High gas prices may make people consider alternative stay-at-home vacations or staycations this summer. The average price for a gallon of gas in the United States is up again this morning according to AAA. The national average for a gallon of unleaded is $3.95. This combined with a 15-year low consumer confidence index makes the idea of a staycation very attractive.
Why we should consider a staycation.
There are a number of benefits to staying close to home with a staycation this summer. I’m a big fan of traveling. I like to get out and see the world. However, I am also practical and this year it just doesn’t make much sense to go very far on vacation. After all, what is the goal of a vacation in the first place? It is to relax, unwind and have a little fun. A staycation will give you more bang for your buck because you will be spending less. Spending less will allow you to relax more. Plus, there is plenty of fun to be had close to home. More on that in a minute, but first lets look more closely at how a staycation can save us some money.
Ways a staycation will save money.
There are a number of ways that we can save money on a staycation versus the traditional vacation. Here are a few that come to mind:
- Less gasoline. A full tank of gas in the typical passenger car with about a 12-gallon capacity will run you almost $50. These cars usually get about 25 miles to the gallon on the highway. This means that if you travel just 500 miles to your vacation destination, you will spend over $150 on gasoline alone for a round-trip.
- No hotel. If you stay at home, you will not need a hotel room. Last summer, USA Today reported that the average cost of a hotel room in the United States topped $100 a night. With fewer people traveling, it might be possible to negotiate a better rate, but for the sake of argument let’s use $100 per night for a hotel room. If you stay five nights, you’ll spend $500 for a hotel and then you have to tack on taxes and fees.
- No airfare. If you aren’t driving to your vacation destination, then you will likely be flying. Of course, the cost of fuel has also made the price of airline tickets go up as well. In fact, they have risen 10% in the last year. A stay-at-home vacation eliminates this cost all together.
- Less eating out. Restaurants are expensive. A staycation will give you the opportunity to eat at home at least some of the days during your time off. This will help to save additional funds.
Ways a staycation is more relaxing.
A staycation can also be more relaxing. There is a lot less preparation time required when going on a staycation. It seems that we are practically worn out before we ever leave to go on a trip from all that has to be done beforehand. If you stay at home, you won’t have to do many of these things. Here’s a few things you won’t have to worry about going on a staycation:
- No packing. You can relax because you won’t have to worry about what you’re forgetting to pack. Packing can be a time-consuming and stressful event when you are doing it for a family of four. Why bother?
- No travel time. Why spend all that time in the car? With a staycation you get more time to actually be on vacation instead of traveling to and from your destination. Flying? Don’t even get me started on airports!
- No maps or getting lost. Since you are already familiar with your local area, you won’t waste so much time figuring out how to get to where you want to go. Think about it. No maps and no getting lost! This could save you from a fight or two with your spouse as well. The peace you will enjoy will definitely be worth it.
- More time for fun. This all adds up to more time for fun. Why not spend your vacation doing what you’ll enjoy instead of packing, traveling, and fighting about how you got so lost? A staycation is a great option!
Things to do on a staycation.
Your first reaction to the idea of a staycation may be that there won’t be anything to do. It is true that when you travel to a new destination, it is exciting exploring all the new sights to see. However, I think this has a lot to do with attitude. How many times have you asked a local about a museum or other attraction only to hear them say that they’ve never been? It happens all the time. In most cases, we haven’t fully explored our own backyards. So, why not start this summer? Here are some ideas of things to do on a staycation.
- Spend a day at the spa.
- Visit local museums.
- Go to the zoo.
- Have a long leisurely lunch on the patio.
- Take a day trip to a nearby town or city.
- Go to the movies.
- Visit an aquarium.
- Go to the best steak house in town.
- Have a day of fun at a local amusement park.
- Go camping.
- Attend a sporting event.
- Take the kids to the swimming pool.
- Go to the park and play.
- Rent that movie you missed at the theater.
- Spend a day at the lake.
- Have a picnic.
- Build a campfire for roasting hotdogs and marshmallows.
- Go to a local festival.
- Visit a local garden.
- Take a nap in a hammock or lounge chair.
- Go for drinks with friends.
- Catch up on reading the newspaper at Starbucks.
- Go to a water park.
- Go fishing.
- Read a book or your favorite magazine.
Save money and have more fun on a staycation.
Staycations are a great way to relax and have more fun on vacation this summer without spending a fortune. Why pay $4.00 per gallon of gas when you can stay close to home and get more enjoyment from your time off? Please leave a comment and let me know how you plan to spend your summer!
Photo by Lin Pernille ? Photography