15 staycation ideas to fall in love with your local region

By Julian Canlas - 9 MIN READ

It’s summer, and international travel will probably not happen anytime soon. But don’t worry! You can still enjoy the warm and sunny weather by becoming a tourist of your own country.

Here are some staycation ideas to make you fall in love with what’s around you. I’ve done some of them, and, believe me, you’ll want to do more exploration in your own city or country after this! 

1. Have a local food tour

Let’s be honest. How often have you eaten your region’s local cuisine? Do you even know what’s your local cuisine like?

Have a food tour of the amazing restaurants serving traditional local food. This experience will make you feel like a happy tourist in your own area. You’d be surprised at the gustatory discoveries you’ll make along the way. And as an added bonus, you’ll be supporting local restaurants that keep the eating out industry in your area alive.

Make sure to plan your trip and describe why you want to go to these restaurants. I’m sure that you don’t even know about the oldest restaurant or bistro in your city! Aside from trying out local food, you can also visit these historical establishments that have permanently shaped your region’s food culture! By planning your foodie tour, you’ll have a more rewarding experience, because you know why you’re going to these restaurants in the first place.

2. Do a pub crawl

Next to drinking in parks, pub crawls have the best $$$-to-drunkenness ratio. Don’t quote me on this, but this ratio is measured by the amount of alcohol that you can buy in your local pubs from the coins found from the bottom of your bag.

Pub crawls also help you meet new people. People hang out in pubs. You do a pub crawl with your friends, and this will help you meet new people. As the saying goes, beer is the best social lubricant . While the booze flows, so does your confidence. Well, most of the time.

Visit different types of pubs. You can visit Irish pubs, sports pubs and other types of pubs! One of the things that I am always surprised to find out whenever I’m in a new city is the astonishing number of pubs there are in the area. This staycation idea is a great way to discover these pubs and to really see what’s up. 

3. Visit concept restaurants 

Get a full restaurant experience. Concept restaurants are places that have a unique spin to traditional dining out experiences. For example, you can eat in the dark, get inside a restaurant on top of a building that rotates 360 degrees, or even eat on top of a Spanish volcano!

In my opinion, concept restaurants still offer underrated experiences. Sure, they may be slightly more expensive than more local offerings, but they offer so many memorable experiences beyond eating a great meal. Good food is important, but sometimes you just need something outside the box for your staycation.

4. Become a tourist in your own city

See the landmarks. Buy a city tour guide. Being a tourist in your own city will help you discover new things you’ve previously overlooked and help you gain newfound appreciation for where you live.

Do you even know about your city’s landmarks? You most probably do not and always took them for granted. Learning the history behind each landmark will reveal surprises about the history of your city or even country.

5. Have day trips to other cities 

Local day trips are the secret cheap travel hacks. Well, this excludes ridiculously expensive places like Switzerland. You most probably don’t often travel to cities that are next to you, and that’s a mistake only a staycation can fix.

Go to a city that’s only an hour away, and spend some time discovering it! You’ll be amazed by what you discover in your neighboring cities and how different it can be from your own. After all, no two cities ever look identical.

6. Watch a performance

When was the last time you went to a live arts performance? Probably a long time ago. Staycation is really all about discovering new things about your own city or doing things that you’ve never done. A staycation should mean getting away from your day-to-day routine in order to refresh your mind and gain perspective on other things.

I love going to live arts and musical performances, because you can’t get the energy in during these events from a screen. Witnessing a live performance is truly a different experience from watching it in the comfort of your own home.

7. Get outside

I love to get around the city by biking or jogging. These activities are good for the body and also help me discover new areas in the cities that I might have previously neglected. What I’m trying to say is, maybe you can get a tour around your own city and exercise at the same time. You can use your phone as a map and see the places that you’ve never been to. This may even be as simple as walking through parts of your neighborhood you’ve never been to.

You can also organize a picnic in the park with your friends or family. If you are blessed with a warm and sunny summer, better take advantage of this by enjoying a meal at the park with your friends and loved ones.

8. Go hiking

Repeat after me: hiking is healthy.  If walking can be counted as a form of exercise, then hiking is, too, but with the added benefit of discovering the natural wonders of your own country!

Hiking is also very simple to do. In all of the staycation ideas presented, it’s probably the cheapest, too. You only need some hiking shoes, water, snacks, and the belief that you will complete the trail. You can search on TWISPER for some restaurants and bars along the way. Maybe you can see a nice place on the edge of the mountain with a nice terrace to drink a refreshing pint.

