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17 Budget Friendly Staycation Ideas

by Karina Talavera 26 May 2021


With summer almost upon us and the idea of jetting off somewhere exotic seeming like a distant memory - the great Staycation is going to be more popular than ever. It’s safe to say the novelty of staying at home has well and truly worn off by now - so how can we make a Staycation feel just as exciting as a summer holiday? Here are 17 things to do on staycation that don’t break the bank.


1. Make a Home-Made Escape room

If you’re going to be stuck inside your own four walls - you might as well turn it into a competitive battle of logic with an added sprinkle of urgency.

The escape room phenomenon has well and truly taken the nation by storm, but perhaps being trapped is all a state of mind. There are dozens of printable  puzzles or clues available online to create your own escape room right on your doorstep. You can make an ancient coding cryptex, turn your own phone lock-screen into a combination lock or just barricade your flatmate in your bathroom. The room is your oyster.

2. Become a tourist in your town

See the same old surroundings in a whole new light, and make sure you stop by the giftshop.

If the daily trip to tesco isn’t filling you with the same sense of adventure as it used to, how about pretending you’ve never visited your town before and spend the day as a tourist. Strap on a bum-bag and look up popular tourist attractions in your area that the locals usually sniff at - you may find a hidden gem right under your nose.

3. DIY home spa day

With thousands of DIY facemasks and skin treatments just a youtube tutorial away, now’s the time to put your feet up.

Don a bathrobe (preferably hotel-white) and treat yourself to some home-made spa treatments. If you’re a bath lover, splash out on a luxury bath bomb or bath salts. If you’re more of a beauty queen , DIY facemasks are super easy to make using ingredients found in the kitchen. Remember: pointless cucumber slices over the eyes are essential!

4. Get a fancy cook at home recipe box

Order yourself a tried and tested Recipe box and bring the restaurant to your kitchen.

Recipe boxes are the perfect way to impress dinner party guests with minimal fuss. All you need to do is assemble the pre-portioned ingredients. Perfect for those who aren’t willing to travel to the ends of the earth for one obscure spice you’ll use once. As long as they’re served a restaurant quality home cooked meal - they don’t have to know where it’s from!

5. Make your own bootcamp

Transform your self staycation style by creating your own bootcamp style assault course.

Are you one of those vacationers that comes back from holiday in better shape than when you left? Get yourself fighting fit and set up an army style assault course either in your garden or in a park and push your body to the limit.As bootcamp courses are designed to be simple but gruelling, you can create some military grade routines with cheap materials like sandbags or netting. It’s not everyone’s cup of protein shake , but it’s a fab budget friendly alternative to a gym. 

6. Have a night of ‘social deduction’ games

Social deduction games are any game that involves outsmarting or deceiving your fellow players, so leave your loyalties at the door.

If you think you can handle putting your friendships to the test, we recommend trying out Snakesss. Players are asked a question and discuss the answer together, but some players have been handed a Snake card - who’ll secretly try and sabotage the discussion and mislead the other players. Nothing like a bit of suspicion and deceit on a staycation.

7. Camp in your garden

Sleep under the stars with all the mod-cons a few metres away.

Who needs a grubby campsite in the middle of Nowhereshire with a ten minute queue for the showers? Pitch a tent in your own back garden, light a campfire and enjoy the wholesome camping experience we all remember from childhood with all your creature comforts of the home right around the corner. No need to heat a tin of beans over a stove for half an hour - you can order a takeaway right to your bonfire -just like our ancestors.

8. Do a Jigsaw - with a twist

A puzzle in more ways than one.

Jigsaws have been a sure-safe rainy day activity for decades, but what if the puzzle isn’t just fitting shapes together? ‘Night At The Movies’ is packed with over 100 cryptic illustrations relating to classic films, where players need to solve the riddles as they build the puzzle. This clever twist on a traditional puzzle will keep you entertained for hours as well as giving your brain a good stretch.


