When you scroll through social media during the summer or the holidays, you’ll probably see pictures of your friends or extended family enjoying a vacation. Whether they are lounging on the beach at an all-inclusive resort, kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower, or smiling while wearing their mouse ears at Disney, your mind shifts into vacation mode, and you start thinking about your next adventure.
But you have a reality check when you start searching for airline tickets, hotels, and rental cars. And then take a peek at your budget and bank account balance. You know a trip like that is not in your budget even though you work hard every day and want to do something fun.
It’s time to plan a staycation instead!
You’ve heard the word staycation before, but you always considered it a lame excuse for real travel. How is staying at home or very close to home for your break from work a reason to get excited?
You can visit local attractions anytime. But do you visit them? How many great places are within a few hours of home that you haven’t made time to visit yet?
There’s More to It Than Money
Staycations help save you money because you minimize expenses including airline tickets, rental cars, accommodations, and eating out. But there are many more benefits to a staycation than just saving money.
You’ve probably heard someone who just returned from a trip say, “I need a vacation from my vacation!” Or maybe you’re nodding because you’ve said that in the past too.
Travel can be a ton of fun, but it can also be stressful and very tiring depending on the vacation destination and activities you choose. And that’s not including the stress that comes when you get your next credit card bill…
Rather than knocking the idea of a staycation, let’s look at how it might be just as good (if not better) than vacations you’ve taken in the past.
Seven Benefits of a Staycation
- At the end of a long work week, you won’t have to rush to pack your bags, head to the airport to catch a late-night flight or start the long drive to get to your vacation destination. Instead, you can unwind and come home from work and relax. You’ll be starting your vacation right away. You can order take-out and enjoy some family time, watch your favorite show, play some board games, or start that book you’ve been waiting to read.
- Do you always wish your vacation could be just a few days longer? Staycations may give you that extra time. If you aren’t spending a day traveling at each end of your vacation. It’s like being given a few bonus days off! No wasted time sitting in the airport or standing at the rental car desk. No worrying about checking out of your rental property or hotel and sitting around all day waiting to come home. And another bonus – you won’t have to worry about jet lag that you might struggle with if you have to fly across time zones on vacation.
- Staycations are so much easier to plan. You may do some research for your staycation. But you won’t spend hours on the computer obsessively searching for the best deals (and worrying that you’ve missed them.) And they’ll be no late nights getting laundry done, so you have clean clothes for the week ahead. You also don’t have to remember to stop the mail, fill your prescriptions ahead of time, or reschedule appointments you might have made during your vacation week. You buyback hours of time before you even start your vacation!
- There’s no worrying about the weather turning your dream vacation into a nightmare. You won’t have canceled flights or spend days amusing the kids in the hotel room when all you packed for the beach was sunscreen and sand toys. Instead, you can create a list of things you can do near home for different kinds of weather. Picnics at the lake, catching an afternoon movie, or going on a wine tour can all be scheduled around the weather.
- You’ll be supporting local or regional businesses when you venture out and check out new places close to home. It’s okay to spend money in big tourist areas. But getting out and picking strawberries at a local farm, stopping in the new cafe that just opened, or spending a day at a local children’s museum all put money back into your local economy.
- You won’t have to make pet care decisions if a staycation is in your future. This can save you plenty of money and it won’t create more stress for your favorite furry friend (or you!) Worrying about someone coming into your home to care for your pet or finding a safe and trusted kennel isn’t a problem if your week off includes local adventures and more time at home. Your pet will love the time you spend at home as well.
- If you’re planning a staycation, consider keeping your last day off as a day to recharge. Sleep in, get a few things done to prepare for the upcoming week and take time for yourself. Many people try to use every minute of their vacations. Then they come back to work exhausted, creating even more stress. Starting your week back to work rested and refreshed will be priceless.
Consider a Staycation for Your Next Week Off
If you’re in debt, there are still ways you can work to create a plan to take vacations. And creating a great staycation is one option to consider. We all have lists of projects we’d like to get done and local places we want to visit. But these often get moved down our list of priorities. You might realize that you are just as happy and more relaxed by staying home on your next vacation. And checking things off that list one at a time!