There is no worse feeling than being on the brink of a long weekend with absolutely no plans. As friends pack up for fun sun-splashed destinations, you find yourself scrolling through Instagram, anticipating the overwhelming wave of #fomo that's about to take place. But what if staying local for Memorial Day was actually the best decision ever? What if you could turn it around and have the best weekend (and flaunt it on the 'gram) while others miserably sat in long weekend traffic and lined up to snatch a few coveted inches of sand on a crowded beach somewhere?
To answer this pressing question, we turned to the people who clearly have a natural talent for staycationing: bloggers. While our friends might be posting poorly lit homecooked meals and photos of their cat-napping on the couch, the Instagram famous always seem busy with jetting off to faraway places, trying out the best new restaurants, or brushing shoulders with celebrities. Even when they're staying local, they have a knack for finding the right local spots to perch for a cocktail or know how to prepare a mean beach picnic. Find out how seven bloggers are making the best of their Memorial Day weekend without ever leaving their zip code—you'll be glad you stayed put.
If you already live by the beach…
"This Memorial Day weekend, I'm planning on going to Malibu with friends, relax by the beach, watch the sunset, and have dinner and drinks," says L.A.-based Pam Hetlinger of The Girl From Panama. "I always carry my camera around. If I'm going to play tourist for a day in my own city I mind as well document everything and take as many photos as I can."
In case of rain: "I'm obsessed with Netflix. I love binge-watching comedy shows like Friends and Modern Family. Both shows are super funny and really entertaining. Perfect to watch during a chill wine night!"
If you're in the mood for pampering…
"I would indulge in a luxury hotel like the Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, or the Ritz, to catch up on sleep, Netflix, and order room service wearing a comfy robe," says D.C.-based Sara Azani of Style MBA. "I would indulge in a face mask and take an Epsom salt bath—it's a great technique to relax and set in so you can get into a staycation mindset. At night, I would enjoy a meal with friends at a local restaurant like Masseria, Lupo Verde, or Red Hen.
"During the day, I would go for a drive with my husband to explore a new café or town we haven't visited (great playlists are essential for this activity). I would also spend Sunday at the farmers market, where I like to load up on fresh eggs and local sweets and enjoy brunch with the Sunday New York Times. Union Market and Dupont Farmers Market are my favorites."
In case of rain: "I just finished Big Little Lies, which was brilliant with standout performances by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. I also really enjoyed 13 Reasons Why, which really sucked you in with the first episode and just kept getting better."
If you just want to be outside…
"First and foremost, I would start my day with a good sun hat," says Santa Barbara–based Samantha Wennertrom of Could I Have That. "Whether I'm walking to my favorite local coffee spot or catching some z's in my backyard, this one always comes in handy. During the day, I would go hiking Cold Springs Trail and have a picnic at the Santa Barbara Rose Gardens. In the afternoon, I would have ice cream at Rori's and finish the day with barbecue and beer at The Mill and a beach bonfire."
In case of rain: "I would watch The Americans—it just gets better with every episode. Plus, there are plenty of seasons to plow through."
If you're playing tourist in your own city…
"I love exploring places in NYC that I've never been to," says New York–based Lisa DiCicco-Cahue of Mind Body Swag, "so I would pack fashion sneakers for lots of walking, sunglasses since I would be spending the entire day outdoors, and a camera to capture all the memories. I love exploring new cafés, eating outside to people-watch, or going to outdoor concerts and rooftop parties with friends."
In case of rain: "My favorite TV show is This is Us, so I would binge-watch it because it reminds me of what a holiday weekend should be: spending time with friends and family."
If you're throwing an impromptu party…
The perfect Memorial Day weekend starts with the right essentials, according to Rhode Island–based Jess Kirby: "Ingredients to make margaritas because you never know who might pop over, a wireless speaker for impromptu dance parties, and a comfy T-shirt dress for hanging in the backyard. When the weather is nice, I love to go to the beach during the day, grab drinks and dinner (margs and tacos) at Perro Salado, and then walk down to the water for a sunset harbor cruise."
In case of rain: "Since the new season is coming out, I can't wait for House of Cards."
If your friends are around…
For L.A.-based Rachel Nguyen of That's Chic, the perfect long weekend essentials start with "a good bottle of wine to unwind of course; a great companion because relaxing is always better when you can enjoy it with someone you adore; a Turkish cotton blanket as the foundation of all your activities."
"There is so much sun and so many backyards to explore," she says. "Find a friend with an outdoor space or even a nice park and make it cozy! Bring blankets, pillows, food, outdoor games, plastic cups, and music—it's destined to be a great time no matter what part of the city you're in."
In case of rain: "The only two series I've ever finished are Breaking Bad and The O.C.. Breaking Bad is so brilliantly witty and well written that it's hard to stop at one episode, and The O.C. is perfect mindless drama. For a good laugh, I've been tuning into The Office every night to turn my mind off."
If you're hanging with the fam…
"Our perfect staycation is undoubtedly a beach weekend," says L.A.-based Shalice Noel. "If it's possible, there is almost too much to do in and around L.A. But a few of our favorites are hiking Runyon Canyon, the beach and ice cream in Manhattan Beach, or trying new coffee shops in the Arts District. We've only been here a year, so every weekend still feels like vacation—at least until we get back home to the laundry.
"My essentials would be coconut oil to cover my skin in the sun, Chloé aviators to hide the fact that I skipped the mascara, a straw hat to ward off wrinkles, açai berries for snacking, dry shampoo to extend my recent blowout, and a waiter with fresh guacamole in his hand."
In case of rain: "I'm old-school. My husband and I will binge-watch Friends back to back. Phoebe still makes me laugh out loud. But more recently I've been loving Shark Tank and old episodes of Project Runway.
Next up: the six best Memorial Day getaways that require zero time off.