Staycation Ideas for the Savvy Cyclist

Riding your bike makes everything better. This post will share ideas for a bicycle-friendly staycation.

First things first: What is a staycation?

A staycation is a portmanteau of the words “stay” and “vacation” (and who doesn’t like an excuse to say “portmanteau”?). The staycation’s popularity in the U.S. grew during the recession, but it remains a great way to escape the daily grind without spending all your hard-earned dough. Ideally, a staycation allows you to find rest and relaxation while also gaining new perspective on the place you live. Read on for some fail-proof staycation ideas, whether you roll frugal or fancy.

What to do on a staycation

The possibilities of what to do on a staycation are probably endless. Everyone has their own ideas about what makes the ideal vacation, and the options will depend on where you live. Planning the perfect staycation for you might require some soul searching and research, but here are a few of my favorite staycation ideas to help get you started.

A Girl’s Gotta Eat

You know all those new restaurants you keep hearing about and biking past but haven’t had a chance to visit? Now’s the time! Since you aren’t spending money on air fare or a hotel, you can splurge on morning coffee. And lunch. And dinner. And drinks… OK, you get the idea.

If you like to cook, roll on over to the farmers market, pick up the freshest seasonal produce and cook up a storm! When you’re short on time, cooking can feel like a chore. But when you have the time to slow down and take your time, it’s about 100 times more enjoyable. And do you ever notice that food just tastes better when you’re on vacation? Start a Pinterest board with ambitious recipes that you want to try, but don’t usually have time for. Call it “Staycation Ideas” and it will be waiting for you when you finally get around to taking time off from work.


If cost isn’t an issue and you’re feeling fancy, stay in a hotel! Have someone else make the bed for you, and do your Netflix binge watching in one of those comfy robes. Make sure wherever you decide to stay has a safe place to park your bike - and that won’t charge you for valet.

Museums + Movies

Museums are usually free and air-conditioned: two things that make them a perfect staycation destination. Throw on a cute dress (see this post picking a good bike dress and this one for some great  tips on biking in a dress ), grab your most sophisticated friend and get lost in an impressionist painting or 20. Movie theaters are another sure bet for finding AC in the summertime. What’s the trick to a no-guilt movie marathon? Ride your bike there!


Are there parks where you live? How often do you visit them? One of the easiest staycation ideas to implement is just to visit a park! Step one: Pack your bag (I like to use my Po Campo Bergen Pannier) with a blanket, a good book, and a picnic lunch. Step two: Ride to your favorite park. While your friends are at work, you can enjoy iced tea and cucumber sandwiches (or whatever foods help you escape the day-to-day) under a stately oak tree or near a butterfly garden.

Many parks also have free programming in the summer, like live music or movie screenings. Organize a group ride over to watch a movie in the park. All you really need is a big blanket and some snacks. Don’t forget to bring your bike lights - it might be dark when you head home!

Life’s a Beach

Going to the beach feels like vacation no matter where you are, especially when you ride your bike there. Need I say more?

Bike Camping

Does going on a camping trip still count as a staycation? Definitely! Load up your bike trailer with your tent and sleeping bag and hit the trail. Find a nearby State or National Park with a bike-in campsite and spend a night sleeping under the stars.

Ride your bike

Here’s a crazy idea: Just go on a bike ride. Whether you ride alone or with others, it can be a great way to relax and unwind. Take a spin around town. If everyone else is at work, you might even have the trails to yourself!

About Sage

Sage is a year-round bicycle commuter. She lives in Minneapolis.

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