Staycations have taken off in popularity. According to a 2018 poll, 53 percent of Americans have taken a staycation at some point, whether to cut back on family expenses or enjoy their local area a bit more. But for couples who are used to jet-setting off to explore new places and rekindle some romance, a staycation seems a bit far-fetched. Unfortunately, many couples have had to postpone their romantic trips due to more recent travel restrictions and personal financial setbacks.
However, with the right mindset and brilliant ideas, an affordable romantic staycation is still possible. After all, there’s nothing wrong with staying at home and throwing on a sexy bra beneath a robe while watching movies and eating pizza. Here are nine romantic staycation ideas for couples on a budget.
1. Maintain a ‘Do Not Disturb’ Policy
When you take a romantic vacation, family and friends generally understand not to call or try to get in touch. So when taking a romantic staycation, maintain this same “do not disturb” policy. Let your company and close relatives and friends know you are on vacay. Leave the computers off and the phones out of sight and out of mind. (Unless you need to order delivery, of course.) A romantic staycation is meant for two.
2. Use a Cinematic Escape
Create a movie night where you escape to new unexplored lands. Instead of binging your usual series, pick a romantic travel movie set in a country or area you’d love to one day visit in real life. Want to explore Singapore? Watch Crazy Rich Asians. Can’t wait to visit Italy? Go with a famous classic like Roman Holiday.
3. Prepare Meals Together
No vacation is complete without delicious meals. More often than not, one partner is the designated cook. But while you have this free vacay time, plan and prepare meals together, enjoying each other’s company. Make it a fun, stress-free experience by playing some fun music and sipping that wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Even better? Coordinate your dinner cuisine with your chosen romantic travel movie. Think delicious warm dumplings for Crazy Rich Asians or a big bowl of pasta for Roman Holiday.
4. Order from Your Favorite Restaurants
Indulge at least one night by dining outside at your favorite restaurant. Better yet, order it to take back home and have a candlelit dinner for two, uninterrupted by waiters. When you eat at home, BYOB is no problem at all. Chill a bottle of wine and polish it off without worrying who’s going to drive home. Even if you’re on a tight budget, a cheap pizza and bottle of wine over candlelight can make a romantic experience.
5. Snap Staycation Photos
Just because it’s not an impressive location you can show off to friends and family doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be photos. Make sure to document your romantic staycation, too! After all, photos are more about the memories.
And a romantic staycation can have just as many memories as an expensive exotic destination. Take photos of everything you do together, whether cooking meals, playing games, or watching movies. After, create a photo album that makes your staycation feel more official.
6. Create a Home Spa
Another romantic staycation idea is to create a home spa. Purchase some massage oils and an essential oil diffuser for some relaxing aromatherapy. Create a spa-like ambiance by turning down the lights and igniting some candles. You can even purchase a reasonably inexpensive massage face cradle that can create a more realistic masseuse experience. Slip out of your robes and take turns giving each other a massage from head to toe and more.
7. Enjoy Some Silence
While the silent treatment is ill-advised, silence can still be good for a healthy relationship. Spending moments in silence doesn’t mean you have nothing to talk about or are drifting apart. On the contrary, it shows a certain level of ease with one another, especially if you or your partner typically chatters to fill the empty air.
Instead, listen to music together or read a book. Sometimes, merely curling up on the sofa beneath covers as you listen to music together, reading a book or relaxing can be just as nourishing to a relationship.
8. Give Your Love Nest a Makeover
If there’s been something nagging you about your home, now’s the perfect time to tackle it. Give your little love nest a quick makeover without spending a dime. Rearrange the bedroom, placing the bed against another wall to shake things up. Tidy up the living room and add some soft throw pillows and soothing dim lighting.
In the bedroom, use the ancient design practice of Feng Shui to improve romance. Feng Shui recommends freshening up your linens and decluttering, which is easy to do. Remove any mirrors that face the bed, which is said to affect sleep and invite infidelity.
9. Plan a Future Vacation
Even if you don’t quite have the funds, you can plan for the day you finally do. Share places you’ve always wanted to travel to, whether it’s to take a road trip around your state or catch an international flight to a far-off destination. Do some research and get inspired, making a bucket list of all the sights you wanna see and food you just gotta taste. Saving on a romantic staycation now can mean a real vacation in the future.
More Staycation Tips
If you want to save some money and a romantic staycation sounds more up your alley this year, here are a few additional tips to keep in mind.
Set a Date
Just like any vacation, you have to book it and set it in stone or it will never happen! From the start to the end date, schedule a long weekend or entire week to have your romantic staycation. Once you’re finished with work, kick off your staycation and celebrate by popping a bottle of cheap champagne or slipping into a sexy lace bra, just like you would receive if you showed up at some fancy resort.
Having a dedicated start and end date also draws a line in the proverbial sand. It creates a more distinct feeling of being on vacation, rather than just being at home as usual. Even plan each day’s activities if it makes the week feel more official.
Follow a Budget
Since you are taking a romantic staycation primarily to cut back on spending, make sure to follow a budget. Even a week at home can send a budget out of control if you indulge in restaurant meals and local activities every single day. Talk to each other and determine a budget that allows you to enjoy your staycation, but keep an eye on finances, too. That way, you can save for your next official trip!