8 Transformative Staycation Ideas

backyard camping

Traveling takes time and money, not to mention the waste it produces. Staycations have grown increasingly popular in the past few years, and it’s no secret that staying at home is a greener option than increasing congestion on roads or hopping on a plane. Plus, when you’re vacationing at home, you can go anywhere you’d like. So whether you’re held captive inside your home due to a snow monster rampage (hi, polar vortex) or simply opting for a greener vacation, here are eight different worlds to transform your living room.

1. Island paradise

Break out leftover ribbon to make these DIY leis and infuse the room with native music from your favorite islands, or simply the sound of crashing waves. Turn a room into a cabana by bringing lawn chairs inside and placing them on tarps. Keep the island fusion going through dinner with a warm bowl of asopao de pollo and Caribbean spice cake.

2. The big blue

Whether you live on the coast or 100 miles from water, it’s easy to bring the ocean into your home. Make a faux-aquarium in your sink with underwater-inspired toys and save broken or leftover paperware from the recycling bin by decorating with hanging paper bowl jellyfish and paper plate fish. For a laugh-filled evening, make portraits of one another in fish form and hang them on the walls. Later, go with the flow and hold a viewing of Finding Nemo (2003) while chowing down on starfish-shaped sandwiches and seaweed salad.

3. Camping country

There’s no need for weather to hold back your camping trip; simply bring it inside. Set up camp in a large room, complete with a tent and sleeping bags. If weather isn't a problem, camp out in your backyard for a closer-to-nature experience. Munch on your favorite camping foods like chili, cornbread, and even s’mores. Then trek across the Sierras and through forests with Chance, Sassy, and Shadow in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993), without having to leave your couch.

4. Winter wonderland

You may be tired of the cold and snow, but don’t put away your wintry decorations yet! Make paper snowflakes to hang throughout the house (save them for next year) and extend the life of your holiday pine by making a garland or table arrangements. Sip on hot chocolate while you get into the winter spirit with Happy Feet (2006) and other cool movies.

5. The Milky Way

Blast off with your loved ones for a night filled with out-of-this-world activities. Make stars out of tin foil remnants and have a treasure hunt throughout the house for special moon rocks (also known as regular rocks, large beads, or fake gemstones). For the full effect, get astronaut food straight from the source for dinner and bake constellation cupcakes for dessert.

6. Welcome to the home-tel

Bring some luxury into your home by turning it into a hotel for the night. Offer turndown service for your “guests,” complete with eco-friendly chocolates on the pillows, and have everyone lounge around together in bathrobes. You can go the extra nine yards and add a spa station for manicures and short massages. Whatever you choose, bring the group together over dinner and a relaxing night.

7. The world below

Explore the microscopic world of the plants and critters right under our feet. Decorate walls with larger-than-life paper flowers using recycled tissue paper and make antennae out of pipe cleaners to feel as if you really are bug-sized. Play bug charades (dibs on a stick bug!) and later pop in A Bug’s Life (1998) for a low-key end to your day.

8. Fiesta Friday

Get out your sombrero and guacamole for this night, because it’s going way beyond Taco Tuesday. Whip up some ceviche de camarón with wild-caught shrimp and grilled fish tacos with tilapia to get everyone in the mood. Decorate with this geometric take on the traditional papel picado banners (use tissue paper leftover from the holidays or a recycled option) and even try your luck with the Mexican Hat Dance.

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image by istockphoto/doscreative

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