20 Ways to Mix Things Up

Everyone could benefit from a vacation every once in a while. This is true for individuals of any age. Even if you can’t go on an epic adventure hundreds of miles away, you can take a staycation and create that vacation vibe for yourself! There are plenty of things that an individual can do with family, caregivers, or even alone to reap the benefits of a staycation.

20 staycation ideas for seniors

1. Act like a tourist.
Exploring the community you live in is a great, low-stress way to get that vacation vibe. You may even learn something new or find a hidden gem that becomes a new favorite place, without a ton of travel and expense. Going to your favorite places is probably a common occurrence in your daily life. Why not explore a restaurant, meal, or shop that’s new to you?

2. Change your location.
Sometimes, all it takes to feel the vacation vibe is a change of scenery. And, with Airbnb such a popular option, its likely that the switch may be easier than one might think. If you don’t have that option, consider a house swap with a trusted friend, or book a hotel suite for a night or a weekend. This is also one way to enhance the “act like a tourist” activity. What’s more touristy than needing a place to stay while you explore?

3. Have a backyard pool party.
Whether you have an in-ground pool at home or not, it’s still possible to have a pool party anyway. Inflatable or hard plastic kiddie pools are popular items and are easily found at big box stores or online. And they’re easy to store when you’re not using them.

4. Go camping in your own backyard.
It may not be exactly the same, but an at home camping experience is one way for seniors to take their minds off of things like a true vacation would. During the day, stake a claim on a favorite lounge chair on the patio. Put on the sunscreen and sunglasses, grab your favorite book, and enjoy. Use your grill to make your favorite camping meals for lunch and dinner, and when the temperatures drop, head inside to continue the fun.

5. Move the camping indoors for stories and smores.
Turn on the fireplace (either with the heat or just the image of the flames); make smores and cocoa. Have meals you might if you were camping. Take it a step further and gather around the “campfire” to tell stories or play games. If the weather is nice enough and you have the space and the ability… you could always move your camp-in to the backyard.

6. Take a virtual tour.
Virtual tours aren’t just for buying a house! If you can’t get out and play tourist physically, or you’re looking for something completely new to experience, they’re a great way to get out of your own surroundings, at least mentally. An online search can help you find a virtual tour of a museum, national park, or even bucket list attractions. If you feel the travel urge but can’t do it physically, a virtual train ride is a great option.

7. Have an at-home spa day.
Spa experiences are fantastic for relaxation. You don’t even have to leave your home to do it. Dim the lighting, put on your favorite music, and apply a face mask. Hire a masseuse to come to your home and give you that massage you’d get if you went to the spa. Bring in a manicurist to give your hands a refresh, and let the pampering take you away.

8. Take yourself to a show.
Even if you can watch television and movies at home, changing your view can make a huge difference. Go out to a movie, a concert, or live theater to experience something out of the ordinary.

9. Create a new view in your backyard.
If you’re a bird enthusiast, why not set up new bird feeders and encourage your flying friends to visit? You can also have the patio rearranged so that when you look out the window things look a little fresher and new.

10. Create your own beach.
Remember those kiddie pools in the tip on a backyard pool party? They can be used here. Invite family members over and invite the young ones to play in the beach. You’ll need to get some sand, add beach toys, and let them go. You could also lay out beach towels and store snacks in coolers on the patio so there’s less going inside and killing the beach vibe.

11. Be a tourist in the next town over.
When you don’t live in a place and spend a lot of time there, this could be a great staycation option. Take yourself on a shopping spree, attend an event there and enjoy a local restaurant that’s different from what you have at home.

12. Have a movie night. Invite friends and family members over.
Encourage your friends and family members to each pick a movie and introduce it before you watch. Have popcorn and snacks and enjoy the movie.

13. Host a game tournament with friends.
Invite attendees to bring their favorite games and challenge attendees to see who will win your tournament.

14. Host a themed meal and party.
If you enjoy exploring cuisines, this is a great option to immerse yourself in a new culture. Invite friends and family members to explore a new culture with food, decorations, and even trivia.

15. Create a garden oasis.
If you’re the type who loves to watch things grow, then creating a garden in your outdoor living space just might give you the staycation vibe even in your day-to-day life. Colorful plants, bird feeders, and different styles of gardens can encourage use of the outdoor living space, which can help people relax.

16. Take a new exercise class.
Vacation means a break, but you don’t have to sit around and do nothing. You can add a little variety to your staycation by signing up for an exercise class you haven’t taken before.

17. Visit a park.
Whether you have a local park in your area that you haven’t been to, or you have access to a national or state park in your area, getting outside and exploring can make your staycation feel less like you’re at home.

18. Enjoy a meal from a new country.
You don’t have to invite the whole crew over to enjoy a meal from a place you’d love to explore. Find a recipe online, add a little decoration in the country theme (a flag, or items in the colors of the flag, for example), and enjoy the food when it’s ready.

19. Go shopping.
Do you usually buy something new when you go on vacation? Buy yourself a new outfit, or an item you’ve had your eye on. What’s a vacation without souvenirs to remember the trip?

20. Invite friends and family members over to spend some time together.
One of the benefits of vacationing with others is an opportunity to connect. A staycation can have the same benefit, if you bring your loved ones into your staycation.

Any of these ideas, any combination of these ideas, can create a fabulous vacation vibe without spending hours traveling to a new destination. You can sleep comfortably in your own bed, stay close to needed resources, and still have a bit of fun that a vacation might otherwise offer.

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