As much as we’d all love to be on vacation 24/7, the Instagram influencer lifestyle just isn’t in the cards for all of us. Our solution? Plan a relaxing staycation in your own town to feel like you’re on the getaway trip of your dreams without breaking the bank. We’ve got some staycation expert tips to help you plan the perfect staycation whether you live in the snowy Midwest or sunny Southern California. So go for it—get your favorite travel crew together and start planning!

Find a great place to stay

Finding the perfect place to call home for your weekend away is one of the most exciting parts of planning a staycation. With so many new options, there are plenty of cozy places to host your local getaway.

  • Airbnb: Looking for a home away from home for the weekend? Airbnb is a great option for budget-friendly stays and unique vacation rentals. Rent your own apartment or cottage for the weekend holiday and enjoy the convenience of still being close to home.
  • HotelTonight: If you need a last-minute deal on a hotel room to host your staycation, HotelTonight has deals on local hotels that you can book right from their app.
  • Hipcamp: Are you and your partner more adventurous? Give Hipcamp a try for a staycation that’s totally Instagram-worthy. It basically works like Airbnb for outdoor spaces— when someone has some private land to offer up, they can put it up for rent on the platform, and boom! You’re staying in a vintage VW van on the outskirts of Joshua Tree National Park. What’s more dreamy than that?
  • Swap places with a close friend: If you and your friends are always admiring each other’s homes, why not ask them to do a house swap for a weekend? This is a super budget-friendly solution and can give you just enough of a new experience to make you feel like you’re away.

Plan your coverage

Have a pet at home that needs to be cared for during your weekend away? Try Wag! for pet boarding services. Booking with Wag! lets you enjoy your time off, without having to worry about your furry friend being home alone.

Dress the part

Next to the local adventure and awesome memories, finding outfits to play up the staycation theme could be our favorite part of this whole home-vacation concept. Hang by the pool in one of these Hawaiian shirts for men and you’ll feel miles from home—even if you’re just on the other side of town. And for the ladies, try one of these women’s beach hats on as you soak up the sun.

Explore some new sights

Think you’ve covered all of the awesome sights in your city? Think again. Atlas Obscura has plenty of unique travel recommendations that are sure to include some undiscovered territory to explore on your staycation. And if you truly have seen it all, you may just need to revisit your hometown with a new perspective. When you’re flying through the city on your morning commute, it’s easy to miss a lot. Take advantage of your time off and make an effort to actually take in the sights of your locale—you may even notice something you haven’t seen before.

Eat gourmet bites

Have you had your eye on the new restaurant that opened around the corner from your place? Make it a point to visit some establishments outside of your regular rotation. Try out that funky cocktail lounge, treat yourself to a fancy dinner, or give that hole-in-the-wall pizza joint a go. The key to staycation success is an adventure! Step outside of your normal routine and we promise, you’ll feel like you’re worlds away.

Document your experience

Finally, make sure to document your staycation experience. Whether you have to Photoshop a beach scene or you get to enjoy the real thing, capturing these memories is part of the fun!

Travel takeaways

Even if you’ve run out of paid time off or you’re reaching your travel budget for the year, there’s always room to take some time to refresh and recharge. By opting for a staycation instead of a two-week pilgrimage to Europe, you can 1) save money, 2) save time, and 3) still reap the benefits of taking time off for some R&R. Don’t let a limited budget or a time crunch stop you from satiating your taste for wanderlust and travel—you can play a tourist in your own city!