7 Most Swoonworthy Staycation Ideas For Couples

Here's how couples can go on a romantic vacation on a budget.

Last updated on Oct 22, 2023

Couple kayaking together Maridav | Canva

The concept of a staycation is fairly inclusive — it can be as elaborate as a normal vacation, or as simple as a few quiet days of rest and relaxation.

The only constant is that you won't be traveling too far. And really, that's not a necessary element of a fun vacation anyway; the act of travel itself isn't what makes a vacation relaxing or legitimate. It's the fact that you're leaving behind the responsibilities and stresses of everyday life and allowing yourself to decompress.

The key to sharing a staycation with your significant other and making it feel special is to treat it like it's something special. Even if you're only planning a couple of days of sightseeing around your own town, you should act like it's a real, traditional vacation and not an inferior alternative that you have to settle for.


As long as you're not trying to catch up on work or letting ordinary life encroach on the time you're spending together, the experience really can be as memorable as a traditional vacation. The following staycation ideas were selected for their value as fun, romantic, or practical gestures — ways to use this time to strengthen your relationship.

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Here are 7 romantic staycation ideas for couples:

1. Guided tours in your city

Most cities offer guided tours to parts of the city you might never have known about or to places that had relevance that you weren't aware of. A walking tour isn't just a way to spend an afternoon — it's also a way to feel like the two of you are tourists in your own town, seeing it from the perspective of people who don't take the charms of the area for granted. If you can't find any guided tours, check online for self-guided tours that highlight your town's most significant places.

2. Eateries

If a traveling vacation isn't in your budget — but you still have enough cash to indulge a little — spend your staycation visiting the best eateries your town has to offer. Go to a trendy restaurant, bakery, or cheese shop. Visiting a vineyard and winery outside of town is an ideal day trip. It's a romantic experience, as the area is usually very scenic and — despite being moderately upscale — it's often more affordable than a full meal at an expensive restaurant.

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3.  Stargazing

Watching the stars is a timeless date idea that's just as romantic when you're 18 as it is when you're 80. Apps like Google Sky Map can help you identify what exactly you're looking at, but the experience is less about astronomy than it is about spending a peaceful moment out in the night together, away from all the familiar scenery that usually surrounds you. Rare stargazing events like comets or meteor showers make this idea even more fitting.


4. Go to the gym together

The ideal relaxing staycation would probably be to visit an upscale spa together and enjoy all the indulgences attached to its price tag, but you can enjoy a similar experience for far less money. Find a large gym that has a lot of amenities, pay the floor fee — or whatever terminology your gym uses for a one-day pass — and make a day out of your visit. Go swimming, try yoga, play squash, spend time in the sauna, and generally treat it like a much more affordable resort.

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5. Home improvement projects

This may seem like an unexciting staycation prospect, but it's a practical and thoughtful way to support a healthy relationship. The ideal time to tackle a necessary home improvement project isn't when you're juggling all the responsibilities of your ordinary stressful life — it's when you have the free time to approach it together, at a relaxed, easygoing pace. Whether you're planting a garden or remodeling a room, one of the best gifts you can give is your time and effort.

6. Try a new activity

Spending a few days at home is a great opportunity to try some of the things that were too impractical or time-consuming for you to consider in your day-to-day life. Think about all the adventurous stuff you've never been able to try like mountain climbing, kayaking, skydiving, bungee jumping, or whitewater rafting, and share that experience with each other. If your tastes aren't quite so bold, at least try to do some activity you've never done before — both of you might discover a new favorite hobby.


7. Spend the day in your nearest city

If you're within a few hours of a major city, you can always plan a day trip that has all the elements of a vacation, except for the fact that you end up at home that night. Plan what you'd like to do while you're in the city so you can fit in as much sightseeing as possible, and plan an entertaining route, too — sites like RoadTrippers.com can identify all of the attractions along a trip route like restaurants, historical sites, and scenic spots so you can even make the drive something to remember.

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Jon Skindzier is a freelance writer with 13 years of writing/editing experience. He has worked for AskMen as a columnist and travel writer, and for SparkNotes as a blogger, illustrator, and dating advice giver.