learning a new skill can help couples remain close.
And, if it turns out you both love gardening, you might look into whether your hometown has a gardening club.
Often, these clubs donate their time to beautify the community. Sometimes, they even offer tours of their own private gardens.
Related: Do you know about these incredible world botanical gardens? They are a great idea for inspiration.
13. Visit a Local Museum
You don’t have to live in or travel to a big city to find a local museum.
Many times, smaller, lesser known museums are right under your nose.
This could be an art museum, an artisan gallery, or a museum about transportation, natural history, or some other angle.
Don’t worry, they’re not all stodgy!
And it’s good to think about elevated concepts to keep your brain from going to mush.
14. Take a Bike Ride on the Local Bike Path
When was the last time you hopped on a bike and when for a cruise?
If you remember, it’s a little exhilarating and a lot of fun!
Chances are, there’s a local bike path near you.
Some places have converted old railroad routes to bike paths, which are paved and level, and offer beautiful scenery along the way.
If you don’t have a bike, you can likely borrow or rent one.
Or, how about renting a bicycle built for two? So romantic!
Put on your helmet and maybe even knee pads if you’re prone to fall, and get some fresh air and exercise together. Biking is a fun and easy way to get some physical activity into your day.
Plus, it reinforces the importance of staying healthy together. You want to grow old together, right?
Related: Choose an ebike as an alternative to a traditional bicycle.
15. Pack Charcuterie and Wine and Catch the Sunset
So often when we’re on vacation, we include plans to catch the sunset on our itinerary.
Don’t miss the same opportunity when you’re on staycation!
Make note of the time the sun sets, which depends on your location and season. You can usually find this on your weather app.
Then, think about where you might catch the best sunset where you live. That means finding west.
You’ll want to determine where you might find the best unobstructed view.
A waterfront or a large field or even a big parking lot might provide you with the last glowing look at the sun (with sunglasses, please). You’ll also enjoy beautiful warm tones and colorful skies.
All you need to do is pack up some wine and cheese, a folding couples camp chair, and a cozy blanket.
You might want to bring some bug protection, like a citronella candle, too.
Then sit back and enjoy the show!
Honestly, what could be more romantic?
Related: Here’s the best place to watch the sunset over Florence, Italy.
16. Bring a Thermos and Catch a Staycation Sunrise
Morning people? This one is for you.
Maybe you’re not in that waterfront villa in Positano that you envisioned this year. But you can still have coffee with a view.
Pick a place the night before. Then, pack up a thermos ready for coffee and all the sides before bed.
In the morning before daybreak, fill the thermos with coffee, throw on your sneakers and head for the sunrise.
You can even stay in your pajamas if you’d like!
That way, the two of you can ease into the day with your coffee and a magnificent sunrise.
You’ll be off to a great staycation start, together.
17. Hunt Down the Most Instagrammable Spots
Have you ever noticed all those blog posts about the “most Instagrammable spots” in faraway places?
The sad truth is they’ve actually contributed to over tourism in some cases.
But this is just a fun tongue-in-cheek game you can play in your own small corner of the world—even in your home.
Let’s first look at what makes a place “instagrammable.”
It’s all about the backdrop: A beautiful spring flowering tree. A water scene. A famous sculpture. Divine architecture.
Pair it with the perfect outfit, and you’re on your way!
Take turns being the model and the photographer.
You might turn it into something facetious for a good laugh.
For instance: in front of the trash barrels, beside a giant pile of dirty snow.
Humor is good for a relationship, even necessary.
If you crave the social scene, post your staycation series on the ‘gram!
Or, it can be a fun photo album for a keepsake you can look back upon in your old age.
18. Watch for the Best Scenery
This is an easy one, but also easy to overlook.
Take your trips to the supermarket, post office, or running errands together.
Then keep your eyes open for the best scenery.
It may be:
- A tawny field that you always drive past, but you notice it’s alive with a flock of migrant birds
- The neighbor’s rock wall covered in vibrant pink roses
- Your supermarket’s produce display piled high with colorful tropical fruit
- An old couple walking down the city sidewalk
Take the time to stop, admire and appreciate it, even take a picture if you’re inspired.
Because if you were on vacation, you would probably be in awe of the local beauty.
Well, guess what?
You’ll find local beauty wherever you are, if only you are intentional about seeking it out!
When you’re “present” on staycation, you’ll find the magical moments are always within reach.
19. Create Your Own “Welcome” Basket with Regional Specialties
You know when you arrive at a hotel room and they’ve left you a brimming welcome basket that showcases the regional specialties?
It’s nice to have that in your room and sample a little of this and a little of that when you’re feeling like it.
Well, there’s no reason why you can’t create your own welcome basket on your staycation.
Gather up samples from local vendors, like chocolate, tea, honey, lotions, produce–whatever else represents your locality.
Arrange the collection nicely within a basket or rustic container and set it on the counter or coffee table.
You might even add a small card reminding you and your partner to enjoy your staycation!
Then you can enjoy these thoughtful treats and gifts throughout the week.
20. Dine al fresco at a Local Bistro, Cafe, or Your Deck
There’s just something about eating outside that is so refreshing and relaxing.
Especially in Europe, you’ll find many cafe’s offer al fresco dining. Even more so now, it’s becoming a popular trend in the US.
So, if you’re looking to eat somewhere locally and you have the choice, opt to eat outside.
