Even though gas prices have come down a little bit since Spring, traveling far away for a vacation is still a bit expensive. Staying at home for vacation time is a great way to avoid over-spending, but really, how fun is it to just sit around in your own house for a week or two? While it is relaxing to sit around in your jammies all day for a few days, after a while, you kind of start to stagnate (especially if you take a vacation from showering!).

While I usually try to make all of my posts revolve around family activities, I thought it would be more fun to include tips for couples this time. After all, there are tons of sites out there that give you inexpensive or free ideas for things to do with kids. I actually did a post on free summer activities for kids myself already.  So this post is for those of you who don’t have children, or can ship them off to a family members house for a few days to catch some alone time with your significant others.

Ten Staycation Tips for Couples

1. Unplug yourselves! The first thing you need to do to enjoy your vacation together is unplug the phone, close the laptop, and set your email messages to respond with something like “Sorry, I’m on vacation! I’ll write you when I get back! Until then, leave me alone!” Okay, so if you’re a professional, you’ll need to reword it a bit, but that should be the gist.

2. Have a grown-up movie marathon. No, I’m not suggesting those types of movies, get your minds out of the gutter! Well, unless that’s your thing, then go for it. Otherwise, I’m talking about the horror flicks you skipped because you’re afraid your child will come down the stairs, see blood dripping down the walls, and move into your bed until they turn 18; or anything else you typically wouldn’t want to watch with your kids in the house or your finger permanently hovering over the “pause” button. While you’re at it, eat some grown-up movie snacks too! Or hey, go for the buttered popcorn, at least you don’t have to share with anyone other than your significant other!

3. Act like a tourist. Whether you live in a tourist trap like the Poconos or a small town miles off the beaten path, chances are there is something in your area that you’ve never experienced. I think when we live somewhere for so long, we kind of forget about the places that draw others into our region. Head to the Chamber of Commerce or check out tour guide sites for your area and discover something new close to home.

4.  Fight With Each Other. Not for real, of course! I’m talking about water balloon fights, paintball, or other fun and messy competitive games.  Acting like a kid can help make you feel like one again. Plus, the cleanup part can be fun too!

5. Have a Fondue Party! I just got a fondue pot, and I’m dying to have a fondue party myself. So many things to melt in the little pot! Cheese, chocolate, more cheese, more chocolate. Gather up a few friends and make it a fondue and wine night.

6. Go Camping in Your Own Backyard. Sure, you can do this with the kids, but sometimes it’s fun to get back to nature with just the two of you. Plus, if you do it in your own yard, high-quality bathroom facilities are just a few feet away! Hey, that’s important!

7. Order out, or hire a chef. Part of the fun of being on vacation is not having to cook for yourself. Order takeout from a good restaurant at least a few times during your staycation. If you can swing it, try hiring a personal chef for the night. You don’t have to go with a top chef, even the teenager down the street with dreams of opening her own bistro one day will suffice.

8. Get someone else to clean. The other fun part of being on vacation is not having to clean the room. Hire a maid service one day while you’re following the “be a tourist” tip and come home to a clean house.

9. Shop locally. Skip the big box stores and spend the day browsing or shopping the local stores in your area. Go antiquing, check out the Farmer’s Markets, and explore shops that you never knew existed. Shopping locally is good for your communities economy and the environment.

10. Do Nothing. Take one day to just lay in bed (or on your back deck, couch, or anywhere else) and do as close to nothing as possible. Chat a bit about nothing serious, read a book together, or just lay in the sun (with sunscreen on, of course!) for the afternoon. Sometimes doing nothing is the best part of the vacation.

If you’re looking for great deals on things to do in your area, check out this post by philZENdia with a list of Cheap and Low Cost Staycation Ideas for 2012.