We can’t always afford to get away and go on our dream vacation, but we’ve got 5 tips for making the most of your staycation this year.

While we’d love to be traveling all the time, it can be difficult to get away. Of course, that doesn’t mean we toss our traveler’s attitude out the window. We’ve always advocated for “exploring” your own home town by looking for the next great coffee shop or even snapping a few Instagram photos as you walk the dog. It’s all about the right mindset and we have to admit; wanderlusters as we are that there are times when the best place to recharge and relax is at home in your own bed. Of course, it means being a bit more creative, so here are five ideas we’ve personally tried to mix things up when we can’t travel far away.

Try a new restaurant in your town

Enjoy dinner at a new restaurant on your staycation

Photo (by-nc-nd) by El Boquerón Viajero

Not too long ago, Pedro and I were invited to try out a restaurant in Marbella that we’ve never heard of before. It was called Kava and door to door it took us about 30 minutes. I’m going to consider that “local.” While the surroundings of Old Town Marbella were very familiar, the restaurant was new and fresh. We had a lovely evening and it was lovely to disconnect from work and the daily routine. Plus, who doesn’t love a night when they don’t have to cook or do the dishes? Trying a new restaurant in your area is the perfect foodie way to kick off a “staycation.”

Visit a nearby town

Visit to nearby Comares for a Staycation

Photo (by-nc-nd) by El Boquerón Viajero

It seems like the places near where we live somehow get overlooked as travel destinations – however famous they may be. (This coming from the girl who lived in New York City for four years before crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.) We tend to think that vacation destinations have to be far away places that are difficult to access and require a hotel to stay for a few nights. We aren’t buying the hype, though. Last fall we decided to get out of the city and visit the nearby town of Comares for the day. Up we drove into the hills of Málaga, stopping along the ride to take a photo of some goats and the gorgeous landscape. We had a delicious country lunch in Comares and explored with our dog, Dino. It was a great little escape and we were home in time for dinner.

Learn to do something new

Try your hand at something new on your staycation

Photo (by-nc-nd) by El Boquerón Viajero

Part of the idea of taking a vacation (or “staycation” in this case) is to reset your mind and get out of the normal routine. What better way to “reset” than to try your hand at something brand new? It doesn’t have to be anything difficult. Pedro and I actually took a little horse riding class once when we were on vacation! We are also dying to take a cooking class. I think there is probably a class or a workshop for almost everything these days, and you might even pick up a new hobby.

Get out in nature

Enjoying the view from the Mountains of Málaga on a staycation hike

Photo (by-nc-nd) by El Boquerón Viajero

In the South of Spain there are lots of options to get outdoors and enjoy nature. While we know that isn’t the case everywhere, it’s usually possible to find a place to hike or enjoy the water wherever you live. We aren’t experts by any means, but we’ve really enjoyed exploring the trails in the mountains around Málaga and kayaking in the sea in nearby Salobreña. Even if it’s just packing a picnic lunch and heading out to a beautiful park, we’re sure that getting out into nature will help you disconnect from the daily routine.

Vacation on the silver screen

See a movie on your Staycation

Photo (by-nc) by Joaquim Wahlander

Another fantastic way to feel like your staycation is special is by heading to the movies. It’s a bit of a splurge since the prices for movie tickets have been on the rise, but this is an option that will instantly transport you to another place. If you are looking to save a penny you can always watch a movie at home, but in that case, we strongly suggest the popcorn and some gummy worms. After all, you’ve got to get the full effect and really feel like you are “traveling.” Some of our favorite travel movies? The Hundred Foot Journey, Shall We Dance, The Motorcycle Diaries, A Year in Provence, Midnight in Paris…and the list goes on from here.

If you do choose to enjoy a staycation this year (or if you just can’t wait for your next trip) we hope these suggestions are helpful. Now what are you waiting for? You’re “staycation” is ready to begin!

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Photo (by-nc-nd) by El Boquerón Viajero

Photos with license (by-nc-nd).
Main Photo (by-nc-nd) by El Boqueron Viajero