It’s just that much nicer.
You can even make it a household habit as the whether permits to eat outside by setting up your deck for outside living.
And as the weather gets cooler, look into outdoor heating lamps or firepits suited to your deck space.
21. Plan a Movie Night and Cozy Up
Somehow, a snuggly movie night never gets old.
Order out, or fire up the popcorn, and dim the lights for an evening of entertainment.
A romantic flick might help get you in gear for some serious time together, especially if you add something like these True Pheromones into the mix too.
And, if you really want to go all out and movies are a favorite past time, you might even remodel your basement with an entertainment system.
22. Serve A Home-Made Romantic Dinner with Candles and Fine China
Making a special meal for your loved one. Better yet, make it with your loved one.
If one of you is new to cooking or you’re trying new recipes, it will be like taking a cooking class!
Then set a special table to enjoy a romantic dinner together is classic staycation material.
23. Break out the Lawn Chairs and Take In an Outdoor Concert
You might find that your town holds “Concerts on the Common” with live entertainment.
If they do, bring your lawn chairs or picnic blanket and enjoy a summer evening of fine music.
Don’t limit it to your hometown, though.
Search the vicinity to find out what other nearby towns hold concerts.
Usually, it’s on different evenings so you can make the rounds all week on your couples staycation.
And if you like music events, perhaps you’ll find a Kevin Gates tour or other performer you love that’s just a short drive away.
24. Set Up a Hammock for Two and Take an Afternoon Nap Together
Imagine being on a Caribbean island, and your thatched cottage has a colorful hammock strung between the palm trees.
Well, if you’re on a staycation, that may be far from your reality (unless you live in the Caribbean)!
But, there’s no reason you can’t outfit your digs with a bright hammock for two, right?
Then, you can bask in the afternoon sunshine or under a shady tree while you nap together in the hammock.
25. Eat Exotic Foods
One of the best things about travel is the variety of food and cultures you come across.
You may find small nuances in your local area, but look beyond your familiar tastes for your couples staycation.
Find out where the best place to get authentic international dishes. Most often they are found near the city,
Then, take a road trip to get it.
The more exotic and foreign to you, the better.
Related: If you’re a foodie, try making any one of these amazing international cuisines.
26. Have Breakfast in Bed
How often do you jump right out of bed and into your routine when the alarm clock goes off?
Well, while you’re on staycation, change the pace.
Instead, take your breakfasts together in bed.
That could be an overnight frittata that you heat for 20 minutes in the morning, bacon and eggs, or whatever your favorite breakfast meal is.
Even if it’s just coffee, take your time and relax together before you start your day.
These peaceful, quiet moments together can help reinforce the bonds of your relationship.
After all, it’s not like you have anywhere to go on staycation.
Here’s a tip: Put the coffee maker on a timer so you wake to the aroma of coffee brewing.
27. Spa Day: Give Each Other a Massage
Couples massages are a wonderful indulgence when you’re on vacation.
Just because you’ll be on staycation doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a soothing spa experience.
Turn on some soft music, light a scented candle or aromatherapy diffuser, dim the lights and take turns giving each other a massage.
It really doesn’t need to be anything special, other than a gentle touch, which is so restorative.
To extend the romantic experience beyond the home spa treatments, you could even share a bubble bath.
Or, you can book a professional couples massage at the local spa.
Either way, this is one of the best staycation ideas for couples.
28. Visit a Local Artist or Artisan
You might not even know about artists and artisans in your local area.
Do some asking around and pay them a visit.
You might discover your new favorite artist is in your neighborhood!
What a great way to start a collection, too.
29. Wine Tasting at Home
Scoop up a variety of wines at the local package store or winery, and do some wine tasting at home.
Set up a comfy spot in your living room with a selection of wines, and thoughtfully sample each.
You can even have a rating card to pick your favorite bottle of wine.
Just don’t forget the cheese and crackers!
To make it even more special, you could even create a beautiful charcuterie board and make it a date night.
Related: Try these excellent New England WIneries.
30. Sleep In
Remember all those times you wished you’d asked for the late checkout?
Well, that’s the beautify of a couples staycation at home.
Feel free to spend the whole day in bed, if you like.
It’s your staycation, so don’t feel guilty at all.
31. Take a Walk
It’s easier to talk about anything while you walk: Your life, your worries, your dreams.
The conversation flows when your steps are in synch.
You can walk the neighborhood or opt for a trail walk.
It doesn’t really matter where you go. Just make some quality time during your staycation to take a walk together.
And if you’re on a tight budget, walking is free.
It may be just that simple to connect as a couple on staycation.
Final Thoughts on Couples Staycation Ideas
So, while you may not be taking the international trip of your dreams (yet), taking a staycation can fill your wanderlust, anyway.
Draw upon the activities and adventures you would do, and apply them to your home or local vicinity when you brainstorm couples staycation ideas. You might even stay at a local hotel and order room service. You might find an economical lodging option nearby for a quick overnight.
Plus, one of the nicest things is spending time with someone you love.
The perfect staycation is easy to plan, now that you know how. You might find it’s exactly what you and your partner needed.
About the Author: Jackie Gately
I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality. Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! Follow my social channels for more inspiration.
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Photo credits – Picnic – Pexels (Pixabay), Hikers – Candid_Shots, Bikers – Cally Lawson