The True Value Of A Staycation

By Yolander Prinzel | June 11, 2012 AAA

When you wish to save money on your summer vacation, it is not unusual to plan a staycation rather than a vacation. During a staycation, would-be travelers remain in their area of residence rather than vacating to a new and exotic locale. Saving money in your personal budget isn't the only positive aspect of a staycation. You can enjoy other benefits such as saving time, reducing stress and helping your local economy by simply vacationing at home.

Staycations Reduce Stress
Traveling by train, plane and automobile isn't easy. Dealing with traffic, getting through airport security, finding lost luggage, making connecting flights, getting to the gate on time and dealing with the restriction of train or bus travel can all start your vacation out on a sour note and, as you travel home, end it on that same negative spiral. During a staycation you have the freedom to explore attractions in your local area that you already know you enjoy and those that you haven't yet had a chance to experience yet. You understand when traffic is lightest in your area and you can avoid any long drives or overcrowded airports if you like. Then, every night after you've explored your city or town, you can lay your head on your own comfy pillow without worrying about whether your hotel room neighbors' noise level will affect your sleep.

Staycations Benefit Your Local Economy
When you visit certain local attractions and independent businesses in your town during your staycation, you make a financial investment in your local economy. Rather than taking your vacation dollars away to another community that may already reap the benefits of a global tourist infusion, you can help support the people who keep your community up and running on a daily basis.

Staycations Save Time
Have you ever wondered how much time is wasted on a vacation away from home? Between travel to and from the destination and time spent searching for attractions in an unfamiliar area, a traveler can waste many of the precious vacation hours he's earned. While in some cases this time can be enjoyed as part of the adventure, it may just be a nuisance if the vacationer is traveling with children, is tired or simply isn't in the mood to explore.

Staycations Allow You to Learn About Your Home
When you travel to another area of the globe you're often very open to learning about that area. You want to eat the foods that the residents of the area eat, you want to learn about the indigenous plants and animals, you want to experience the art and architecture, and you want to soak up the culture. Have you ever done this for your own area? Or do you simply take for granted that, as a regular fixture there, you don't need to? During a staycation you can look at your own city, county or state as a locale worthy of exploring. You can take a nature tour in your area to find out about the local flora and fauna, you can eat the foods that your region is noted for and visit your local historical sites and landmarks. In short, you can try to experience the region as a vacationer might. This could even work to enhance your everyday life there.

Staycations May Be Safer
When you travel to an area you're unfamiliar with, you may become more susceptible to crime and injury. Your luggage and identity can be stolen at the airport or in the hotel, you could wander into a high-crime area or you could even injure yourself simply by not being familiar with environmental risks that you face. For example, when visiting Florida a nonresident might not realize when stingray season is and may not know to do a "stingray shuffle" when entering the water, which could result in the visitor stepping on a stingray and getting stung. When you keep your vacation local, you face many of the same risks of accident, injury and crime as you do on a daily basis and may be better able to keep yourself and your family safe.

The Bottom Line
Vacation days are a precious commodity on many levels. They allow you to spend quality time with your family, give you a mental and physical break from your work, and help you get back in touch with some of the basic tenets of a life well lived. Choosing to vacation at home is a powerful way to spend this precious time and reduce some of the stress and risks associated with travel.

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