9. Visit local wineries

You might know about exported wine, but do you know about the types of wine in your local region? A staycation is the perfect time to be a wine tourist in your own country.

A secret between people who love to visit local wineries is that they’re not just visiting these places to have a wine tasting tour. Normally, wineries are also in gorgeous and expansive rural locations with pretty amazing scenery. Lots of superlatives right there, but there’s truly something to be said about drinking a nice glass of wine with beautiful, landscaped vistas. 

10. Have a luxurious spa treatment

Maybe a luxury staycation is in order? There are many hotels and wellness centers in your areas that offer the same pampering as in other places around the world. You can go to a local hotel and have a spa treatment, and you won’t even need to travel far!

Most of the time, many centers in your area offer vouchers to encourage footfall, so make sure to subscribe to their newsletter or go to voucher websites to see if they are being offered in your area.

My personal favorite is getting inside a salt cave for a nice session of halotherapy. It clears my sinuses. It relaxes my mind, as I listen to soothing music inside the salt cave. It can also lower my stress levels and help me feel less agitated. Being in a salt cave makes me feel less salty about life, in the best way possible.

11. Take a cooking or cocktail class 

Many restaurants and chefs host cooking classes in their after-hours. I think that this is not only an excellent way to learn the secrets behind some of your favorite dishes, but also to meet other people who share the same culinary preferences as you.

Cooking classes also have another hidden benefit to them: you learn about seasonality. In some of the best cooking classes that I’ve been to, I’ve learned which dishes should be cooked based on seasonally available ingredients. Being aware of what’s locally available is an important step towards sustainability, and seasonally-grown produce is just normally tastier than those that are not.

And of course, learning to cook means that you can learn how to make healthier dishes, rather than resorting to takeaways that are loaded with sodium. It’s also great for date nights, when you want to impress your significant other with your cooking skills. 

If you’re more of the alcohol-loving type (we don’t judge), then maybe you can go to a local bar that hosts mixology classes in the evening.

12. Go on a reading binge 

Books are different from other possessions. They’re more like friends and companions. In each book hides a small universe waiting to be explored just simply through the act of reading.

There are so many travel books to read that transport you to a different universe. There are books by Anthony Bourdain, Ernest Hemingway and Bill Bryson. Each author has a different flair to their writing and a way of sharing their perspectives with the reader.

And of course, there are also many different ways to read these books. Go to a park and lie on the grass. Lie upside down on your sofa. Have a nice bubble bath and read with a glass of cava. Unlike friends, books will go wherever you want to take them. Just don’t drop it in the bath.

13. Take an art class

Creating art relieves stress and helps you decorate your place. When your life is so busy that you need a break from everything, art can be a powerful way to rebalance yourself and to reacquaint yourself with your more artistic side that you’ve long repressed to survive through adulthood. Kidding.

Creating art is also a way to allow yourself to create a mess. Yes, in art, mess is a-ok. Your mentor’s art studio is spacious and probably covered in plastic or paper, so it is optimized for colored mess.

And finally, art is also a way to get unstuck. Hush those inner voices, don’t listen to your inner saboteur. In art, anything goes, and this is where uncontrolled imagination can thrive. Who knows, you might discover a hidden talent along the way.

14. Visit an exhibition at your local museum

In museums, you get inspired and learn more about various cultures at the same time. What more do you want? Museums are an amazing way to discover different things and learn more about history.

There is always a museum next to you, and they always have something interesting to learn about. Visit your city’s local tourism website to see about upcoming exhibitions in your area. 

15. Splurge on a fancy restaurant

Go to that restaurant that is a bit fancier than your regular hangout. Invite your friend or your partner. If you can warrant yourself a bit of splurging, going to a fancy restaurant will really help you become more familiar with your city, as you indulge into luxuries that you normally wouldn’t.

Maybe there are some restaurants that are Michelin-starred in your area or have won some awards? In that case, a staycation might provide the best opportunity to visit them.

Go become a local explorer!

So here are 15 staycation ideas to make you fall in love with your local region. In a way, the best kind of traveling is when you’re really enjoying the moment and taking your time into understanding the reason why you’re going to these places in the first place. These staycation ideas are ultimately meant for a kind of travel that’s slower but ultimately more rewarding. It’s not about new experiences, but discovering local hidden gems that you’ve long overlooked.

Julian Canlas
By Julian Canlas

Julian Canlas leads content and community at TWISPER. He is a 20-something content strategist who loves to travel and write about online culture. You can email him at julian@twisper.com for blog collaborations with TWISPER and other partnerships.

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