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10 Ultimate Staycation Ideas Perfect For Winter

Local travel has become a lot more popular, especially over the past year. Instead of planning to visit places far away, many people have turned their attention to staycation ideas.

Learn why staycations are a unique way to explore while staying safely close to home.

This post is sponsored by Stanley and all opinions are our own. Also, this post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small commission when you make a purchase at NO additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Passports and Parenting!

What is a staycation vacation?

For anyone who might be wondering what is a staycation, it’s a vacation where you can either stay home and do creative, fun activities or take day trips.

If your staycation involves a road trip, the best part is that you are still close enough to come home at the end of the day. You don’t have to spend money on a hotel, which makes staycations more budget-friendly than other types of travel.

What can you do on a staycation?

If you’ve never taken a staycation before and need some direction, I promise that you’re not alone!

To help, I’ve put together ten ultimate staycation ideas that are perfect for winter (or anytime really), when you feel like you need a mini escape.

10 Ultimate Staycation Ideas

1. Take a hike

Get outside and take a hike! No matter where you live you don’t have to go far to find a good hiking trail.

Many people tend to skip hiking just because it gets cold, but the trails are often deserted and beautiful in the winter, which makes it a perfect social distance activity.

If it’s cold where you live, put on some layers and fill up a Stanley classic trigger-action travel mug with some hot cocoa (or spiked hot chocolate for adults) and go hiking!

They’re one of my favorite travel essentials because not only are the mugs leakproof and packable, but they are car cup compatible, which is a must-have for road trips.

girl with a hat and coat drinking from a travel mug

2. Explore local or National Parks in your area.

Local and National Parks have wide-open spaces and places to explore while offering exciting opportunities to learn about science, nature, astronomy, history, art and so much more.

3. Camp at home

Just because it’s too cold to go camping outside doesn’t mean you can’t camp from home! Instead, make a bonfire in your backyard or pitch a tent in the living room to create a vacation at home experience.

Make it even more fun with oven-baked s’mores and warm drinks to keep you cozy. The Stanley classic stay hot French press is not only stylish to look at and use while camping at home, but it’s rugged enough for the outdoors too.

Brew bold, full-flavored coffee that stays piping hot until you are ready to drink it, thanks to the double-wall vacuum insulation.

Stanley coffee press and mug on a table with graham crackers and a globe as staycation ideas

4. Get creative in the kitchen

Take some time while at home to get creative in the kitchen.

Make pasta from scratch, bake and decorate rice krispie pops, dip into some fondue or try some gourmet cooking that you wouldn’t usually do.

5. Create your own family-friendly indoor fun

Break out the board games, create indoor bowling using items from around the house, play hide and seek, go on a scavenger hunt, play sports or another fun indoor activity.

6. Have a movie marathon

Snuggle up under some blankets, pop some popcorn and binge-watch an entire series, or your favorite movies!

To make it even more fun, you could even write down a bunch of movie names and place them in a bowl for each family member to pick one at random.

7. Read together and dream big together

Visit your local library or bookstore (if it’s open) or shop online to find some great books — even better if they are travel-related.

Read them together or on your own, then spend an afternoon creating an ultimate travel bucket list.

8. Relax with a spa day at home

Bring the spa experience right into your home by taking a hot bath, putting on a plush robe or fancy pajamas, doing a face mask, DIY manicure/pedicure and spend your staycation relaxing.

Complete the experience with hot or cold lemon water to stay hydrated. The Stanley classic legendary camp mug is perfect for keeping your favorite drinks hot or cold longer. It has a secure press-fit Tritan™ lid that prevents splashes so you can easily sip your beverage at home or on the go.

plate of lemon slices and a mug in front a girl's hand reaching into a nail polish kit.

9. Take a virtual vacation

Are you really missing travel? Use this time to plan future travels, update your travel journal or do some exploring around the world right from your couch!

Take virtual trips where you can tour museums across the world, see live streams of wild animals, explore National Parks and even experience exciting theme parks.

road trip stickers and travel journal for staycation ideas

10. Play tourist in your hometown

Pretend to be a tourist and walk around — or drive — through your town or nearby city.

Take the scenic route and visit a landmark, a park you’ve never been to before or search for street art (you can find some really cool murals to take pictures of). Just because you’ve lived somewhere for years doesn’t mean you can’t experience it in a new way!

What should I bring to a staycation?

Since staycations either happen at home or close to home, little to no packing is involved. There is no need to bring much besides your favorite essentials.

You don’t have to travel far to have a cozy winter escape, but no matter where the road may take you, there are a variety of durable Stanley products to help make your days and trips easier.

I hope these winter staycation ideas inspire you to enjoy life in new ways.

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