A Staycation You Never Knew You Needed

Planning out a holiday from home is less stressful, more affordable and can feel pretty rewarding, but taking a staycation is not always that easy, especially if you don’t go about it intentionally. Without some kind of structure, it’s easy to fall back into your average weekend routine: browsing on your phone, checking social media and binge-watching series for several days non-stop. Take on some of our staycation ideas that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for whatever there is to come.

Staycation ideas for kids

Staycation ideas for kids

Games with a purpose

Besides traditional fun games that get the excitement going, try something that is educational without them even knowing! Draw a mockup of a certain area (your neighbourhood, city or a dream destination of their choice) and act out the daily activities. Drive your little toy cars down the roads, park at a location and act out everything there is to do. If you find yourself at the “shopping mall”, teach them about paying at tills and calculating the correct change. A staycation made educational, but fun!

Creating with clay

Clay always saves the day with every holiday from home. This staycation activity keeps your kids busy while having fun yourself. Set up a station with different coloured clay, decorations and tools, decide on a theme and let the moulding begin! Remember to help each other and have a laugh along the way. In the end, let everyone present. It can be interesting to see everyone’s unique interpretation.

Camp out in your backyard

Who wouldn’t love a thrilling adventure in a familiar setting? Pack away all the electronics and get prepping for the best staycation in your backyard. Pitch the tent, put on your nature boots and explore your garden gems. Camping is also a fun way to introduce sustainable travel and the importance of eco-consciousness to your kids. End off the events with a marshmallow braai and some scary stories with a moonlit face.

Treasure hunt

This may take some time to plan and do some research. The tricky part is to set up the venture without leaking any clues. Try and place the clues while going on with everyday routines: For example, while your kids are watching TV, sneak a few props in the kitchen and bedrooms. Choose a noticeable theme to make the searching easier and to avoid confusion. Remember to create a set of rules beforehand so that you can keep track when the happy hunters get too excited.

Trading tuckshop

A top recipe for getting your kids to do their chores while keeping their calculation skills tip-top (and keeping you sane!). If you don’t have board game money, you can print out some duplicates from the internet. Set up a list of activities, responsibilities and duties they can do to earn this money. For example, make the bed, wash the dishes or pack away their toys. Then price all their favourite treats as a reward they can buy. Also remember to implement some penalties, like fines for bad behaviour.

Photo: @chanelbergh via Instagram

Staycation adventures with the family

Staycation ideas for family


Not everyone can be Adele, but anyone can dream! A staycation containing singalongs to your favourite song is something everybody enjoys. A jolly karaoke night is perfect entertainment for the whole family. Also, no need to feel embarrassed as you are in the comfortable space of your own home. Deep dive into the golden oldies or challenge a family member to a rap battle. Create a few related games like dance moves or challenges to make the night even more spectacular.

Family photoshoot

Everyone can agree that family photos are a never-ending challenge. For every one decent image, there are about 20 others with funny faces, members looking away or getting distracted. Moreover, there never seems to be enough time. Now thanks to your staycation, you are bound to capture that memorable family portrait and spend some quality time while getting ready. Build on the opportunity and have your family dress up as a theme of their favourite characters, cartoons or countries.

Amphitheatre in your garden

Snuggle up in blankies and squeeze tightly together while enjoying a movie under a canopy of stars. There is no bad seat in this cinema as you sit with your legs stretched out, sneaky snacks in the one hand and refreshing drinks in the other. The best thing about this staycation idea is that you only need a few steps to head back in the house and jump straight to bed!

Around the world in one day

Everyone has their own favourite dream destination and interests – whether it may be relaxed, adventure-driven, eco-conscious or luxurious. Have every family member set up a station in and around the house with the theme related to their destination. Have a tour to explore every country around the world and part take in the activities made available. The family member in charge of the destination can create a few traditional activities like making cocktails in Hawaii, salsa dancing in Colombia or learning the language of love like the French.

Quality time for couples on staycation

Staycation ideas for couples

What’s cooking good looking?

