What to pack for a staycation? Sometimes, that can be even more confusing than packing for an actual holiday. Since I love staycations, and one of my current gigs is giving me a real insight into the art of staycations, I’ve decided to put together this staycation packing list, together with some tips on where to have the best staycation in Milan!
Up until two months ago, if you had asked me what I thought of staycations, I would have screamed ‘not for me’. After all, before we became digital nomads we used every chance to get away from our home city, and after we started travelling full time, being home was the closest we ever get to a holiday.
What do you Mean by ‘Staycation’?
Before I jump into discussing how and why I became a staycation expert, let’s discuss for a minute what I mean by staycation. I’m sure you’d be aware that the term itself is a blend of the words ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’. Some define ‘staycations’ as holidays spent in one’s own country, whereas others by ‘staycation’ mean when you have time off work, but decide to stay at home (to do some renovation, long-forgotten house work, or just chill).
Personally, I disagree with the first definition. I’m from Italy – if I spend two weeks in Sicily or travelling across Europe by train, why would the first be less of a holiday than the second? However, if I decide to stay at home during my annual holidays, why on earth would I need a staycation packing list?
What I am going to refer to as ‘staycation’ within this article is a short break spent in one’s home city, staying somewhere else than at home – in a luxury, boutique, design hotel, or even in a hostel or holiday apartment, or at a friend’s place.
Staycations allow you to experience your home city from a different point of view, getting to know new areas and neighbourhoods. Depending on where you decide to spend your staycation, you may choose a hotel with a spa or a very nice restaurant, or a place that it walking distance from a theatre or cinema, for example. Ultimately, I think relax and indulgence are the main reasons to go on a staycation.
About two months ago, I started writing hotel reviews for the Telegraph, the famous British newspaper. Mostly, I write reviews of Milan hotels, my home town and the place where we stay in between trips (usually about two-three months every year). That means that every week I am in Milan, I spend between two and five nights staying in hotels around the city, usually for one night at a time. Now, if this doesn’t make me a staycation expert, I don’t know who else would be one!
My Favourite Bag for a Staycation
We always travel light, whether we go on a long-distance hike or just regular trips. I hate wheeled bags and only ever take hand-luggage size backpacks, even when we are off for months at a time – check out my popular carry on packing list for lazy girls to get an idea of our travel style.
I have a selection of backpacks of all shapes and sizes, usually scratched and ruined after being thrown around. However, my battered backpacks are not really suitable for the luxury properties that I often stay at.
Since the point of a staycation is staying somewhere nice, I recommend choosing nice-looking bags, too. I am in love with Trendhim leather accessories – they are unisex and made with great quality leather, and they are really convenient with lots of pockets and compartments to store your laptop and other travel essentials.
We have two bags from Trendhim – a backpack and a shoulder bag, and they are always my go-to choice when it comes to packing for my staycations. The shoulder bag is perfect for a one-night stay, whereas the backpack is ideal for two or three nights, or if I take more than one outfit with me.
What to Pack for a Staycation – My Essentials
My staycation packing list is essentially an overnight packing list – which can be used not just for staycations, but for any kind of getaways where you spend one or two nights away from home.
I usually wear a smart but casual outfit, and take another with me if I am going for dinner at a fancy hotel restaurant or somewhere nearby.
Here’s an example of what I might pack for an autumn/winter staycation:
- [easyazon_link identifier=”B01B7MZNJW” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]Parka coat[/easyazon_link]
- [easyazon_link identifier=”B074W9JYM8″ locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]Cashmere sweater[/easyazon_link]
- [easyazon_link identifier=”B00FKDDWC0″ locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]Cotton shirt[/easyazon_link]
- [easyazon_link identifier=”B00S9R0BNW” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]Jeans[/easyazon_link] or [easyazon_link identifier=”B0776Z1NKL” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]tailored black trousers[/easyazon_link]
- [easyazon_link identifier=”B00MQGG8VG” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]Ankle boots[/easyazon_link]
- Or even a great pair of flats – check this post for a great selection of flats for women!
For a summer staycation, I would be packing:
- [easyazon_link identifier=”B01EMOX14Q” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]Summer top[/easyazon_link] or t-shirt
- [easyazon_link identifier=”B00MUSXFXY” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]Harem trousers[/easyazon_link] (I am addicted to those)
- [easyazon_link identifier=”B00F6EF7M6″ locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]Flat Sandals[/easyazon_link]
- or a [easyazon_link identifier=”B076GXKHJ8″ locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]multipurpose summer dress[/easyazon_link]
It’s easy to customise both these outfits for the evening, adding a [easyazon_link identifier=”B071DHJCV9″ locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]nice pair of heels[/easyazon_link] for the evening, or swapping the top or t-shirt for an [easyazon_link identifier=”B01HTB16Q4″ locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]embroidered shirt[/easyazon_link] in summer and the men’s shirt for a nice top in winter.
Besides clothes, since the point of my staycations is enjoying hotels and their amenities, I also take with me the following items:
- [easyazon_link identifier=”B01NBREX6U” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]One-piece swimsuit[/easyazon_link] (to enjoy the hotel pool and spa area)
- [easyazon_link identifier=”B014VYD7NW” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]Sleeping mask[/easyazon_link]
- A [easyazon_link identifier=”B0174YMN7W” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]face mask[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link identifier=”B01K8PEZMU” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]body scrub[/easyazon_link]
- A [easyazon_link identifier=”B01LW03N3Q” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]comfy pyjama[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link identifier=”B01LNPJ6R8″ locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]slippers[/easyazon_link] to wear in the room
- Good quality [easyazon_link identifier=”B00BIWYVVS” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]eco-friendly shampoo[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”B00BIWZ6PI” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]body wash[/easyazon_link]and [easyazon_link identifier=”B00BIWZ2GQ” locale=”US” tag=”thecrowdedpla-20″]conditioner[/easyazon_link], because I don’t really trust the quality of toiletries provided in hotels and HATE those little plastic bottles (so wasteful!) – we love Lush and Live Clean products!
- A VPN subscription on my phone to use the hotel’s Wi-Fi without fear of hacking is also useful and something I always try to have up to date these days
Best Hotels for a Milan Staycation
I am going to be updating this list regularly as I visit more properties. Here’s a list of my favourite hotels for a staycation in Milan – all personally tried and tested!
- Westin Palace Milan – a classic luxury property with a delicious Milanese restaurant, PanEvo
- Starhotel E.c.ho – eco-friendly hotel near Stazione Centrale, with an ‘urban garden’ feel
- Babila Hostel – recently opened design hostel with private rooms and live concerts
- The Square – modern luxury around the corner from Duomo with a creative rooftop restaurant
- Enterprise Hotel – ideal for a spa-cation, with a Japanese spa and location near Parco Sempione
Are you staycationing elsewhere? Check these articles!
Some of the products mentioned in this article were sent to me as samples. This article contains affiliate links.