When most people think about a vacation, they think about traveling out of state or to another country. They think about trips that will take days or weeks, and will involve sleeping somewhere else, eating somewhere else, and seeing sights somewhere else.

It is easy to think that a vacation is for going somewhere that is far away from home, but that does not always have to be the case.

These days, you have the option of having a vacation that’s not so far away from home. You can spend an entire day in your hometown, but only doing the things you like in order to make that day feel like you were on vacation the entire time.

Here are a few ideas that you can use to enjoy a full day off from work without crossing state lines.

Spend time at a fancy restaurant

It’s been hard to eat at restaurants these days, but in many states, they’re still open, but at a lower capacity. That does mean they’re still open though, and many of them have outdoor dining options. It’s great if you live in a place that’s warmer in the winter, although you can try this in the spring when it starts warming up again.

Spend lunch or even dinner just enjoying a nice restaurant that you rarely go to. You can enjoy food from the Caribbean, Paris, or even just by the ocean. It’s a nice treat and not something you normally get to do, so pamper yourself just like you would if you were actually on vacation.

Visit a local museum

You can visit a local museum when you're taking a vacation day at home.Do you have a museum of some sort where you live? Very often, locals will skip museums, which rely on out of town visitors for a lot of their traffic. You could spend a few hours in a local museum and see it through the eyes of a visitor, pretending you’re seeing things for the first time.

Or even if you’ve been before, take a friend or family member who has never gone, and act as a local tour guide, showing them the best exhibits and items. Find some unusual pieces and see if you can learn more about what makes them unique.

Vacation at home: Take a walking tour of your city

If you’ve lived in your city for a while, you might think you know a lot about it. But depending on where you live, there may be walking tours of your hometown that you can take. Whether it’s a historic tour or even a Halloween ghost tour, there are people who can tell you things about your city that you probably didn’t know.

If you’re from a smaller town, visit your local history museum. Nearly every city or county has one, and those people are filled with interesting facts about the place you call home. And if you’ve got kids, you can make them suffer through this make it an educational trip to enhance their education.

Get the tent and go camping

When people go camping, they call it “going camping,” rather than “vacationing in the woods.” However, camping is still a vacation away from home, and it’s a great option for leisure. You’re away from home, focusing on nature and the very moment you’re in, not what you should be doing. Even a day off is normally spent cleaning, doing laundry, and running errands. With camping, you’re not doing any of that, so you can focus on the things that are in front of you.

Chances are, there’s a campsite near you, even if it’s just a simple KOA campground or state park. (See below.) You can go even with friends so you can spend time away from all the trappings of civilization and really get to know each other.

Stay overnight at a state park

If you don’t mind being in nature, but you maybe don’t want to spend the night sleeping on the ground, a lot of state parks have cabins you can rent. Some of them are even air-conditioned and heated, so you can enjoy a comfortable night no matter what time of year you’re there.

Carry in some of your food, because they often have kitchens, go hiking, and then just come back and sit in front of the fire (or the AC vent), and relax.

Vacation at a local hotel

Staying at a decent hotel can make you feel like you’re hundreds of miles from home. With continental breakfasts, swimming pools, spas, and elegant restaurants being available at some of these, taking one night at a hotel can be the vacation you need, and it is a short drive from where you live.

Check-in early, take your tourist-in-your-hometown visit to the museum, eat dinner at your fancy restaurant, and then come back and spend the night at your home-close-to-home. When you get up in the morning, enjoy breakfast, and then head back home (or to work), refreshed from a day away from your regular routine.

Do you take local vacations? How do you make a single day off seem like a vacation day? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.

Photo credit: KaiPilger (Pixabay, Creative Commons 0)