Summer is officially here and with that comes the hope of a sun soaked vacation. However, sometimes those dreams can get dashed when life, work, or our wallets get in the way. This is when the art of the staycation comes in handy. If done properly, a staycation can recharge your batteries just as easily as a resort can. No airports required. Check out these tips to make the most out of your summer staycation!
Become a tourist in your own city
This is the obvious first step to taking your staycation to the next level, as well as the most important. Odds are you have done fun activities in your city, but you’ve never really looked at it through the lens of a tourist. No matter where you live, the luster of your city can fade and you can forget what it has to offer. This is the time to reinvigorate your love of your hometown!
- Botanical gardens
- Events or sports
- Drive-in or rooftop theaters
- Theme parks
- Nature hikes
- 360 Chicago Observation Deck
- Millennium Park & The Bean
- Wrigley Field
- The Art Institute of Chicago
- The Magnificent Mile
- Buckingham Fountain
- Navy Pier
- Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House
- Macy’s on State Street
- Garrett’s Popcorn
- Chicago River cruises
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Field Museum
*Pro tip: If you’re craving a day at a pool with an ice-cold Piña Colada, some hotels offer day passes! You’ll get the full resort experience without the cost of paying for a room. Check out resortpass.com for participating hotels in your area!
Go out for a fancy lunch or dinner
You’ve saved money on flights, gas, hotels, etc., so don’t be afraid to splurge on a nice dinner. Invite friends, take your family, or dine solo! One great way to take this activity up a notch is to find a restaurant out of your normal radius – if you live in the suburbs, head downtown. Or if you really want to feel fancy, find a hotel restaurant! You’ve probably never been to or heard of some of the nice hotel restaurants in your town. Do some research and see what’s out there!
- Nico Osteria at the Thompson Hotel
- Allium Restaurant & Bar at the Four Seasons
- Boleo at the Kimpton Grey Hotel
- Travelle at the Langham
- Shanghai Terrace at the Peninsula Chicago
- Café des Architectes at Sofitel
- The Florentine at the JW Marriott
- 676 Restaurant & Bar at the Omni
*Pro tip: Dress it up! If there’s an outfit or sparkly dress in your closet that you never wear, this is your moment!
Make your home feel like a hotel
Who said you need to leave your home for the resort experience? Prep for you staycation by making little changes that will make your space feel brand new. Here’s a list of suggestions to get you started:
- Pack your fridge and pantry ahead of time with your favorite summer foods. If you love to cook, make a meal plan with your favorite dishes. If cocktails are your thing, make sure you have all the ingredients whip up your favorite drink. Stock up on fun snacks that you wouldn’t normally buy and give yourself the permission to eat whatever the heck you want!
- Make a movie night basket. If hitting the movies doesn’t interest you or is out of your budget (some movie tickets in LA are up to $25), give yourself the full theater experience at home! Gather popcorn, snacks, your favorite candy, etc. and have the basket waiting by the TV for when the mood strikes!
- Create a spa day. This could be as simple as having a new face mask waiting for you at the end of each day! Or using shower steamers that fill up your bathroom with spa-like scents every morning. There are endless possibilities!
- Make sure you have fresh sheets and a nice pillow spray. There’s nothing better than snuggling into clean sheets, and it you want to add another level of luxury use a pillow spray!
- Be a little bougie and leave yourself and your partner pillow mints.
What do you think? Will you be staycationing this summer? Let us know what your favorite staycation activities are!
Follow us on social media for more lifestyle and wellness tips:
Facebook: Carrie Ann Conversations
YouTube: Carrie Ann Inaba