Activities for Your Summer Staycation

After spending a year inside, many Americans are thinking of spending this summer traveling.

But if you’re not quite ready to re-enter the world yet, there are still plenty of options for taking a break this summer – even if you never leave your backyard. 2020 was the year of the ‘staycation,’ and it’s a trend that’s sure to stay as we make our way through 2021.

What is a staycation? Essentially, it’s staying in your home or local area instead of venturing out to greener pastures. There’s plenty of fun to be had in your backyard if you know where to look. We’ve listed our favorite ideas for a staycation below.

Poker Night

Bring Vegas home with this fantastic staycation idea that’s appropriate for children and adults alike. How can you keep your poker night COVID-friendly? The experts at Global Poker share their best intel below:

• Play in a well-ventilated area: this is essential. Play outside if you’re inviting other people over, and if your state mandates, wear masks as well. A bonus? A face covering may hide one of your ‘tells’ that you have great cards!

• Assign everyone a plate and glass: this reduces the number of germs that you’ll mix around, and it’ll make cleaning up a breeze.

• Sanitize regularly: keep several bottles of hand sanitizer in high-traffic and easy-to-reach areas, and don’t forget to remind everyone to sanitize periodically. Global Poker also recommends having several decks of cards and changing them out every 100 rounds.

• Make it a party: elevate a good poker game with a bit of planning. Make it a party by considering the food, drinks, and music you’ll have in the background, and make sure to have plenty of options for everyone.

Camping

Camping is a fantastic staycation idea – it’s fun, great for kids, and very reasonably priced. It’s also very versatile – you can drive out to the woods for a great camping trip or spend the weekend camping out in your backyard. What do you need to pull off a successful camping trip? For the experts at Trip Savvy, these are the things to look out for to make sure your trip is a success:

• Research campgrounds: there are public and private campgrounds, and it’s worth researching to see which one is right for you. Think about showers, flushable toilets, and other creature comforts that don’t seem like a big deal but could ruin your trip fast.

• Research destinations: not every forest or campground is created equal. Do your research and read the reviews. National Parks are always solidly good choices to go camping but don’t discount local areas either.

• Create a comprehensive list of gear: we can’t stress this enough. Write down every single thing you need to take camping. At a bare minimum, that’s a tent, a sleeping bag, cooking paraphernalia, food, and water. Some campers pack things like cookstoves and rain gear. Whatever you choose to bring, the list is essential for making sure you don’t forget anything (something that could ruin your trip fast).

Not going further than your backyard? Don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to keep things fun if you’re pitching a tent a few feet from your house. S’mores and ghost stories are always small-crowd pleasers and don’t forget the campfire. There are plenty of portable versions that are great if you want to make a small flame.

Film Festival

A great low-stress staycation idea, all a film festival needs is a comfortable sofa and a great broadband connection. However, there are ways to make this event more exciting – we’ve shared our favorites below:

• Use a screen and projector: while your TV is fine for this staycation idea, using a screen and projector is a great way to add a fun and different twist to this event.

• Make a list: you know all those movies that you said you’d watch one day but never have? Now is the time to watch them. Make a list of movies you want to watch and check their availability on screening services. You could also choose to do a movie marathon – The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, even Bridget Jones’ Diary – all of these movies were made for binge-watching, so start planning!

• Choose themed snacks: this doesn’t just mean that you’re limited to popcorn and soda. Add some extra fun to your film festival evening by creating snacks that go along with the theme of your movies for an extra burst of joy.

Yoga Retreat

If months of working from home have left you frazzled and feeling stressed, consider creating your own yoga retreat. Creating a yoga retreat can be as easy as a few bottles of cucumber water, some soothing sounds, and an online yoga class, but we recommend planning your schedule out a little more to make it feel like a real break from the norm. Yoga instructor Esther Ekhart details her recommendations for planning the perfect yoga-themed staycation below:

• Schedule the day: Ekhart hosts her yoga retreats and always divides the sessions into mornings, afternoons, and evenings. If you’re hosting at home, she recommends breaking up the day similarly – her recommendation is planning session times based on when you like to eat! Try a 60 to 90-minute session in the morning, and then another similar session in the early afternoon, with some gentle stretches in the evening.

• Prepare your space: this is essential to making your staycation feel like a retreat. Get all your gear (think yoga mats, blocks, pillows, straps, and blankets) together and in one room for easy access. Don’t skip the aesthetics – candles, incense, and cucumber water are all great ways to make you feel like you’re in a tropical yogic oasis.

• Prepare your technology: the good news? Tech for a yoga retreat is relatively straightforward. Choose the online classes you’d like to do for each of your sessions (don’t be afraid to mix and match here, or to stack several on top of each other to get a good 90-minute session), and don’t forget the most important thing – the playlist! Curate your playlist or try one of Spotify’s pre-made yoga playlists to get you in the zone.

Whether you camp in your backyard, watch 10 hours of movies or throw a poker party, there’s plenty of fun to be had in your own hometown. Enjoy your staycation!