9. Make a blanket fort

A staycation essential for turning your home into a magical getaway.

Blanket forts were a key part of a lot of our childhoods, so why leave it there? If the trappings of adult life are weighing you down, re-awaken your inner child by making a good old fashioned blanket fort and play a boardgame in your cosy cave. For maximum cosy potential, look up ways to achieve ‘Hygge,’ the danish principle of cosiness, or even have a go at the Hygge card game.

10. Furniture Upcycling

The cheap, sustainable and unique way to pimp your pad.

There are loads of ways to acquire used furniture thanks to online marketplaces like Freecycle and Gumtree. Why not spruce up some old furniture by reupholstering, repainting, sanding or even just deep cleaning. We’ve seen Tik Tokkers take to furniture upcycling in their hoards, creating simple tutorials for future furniture flippers. You can even sell it, if you’re savvy enough.

11. Outdoor movie night

Turn your house into a cinema screen with a projector, just make sure the neighbours are movie lovers too.

Buy a home projector that plugs into any laptop and set up an outdoor movie screening. Outdoor movie screenings work best when projected onto an external wall, but you can even hang up a bedsheet on a washing line for a makeshift screen. Outdoor film screenings are also the perfect opportunity for a themed night. Have your friends dress up as characters from a cult classic of your choice - you’ll get a lot fewer stares than at the local cinema!

12. Make a Blackout poem

You’re a poet and you didn’t even know-et.

Blackout poetry is the art of finding an old book and blacking out with a pen or paint everything except a few select words, making a bizarre short poem. You’d be surprised how easily the most mundane of dust-collectors can transform into a groundbreaking piece of literature - the Pulitzer prize is in sight ! Blackout poems can be framed for some quirky wall art or to kickstart your lucrative poetry career. Second hand books come cheap but the sense of superiority is free.

13. Have a picnic somewhere new

A classic british passtime - add alcohol at your leisure.

With the ever growing selection of meal deals available at supermarkets, the classic british picnic no longer has to consist of soggy jam sandwiches. Look up the best picnic spots in your area, there are a lot more than just parks. You can even go full period drama and dress in your finest sunday linens to lounge around in the sun like the heroine of a Jane Austen novel.

14. Wine or beer tasting

Become a connoisseur in just a few sips.

Pick up the most bizarre beers and wine you can find from your local supermarket and come up with ways to rate the taste out of ten. Take a trip around the world and pick up drinks from different countries , or have a self-proclaimed alcohol expert do a blind taste test. If you really want to refine your palate there are dozens of subscription services for beer, wine or spirits who send unusual or obscure samples of drinks to try. You’ll either be the most sophisticated drinker at your next party or the drunkest, it’s up to you.

15. Have a great staycation Bake-off

If baking wasn’t stressful enough, you can always raise the stakes.

Take your lockdown baking skills to the next level and host a great british bake-off style competition in your own kitchen. Challenge yourself and a friend to create a similar Bake and have a ‘judge’ decide the winner. You can bake a ‘technical’ round where youboth recreate the same thing, or a ‘showstopper’ round where you make the most ridiculous dessert possible. Piece of cake!

16. Host a yard sale

Ditch your unwanted items and bond with your neighbours.

With charity shops being inundated with donations after months of closure, it’s very likely your home is getting cluttered with unwanted items. Hold a yard sale in your front garden or driveway and get some neighbours involved - you’d be surprised how fast word gets round. If you’re partial to a bit of bric-o-brac you can even organise a swap system with fellow yard sellers. Just make sure the haggling doesn’t get too heated or you may never be able to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbour again.

17. Host your own ‘Come Dine with me’

You’re all judging each other anyway - you might as well keep score.

Have a group of your friends all host a dinner party at each other’s houses and score each other's evenings out of ten, announcing the host with the highest score on the final evening. You can go all out with themed nights or keep it classy with an exquisite three course meal. Bonus points if you squeeze all the parties into one week, for the authentic staycation dining experience.

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