Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Staycation: Pros and cons

To staycation or not to staycation. Hmm ...

Well, since I've written a book on staycations, my position is obvious. But I want to take traditional vacations, too. It's just that when conditions are better for a staycation, I don't mind getting creative in my hometown.

But a staycation is not for everyone. A brief look at some pros and cons:

A staycation allows a family to save money while spending more quality time together and help a local economy. It's also more environmentally friendly than a traditional vacation, although I admit that I'm not eco-conscious enough to say that I choose to staycation to "go green." I've been known to waste gas to drive to the supermarket for the sole purpose of purchasing cookies.

But back to upside:

Avoiding the hassle of travel is another big benefit. You’ll be in control of the itinerary instead of an airline that is rarely on time. You won’t worry about what luggage you need to check and whether it will make it to your destination with you. There will be no waiting in lines at the airport, no questions such as “have you had control of your bag since you packed it?” and no chance you’ll be randomly selected for a baggage inspection or body search.

We’ve all heard someone say, “I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.” The hassle of travel is the reason.


A staycation is certainly not as glamorous as a traditional trip. It can't match the excitement, although some creativity can add to a staycation's sizzle. Another potential downside is that people can be tempted to check their work e-mails and phone messages or lose their vacation time in a sea of chores and everyday errands.

Threre’s definitely a danger of that with a staycation. That’s why it’s so important to treat the staycation as much like a traditional vacation as possible. It’s a good idea to give the staycation a start and end date and devote as much of the time in between to relaxing, having fun and breaking out of a rut.

For any vacation, staycation or traditional, you have to unplug. Unplug from work, from your chores, from the daily compulsion to get things done.

*** "The Great American Staycation: How to Make a Vacation at Home Fun for the Whole Family (and Your Wallet!)" is now available. You can find it in stores or online.

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