Our Tips for a Great Staycation

We live in Los Angeles – a destination city! This city is filled with fun adventures and excursions, but our daily lives get in the way of getting to experience all the city has to offer. Ashley and I both love traveling and exploring, however, there are factors that don’t allow for that to happen as frequently as we’d like. So, we try to have staycations. Wherever you live, a staycation is possible. It takes some planning and setting boundaries, because remember you are not working!


However, even if you are in your own city, you have to prepare for food allergies. We are going to show you our favorite places in Los Angeles, but also give you tips on how to prepare for a staycation where you live.
What tips do you have for a day around LA (applies to any city)?

Elizabeth + Ashley’s Staycation Tips:

  1. E: Allow yourself to go with the flow of the day. I like having an initial plan, but if that changes, then it changes. Since I like finding new areas to explore, I see what the new area has to offer, like farmer’s markets, shopping, outdoor music, etc.
  2. E: I make sure I have a music playlist for the day set and that my e-mail is set to vacation mode!
  3. A: Plan for traffic. Seriously. Sometimes when I am in vacation mode I forget about the details I would normally remember, traffic being one of them.
  4. A:  Also, open yourself to the experience of being on vacation! This is a chance to look at your city with new eyes and new appreciation. Who knows what new gem you might discover that will become a normal-life favorite?

How Do You Find New Things in Your City:

  1. Social Media! Most towns (no matter the size) have a facebook page that gives suggestions for what to do in the city.
    1. See what your Instagram friends do around your town and take a cue from them.
  2. Local Newspaper
  3. Thrillist and other similar websites and apps for large cities

What-to-pack-for-staycationHow to pack for your Staycation:

    • Snacks that are safe for food allergies
    • Water
    • Swimsuit and Pool accessories (a large-brimmed hat)
    • Hiking Clothes
    • A Jacket
    • Headphones
    • Change of shoes
    • Phone
    • Book/journal/magazine

Cooking vs. Eating at a Restaurant on a Staycation (E’s tips for enjoying your day without having an allergic reaction

The greatest thing about a staycation, is that you probably already know the restaurants that will meet your food allergies, and you are close to home. For some, cooking is not a vacation and is exhausting.

Here are my tips for you if you are going to eat at a restaurant on your staycation:

  • Spend some time researching online and calling the restaurant.
    • Ask about cross-contamination, seasonings, sauces, and other hidden ingredients
    • Let them know why you are calling and asking so many questions
      • DO NOT be shy about asking. This is your staycation…you should enjoy it.
  • No Matter what — make sure that you have an EpiPen (if you can have it) and snacks that are safe for your food allergy.

For Cooking at home on your staycation:

  • Grocery shop a few days before
  • Meal Plan for the whole day of your staycation
  • Try out a new recipe that you’ve been wanting to try
  • Pack snacks that are safe for you and your food allergies


A + E’s favorite staycation activities

E: A few years ago, my husband and I discovered the secret staircases in Los Angeles. I think I’ve written about them before, but either way, there are staircases hidden all over the city. After our first “hike” we bought a book about the history of the staircases and the neighborhood they are in. I forget that I live close to the beach, so when I take a day off, I like to go. That feels like a real vacation to me.

A: Sleeping in and eating at a new place are some of my favorite staycation activities. I also like exploring a new LA neighborhood. There are so many great things to do everywhere!

No matter what city you live, there are things to do and find. I grew up in a small town and always find new things to do when I go back. Ask around to get some new ideas…it could be apple picking, going swimming in a water tank, or going into a grocery store you have never been to. The Summer is halfway over. Take a day off and just allow yourself to relax and be rejuvenated in your city.

What do you do for a staycation? What tips would you give?


Last Week on Airtalk, they discuss the top 7 places for a Staycation in SoCal. If you live in SoCal, check it out here for ideas.

By | 2015-08-04T21:59:17-08:00 July 24th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Food Education, Recipes|Tags: , |2 Comments

About the Author:

At Mary Lee Kitchen, we believe that what we eat matters. Each of us has the right to know what is in our food. Over the years the food industry has negatively impacted our health and well being. This has caused the rise of food allergies, food sensitivities, rise in child obesity- which are just a few of the harmful side effects of the food manufactures created. It is time for us to implement change. I am a food artisan that creates allergy free products that are made in a sustainable way. Through my own experience with rare food allergies, I have learned how to cook in a way that is inclusive for all diets. Through food education, recipes, and products I support the gathering of all people around the kitchen table.


  1. Mary July 25, 2015 at 11:12 am - Reply

    I am terrible at doing this myself, but turning my phone OFF. no pictures, no texts, no nothing. just enjoying the world around me. Especially on hikes and at the beach. I am guilty of posting one on instagram every time, but how many pictures of the ocean can one person take? I (sometimes) leave my phone in the car or just turn it completely off and enjoy the sounds, smells, and sights around me.

    • maryleekitchen July 28, 2015 at 8:45 am - Reply

      Mary, leaving my phone in the car (or at home) has become essential for me to really enjoy my surroundings. Great reminder!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.