A staycation is the perfect time to get all dressed up for a date night, every night. Try a famous dish from a different country for each dinner. Habitually, cooking dinner feels like a chore, but this staycation twist is an entertaining opportunity to show off your skills or a fun-loving way and to dance around the kitchen together! Let your imagination take the reins when you set the table and dress the part to match the country. Time to put on some music and cook up a storm!

Massage magic

Unwind from the daily grind. Take a bath, light some candles and create the perfect setting for a deluxe pamper. Gather all your luxurious products for your special treatment or try homemade spa treatments to take in the moment of ultimate tranquillity. If you’re looking to spend a memorable staycation day with your significant other, throw on your new face masks and have a good laugh. End off by celebrating with a glass of bubbly.

Do a DIY project together

There’s nothing quite like that triumphant feeling when completing a piece of work. DIY projects jump the ranks when it comes to staycation ideas as the challenge explores your relationship while having fun along the way. Strengthen your collaboration skills while creating a special souvenir. Whether it’s a collage to decorate your hallway, ceramic coasters or arty pot plants, the memories will pop up with a smile every time it catches your eye as you pass by.

Board games

Put away the electronics and spend some quality time going off the grid. Have a relaxed evening with a series of card games or opt for something more thrilling for those who embrace a challenge. Board games have been top listed for things to do on staycations since the beginning of time. While you exchange straight faces and grins, add some classy hors d’oeuvre appetizers to keep the bluffing going.

Solo staycation

Staycation ideas for singles

Virtual reality tourism

Travelling the world from the comfort of your home? It doesn’t get much easier than this. To travel via Virtual Reality (VR) lets you sit back and relax on your couch while skipping the lines to explore your favourite attractions. Moreover, VR tourism offers a potential substitute experience that may be extremely advantageous for heritage and preservation. There is an array of apps to download according to your travelling preference. Do bear in mind that tourists can only see the more popular environments, rather than the neighbourhoods in which the nation’s people live, play and evolve.

Indulge in what makes you happy

Read a book, hug your dog, listen to a podcast, do some yoga or master a skill – Do whatever makes you happy. In a rise-and-grind-lifestyle, a staycation is a perfect opportunity to take a step back and revive your health. While having some alone time is crucial, it’s also important to stay productive in the time being. Being alone on your staycation doesn’t mean you need to be lonely. Stay connected with loved ones via video call, or simply send a text of a funny meme. Have virtual dinner dates with your girlfriends or family – it takes a single button to make a call.

Treat your furry friends

If there is one friend that’s more excited about your staycation than you, it’s your pet. No more leaving in the mornings until late afternoon? Do they get to keep you company for the WHOLE day? It’s the time of their lives! No need for doggy daycare, now you can enjoy some fun-loving activities with your furry friend.

Adopted a puppy recently? You’re in luck – there is more than enough time for puppy training as well as overloading on the tender love and care.

Rearrange a room

If you’re unsure about what to do on your holiday from home, take on a significant project that will keep you productive. Renovate a room by picking a new colour palette and theme. Paint the walls yourself and spice up the interior that fits the “revitalised you” after your staycation. A project like this keeps you focused while having fun! So put on some music, karaoke to your favourite songs and let the artsy side of life take over!

Feeling inspired to plan the best staycation ever? Discover some more tips on how to maximise your leave days or sign up to our newsletter to make sure you won’t be missing out on any of our deals and promotions.

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Our Readers Comments

  1. Good day JHB TO BANKOK
    Flights KQ 763, KQ886, on THU 23 APRIL 2020
    Andries jacobs
    Sasha-lee jacobs
    Albertha Venter
    Jan hendrik Venter
    Flights 2 May KQ887, KQ 760 BANKOK TO JHB
    Can you please assist due to the lockdowns all flights are cancelled we wil not be able to travel can you please cancelled our booking at no cost to our self. New bookings wil be made when corona virus is sorted.
    Regards Andries

    • Hi Andries,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      I’ve checked your booking and see our refunds team have been in touch via e-mail.

      Please e-mail bookings@travelstart.com for our team to assist.

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