Michael Strickland's blog on all things travel: news, deals, destinations, dreams and more.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Staycation: it's not a "vacation" if you "stay"

A story yesterday discussed the (over)use of the buzzword "staycation" (a "vacation" that you take by visiting places close to home), arguing that it's an annoying philosophy and a marketing term empty of any real meaning. I have to agree. As the article duly notes, if you don't stay overnight, it's a "day trip," not a "vacation."

While I have recommended traveling vicariously in your own town by hosting a visitor, that's not the same as taking a "staycation." And while I heartily agree with the idea of seeing the sights in your own backyard, I don't advocate doing that in place of real travel. Like the Frommers article says, that's recreation—and something we should all be doing regularly anyway.

There's no question that air fares have gotten out of control, and that gasoline prices are making automobile travel expensive as well. But there are still ways to take an affordable vacation. While it's hard to save on the transportation expenses, you can still cut costs at your destination.

As I've recommended before, you can stay for free by visiting family or friends. Or you can go somewhere and camp out instead of staying in a hotel (don't think this limits you to wilderness areas; you can camp out in Avalon on Catalina Island in southern California, and on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands). Or you can save on meal expenses by renting a hotel room or apartment that has a kitchenette.

Times may be tough, and leisure budgets might get tighter, but that doesn't mean you have to stay home. Just Say No to Staycations!



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