Posted by Bruce Borden in Home Maintenance

A staycation may sound like all fun and games, and it should be, but whether your home vacation turns out to be the memory of a lifetime or a disorganized mess will depend on how you prepare for your well-deserved time away from work and other responsibilities.

How to Plan a Staycation From Start to Finish

Set Your Goals

The most crucial step you need to take before your staycation is to define a goal.

How do you want to feel coming out of your staycation—will this time be dedicated solely to relaxing and refreshing your mind or are you eager to get out and explore parts of your hometown that you don’t always have time for? Maybe you’re looking for a quality mix of both!

Whatever it is, make sure you know your intentions going into the days or weeks ahead.

Forgetting to establish this ahead of time might leave you unsure of how to spend your time or what activities to focus on. The last thing you want is to end your staycation with a feeling of wasted time and misplaced priorities.

Woman Sitting on Yoga Mat in Bedroom Doing Sitting Yoga Pose

Prep Your Home

Whether you plan for most of your break to be inside the house or out on the town, you’ll likely be spending more time in your home than usual.

With this in mind, you’ll want your living spaces to be as tidy as possible to keep you from using up your precious vacation time on household chores.

In the week leading up to your staycation, set aside some extra time to complete those pesky tasks such as:

  • Emptying the sink and dishwasher
  • Catching up on laundry
  • Wiping down kitchen and bathroom surfaces
  • Dusting commonly used spaces and floorboards
  • Vacuuming the floors
  • Cleaning out expiring foods from the fridge and pantry
  • Organizing cabinets, closets, and shelves
Woman Sitting on Couch Folding Laundry

It’s easy for a dirty dish or a pile of laundry to catch your eye during free time. Suddenly, you find yourself spiraling into a day’s worth of cleaning. Completing these tasks prior to your home vacation provides a clean, peaceful place to sit back and rest without any messes taking over your day.

Remember, if you want your staycation to feel like a real vacation, don’t let daily tasks get the best of you simply because you’re at home!

The Ultimate Staycation Tip: Set Up a Relaxing Atmosphere

In addition to having a clean atmosphere, creating a personal retreat will take your down time to the next level.

Choose one or two things that bring you joy and peace to incorporate in your space. This will look different for everyone, but there are plenty of ways to add a simple touch of tranquility to your home:

  • Purchase some new scented candles to burn in your favorite room
  • Design a reading nook where you can start a new book
  • Pull the picnic blanket out of storage to enjoy some sun with your little ones
  • Get some luxurious bath bombs and face masks for a night of self-care
  • Create a serene spot in your room for a yoga session
Woman Relaxing in Bathtub With Candles Burning Nearby

No matter what it is that helps you wind down, make sure it’s waiting for you the minute you start your staycation!

Plan Out Your Meals

Nothing fills up your schedule quite like cooking and grocery shopping. Don’t catch yourself scouring the pantry or running out last minute for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—it’s a surefire way to start a race against the clock!

Make a list of foods you’d enjoy cooking or restaurants you’ve been waiting to visit. This way, you can knock out shopping a day or two beforehand and/or make arrangements for any meals out.

This is a great chance to experience quality time with family during meals that are typically so hard to sit down for. Maybe you’ll even prep some fun snacks to enjoy over family game night! You can also reach out to friends to catch up over dinner and drinks in a part of town that you’ve yet to discover!

Two Women Laughing Over Wine and Food at Restaurant

Research Local Activities

If you plan to get outside and see some new things in your city, researching is one of the most important steps you’ll need to take.

Certain activities, restaurants, and sightseeing may require tickets, reservations, or critical time frames to be aware of. Use search engines, event apps, newspapers, or local blogs to find the best ideas and tips.

Family Walking Around Carnival With Father Carrying Son on Back

Once you initially find an establishment or activity, check out their websites, reviews, local listings, and even articles to get more information. Not only can you gather opinions and read about the offerings, but you can also get pointers on parking, busy times, appropriate dress codes, and so much more.

The key point to remember is that waiting until the last minute to learn about local happenings can induce stress or cause you to lose out on some incredible opportunities, so plan accordingly so you can truly revel in your local getaway.

Three Women Painting Clay Bowls in Pottery Studio

Overall, staycations can be a lot less work than a destination trip, but they still require some planning and preparation for a successful experience. Follow these 5 simple steps in the time leading up to your relaxing staycation and you’re sure to return to your daily routine feeling rested and full of lifelong memories!

If you’re ready to get started with staycation planning, take this quiz to get some more at-home activity inspiration.


Bruce Borden


Bruce has been with M/I Homes for over 20 years, has been the National Customer Experience Manager for over 10 years, and has been in the home building industry for over 30 years. Happily married and a proud father, Bruce enjoys outdoor activities and home improvement projects, and has never met someone he didn't like.

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