Even though you will be staying in the comfort of your own home, a staycation can be a fun and exciting adventure. If done right, this stay-at-home-style of vacationing can be just as fun, if not more, than if you were to go away and stay in a hotel somewhere for a week. One of the biggest benefits of enjoying a staycation is you really get an opportunity to explore your hometown and surrounding area. You never know what you will discover.Here are some tips to help you have fun and act like a tourist while enjoying a staycation in your own hometown:
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Opportunities

The one thing all tourists have with them at all times are their cameras. Dust off your camera, charge the batteries, put in a fresh SIM card and go out exploring the town. See your hometown through the lens of a camera. It will be a new experience and you may get some unique and funny photos out of it. Remember, no one is judging, so take all of the touristy and cheesy shots you want, including those taken where all of the tourists get their photos taken. Take your photo in front of major landmarks and historical sites in your town.

Visit local hotels and take photos in the lobby or in public areas of the resort. When shooting the photos, act like you are a guest at the hotel. Grab a frozen margarita and hang out on the hotel bar’s balcony. Have fun with it.

Related: Family Staycation Ideas

Look The Part

Anyone who lives in a popular tourist destination knows there are little things non-locals do that make them stand out. These things make it easy for the locals to pinpoint who is a tourist and who is not. For example, if you live in Florida wear socks with your sandals. Or if it is the winter time put on your swim trunks and dash into the cold ocean waters (if you dare) just like all the northerners do.

Go to a local hotel and get guide maps or purchase a guide book for your city from a bookstore. Carry it everywhere you go and always keep referring to it as you explore various points of interest. Better yet. Find someone local to ask a question and point to something in the book you are trying to find. A popular question asked in Washington, D.C. is “Where is the Smithsonian?” Ask that and see what kind of reaction you get.

Another fun way to look the part is to pronounce your city’s name wrong. As a local you probably cringe when you hear someone calling your hometown by the wrong name. Ask a local where they would recommend going while completely saying the name wrong. It might be fun to watch their reaction.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Rent A Car

If you are going to a neighboring city or packing up and driving into the city, consider renting a car. You will feel like you are on vacation and have the luxury of enjoying a car that may be better than the one you currently own.

If valet service is available, use that. Everyone on vacation likes to get spoiled, so let the valet give you that little bit of luxury on your staycation.

Outdoor Activities

No matter where you live, chances are there are plenty of things to do in the great outdoors. This includes going to a local lake or major waterways. Before your staycation get your fishing license and take the family fishing or go canoeing. You can also take a guided boat tour or enjoy other water related activities, such as renting a boat or skiing. If you live near the mountains, go skiing, exploring or hiking. If the beach is not too far of a drive, go spend the day at the beach. You can also explore a local, state or national park.

Related: Plan a Staycation to Remember

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Many cities offer guided (or self-guided) tours to those wishing to learn more about the location and its history. Tours available may include food tours, museums, breweries, ghosts and so on. This is a great way to see the cultural aspects and learn about the history of your neighborhood. Other popular tours found in most cities include Segway, cycling, walking and underground. To find local tours, do a Google search for “tours + your city.” You may be surprised at what you find.

If tours are not available in your area, write up your own. Think about where you would take friends and family who came to visit. What type of tour would you take them on? Think of historical landmarks, popular restaurants, parks, trails and other points of interest.

Staycations becoming more popular as would-be travelers are discovering they can save money by staying home and exploring their own hometowns. Do not let your staycation get your down. Plan out new activities and have fun acting like a tourist.

Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.