The economic down-times experienced across the globe have given rise to a plethora of new words. From recessionistas, who take their fashionista sensibilities with a lowered price, to staycations, which is when you take a vacation while staying local. For some, the idea of a staycation may initially seem to ruin the idea of what a vacation is. Shouldn’t a vacation involve going somewhere new? Doesn’t it mean staying in a nice hotel and not having to worry about all the things going on at home? The real goals of a vacation, though, are things like rest and relaxation, spending time with your family, getting to try new things. For the past few days I’ve had an out-of-town visitor staying with me, and I’ve been amazed at how easy it is to find local things that I haven’t experienced. It’s easy to write them off as tourist traps. After all, who does the tacky Maid of the Mist, anyway? The answer would be anyone who wants to have a good time and truly experience the place where they live.
The sad truth is that between running busy lives, many of us seem to put on blinders regarding the area we live in. We eat at the same restaurants, go to the same places, and do the same things in a giant loop. How often do you try something new? The idea of a staycation is that you do save money, but that you can still have the vacation experience.
A great resource for planning a staycation, no matter what time of year, is the aptly-named Staycation. Whether you decide to stay right in your own home, or find a local lodging that offers discounts for off-season days, you can manage to recreate the experience of being somewhere new. If you do stay in your own home, resist the urge to turn your staycation into spring cleaning. Try eating out more often to cut down on dishes, or use biodegradable paper plates. Do a thorough cleaning before your staycation starts, so you’re not chasing dustbunnies when you’re supposed to be sleeping in. If you have pets, maybe you want them to come on your staycation as well! But if having Fido around ruins your staycation relaxation, give him his own vacation with a few days at the kennel.
A staycation is ultimately about what works for you and your family. Maybe it means staying up late playing boardgames and watching movies, or camping in your own backyard. Whatever it is, the educational benefits are excellent. Kids that get to spend more quality time with their parents can only benefit, and many of your staycation activities can be geared towards their interests and an educational twist. So what are you waiting for? Stay put and have the best staycation of your life!