With busy work schedules and budget restrictions, setting aside time to plan a much-needed couple’s vacation can be a bit of a challenge. A staycation—a portmanteau of stay (at home) and vacation—is a great way to set aside time to reconnect and do fun, relaxing things as a couple without the stress and expense of planning a trip abroad or out-of-state. Not being able to afford a pricey hotel or stay at a resort or exotic locale doesn’t mean you and your partner can’t find time to spend a relaxing and romantic few days away from the rat race and banalities of everyday life and work obligations, and turn your home into an idyllic haven or explore your hometown or city to check out cultural attractions, go to the movies, or make reservations at the new restaurant you’ve been dying to try. Staycation as a couple should be an opportune time to pick an activity, spend time together, and create a new tradition together.
Here are seven staycation ideas for couples looking to spend quality time together on a budget and with minimal anxiety.
Plan a local tour. Connecticut is a small state, but is home to a plethora of cultural and historical attractions. Consider heading to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and find out what featured exhibits are on display or check out their website to find out what film, social gathering, or gallery talk is listed under their calendar of events, or which day they have free admission and special themed tours. Even better, visit one of Connecticut’s smaller museums and historical homes like the Mark Twain House, Connecticut Historical Society, or Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford; or the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme and Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT for seasonal programming and customized tours and reenactments. There are so many museums and historical sites to explore!
Wine Tour! There’s no better way to kick off a couple’s staycation together than spending a leisurely day taking a wine tour; especially along the Connecticut Wine Trail. Connecticut has a collection of twenty-four vineyards statewide, and they all have tasting rooms that encourage visitors to sample their collection of portfolio wines. The best part of taking the Connecticut Wine Trail is that no reservations are required to taste the wines. Visit ctwine.com and find out what each winery’s schedule and list of events are, and make it a date!
Take a Winemaking Class. Can’t get on the Connecticut Wine Trail? Try a winemaking class. If you’re a couple that loves wine and are looking for another fun alternative to visiting a winery, try signing-up to make your own wine (or beer) to add to your collection at home. Brew & Wine Hobby in East Hartford is a great place to start.
Eat, Pray, Love. You may not be able take a couple’s trip abroad right now and eat dinner amid an alluring backdrop, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience exotic cuisine. Find out what some of the best local Korean, Indian, Mediterranean, Italian, or Japanese restaurants are in your city or town, and make a reservation for two! In fact, make a weekend of trying new places to sate your gastronomic curiosity.
Schedule a Cooking Class. What better way is there to spend intimate quality time than by cooking a meal together? Don’t want to be saddled with doing the dishes? Take a private cooking class and create a fun memory. If you’re in the Connecticut area, look online and find out how to sign up for a couple’s class at The Fig Cooking School in New Haven or at Consiglio’s restaurant, also in New Haven.
Netflix and Chill. Remember, a couple’s staycation is meant to be a relaxing, cost-effective, and low-key alternative to a holiday away, so don’t stress yourselves out and feel obligated to plan an intense lineup of activities. It’s okay to simply chill at home. Order in takeout, get your favorite snacks and wine, and stay in and cuddle on the sofa while you stream that Netflix or Hulu Original you’ve been meaning to watch, or make a marathon of binge-watching that series you’ve both been anxious to check out together.
Spa Day, anyone? Turn your home into a relaxing retreat for two. Draw the blinds, light some scented candles, and gather those titillating oils and your favorite Lush bath and body products, and luxuriate in the tub together with your favorite bottle of champagne or sparkling wine. Who knows where and what else it will lead to? The possibilities are endless.
Try these fun staycation ideas as a couple and tailor them to meet your needs. Just remember to set aside quality time to reconnect with one another, and that you don’t have to spend a fortune or go away to another continent just to enjoy one another’s company and indulge in a little mutual self-care.
Tiffani Jones is the creator and writer of Coffee Rhetoric, a blog about women, pop-culture, film and race. A frequent contributor to both print and digital media platforms, she is the Digital Content Editor for Northend Agent’s and has offered commentary on HuffPost Live, in the NY Times, and on WNPR. More info about her work can be found on www.coffeerhetoric.com. Follow her on Twitter: @Coffey0072