7 Ideas For Fall Staycations That You & Your Wallet Will Love A (Pumpkin Spice) Latte

Let's talk about autumn. For some of us, fall is the best time of year. It means taking rides on Ferris wheels and long weekends spent in the mountains with your besties. You know that the second the leaves change color, you can break out your boots and blanket scarves. (It's been a while since you got to wear this part of your wardrobe!) Naturally, you want to soak up every part of the season (aka, take an entire week just to eat apple pies and go to pumpkin patches). If this sounds familiar, then I've gathered up some ideas for fall staycations that you and your wallet will love a (pumpkin spice) latte.

Let's be honest: You love traveling, but it's not always the best thing for your bank account. Some seasons are meant for hopping on planes and seeing the world, and others are there for saving money and staying at home. That's OK, too. And you don't miss out on any of the adventure or wanderlust, because you create it for yourself right in your backyard.

You find a way to escape the ordinary every single day by trying the new seasonal drink at the coffee shop, or taking the scenic route to work. I mean, when the fall foliage is looking this bright and beautiful, you have to choose the backroads, right? But, if you're running out of ideas for a sweet fall staycation, don't fret. These seven ideas are everything you and your wallet have been looking for.

1Go On A Cider Donut Tour

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Self-guided and sweet — that's what a cider donut tour is all about. This time of the year, you want to check out every single orchard and farm stand. You drive by your favorite local spots all the time, and contemplate stopping for a treat or maybe a few more pumpkins. On your fall staycation, you can finally pull the car over and fill those seasonal cravings.

Here's the scoop: Gather up all your friends and pile into one car. Grab a map and mark the best spots for apple cider donuts, and then hit the road. At every spot, get one donut to eat and one to take home for later. Keep going until you're full, or run out of places in the area.

2Throw A #SweaterWeather Party

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'Tis the season for sweaters, and more importantly, the — dare I say, iconic — hashtag #sweaterweather. Yes, you're going to be seeing that phrase all over your social media feed, and it's time that you embrace it for the perfect staycation.

Up until now, you've been hosting ugly Christmas sweater parties and rocking those knit vests with sparkly snowmen. You haven't considered the party possibilities that come with fall.

Invite all of your friends over for an afternoon or night of being cozy AF. Pull out your favorite oversized sweater, and line the tables with candy apples and cider donuts. Watch your favorite Halloween movies, or bake something sweet. (Just don't forget to put my invite in the mail, too, OK?)

3Find A Hiking Trail With Lots Of Fall Foliage

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One of my favorite things to do in the fall is go hiking. The world turns vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow, and you can't help but stare in awe. Even the trees in your backyard go from mediocre to a wonder of the world. Let's be honest: Would you really want to hop on a plane and go elsewhere during a time like this?

Trade those airline tickets for the trails. Find a local spot with lots of foliage, and peep at all the leaves. Don't forget to wear a jacket, considering the weather is getting a bit colder, and treat yourself to a cup of hot apple cider when you touch the top.

4Go Camping In Your Backyard

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Who needs to dish out cash on a cabin when you can go camping right in your backyard? That's right. You can get just as snuggled up in your sleeping bag, without all the hassle of planning a trip and trekking around the s'mores supplies.

Just grab your tent and pitch it in the patch of grass outside your door. Maybe buy and fire pit and a few flashlights, so that you can stay up late and tell scary stories while staying warm, too. (After all, it is the spookiest season of the year!) When all is said and done, it'll feel like you had a little weekender, despite not going very far.

5Make Homemade Soup

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Something's cookin' this season, and it's not just the apple pies in the oven. Sure, you're getting wafts of mashed potatoes and desserts sprinkled with cinnamon everywhere you go. (Can these scents just stay in the air forever?) But, possibly the best meals you'll end up having are the ones you make yourself.

There's something to be said for home-cooking, and this staycation, you're going to want to pull out a pot and make some soup. Maybe you'll go for the classic chicken noodle recipe, or a spoonful of butternut squash. Don't forget to wear that sweater for the coziest experience of all time.

6Go On A Fall-Themed Scavenger Hunt

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Growing up, I spent most of my summers at camp. We'd go swimming in the lake, and do arts and crafts in the afternoon. Occasionally, the counselors would send us out on a scavenger hunt. Score!

Being an adult, this activity is even better and ideal for your latest staycation. Simply put together a list of a bunch of fall-themed things: eating cotton candy, riding a Ferris wheel, buying a sweater, carving a pumpkin, trying a seasonal beer (if you're 21 or over, of course). Then, pick up some disposable cameras, split your friend group into teams, and go! Just like that, you're checking a bunch of things off your seasonal bucket list and having loads of fun.

7Relax And Do Nothing

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When was the last time you hit pause? Odds are, you can't think of the last time that you just relaxed and did nothing. As great as exploring and having experiences can be, fall is the perfect time to let the year sink in.

Reflect on where you've been and where you're going, and leave all your worries behind. Maybe in this time, you'll realize things that you want to do in the next few months, or trips you want to start planning for next year.

It's important to disconnect like this, and let your mind wander. Soon enough, these staycations will be turning into tropical vacations. So, soak in the moments when you're not rushing through terminals and can quietly sip on that Pumpkin Spice Latte, OK?