Tag Archives: staycation

Time to Decide If It’s a Staycation or Vacation Kind of Year

Spring break is coming right up, with summer not far behind. Both these events bring thoughts of taking a family vacation. Time to get somewhere and have some adventures as a family, break your usual routine and enjoy life a little.

A vacation is nice, certainly, but a staycation has its good points too.


Your typical staycation costs a lot less than a vacation. No airfare, no hotel room rentals, it’s pretty affordable. You decide exactly what you want to spend your money on.

Costs can add up, of course. While not the most eco friendly of options, you might choose to spend a day or so at a local theme park. Lots of fun, but they do add up.

You could stay a night or so in a nearby hotel if you really need to get out of the house, of course. Sleeping at home is not an absolute requirement, and it is nice to get out of the house for the night sometimes. You’ll still save by not traveling so far.

Camping is another option, especially if you want to enjoy the natural beauty in your area. It’s quite affordable, and if you love being out in nature, you can enjoy camping as well.

Learning About Your Local Area

Have you ever noticed that visitors sometimes know more about the neat stuff to do in your area than you do? Or that there’s some place nearby you always talk about going to, but never do? Your staycation is the time to turn things around.

Start with the things you keep not doing in your area. Check out the local historical sites and natural areas.

Next check with your local tourist information office and see what you didn’t even know you could do in your area. There’s always something, some sort of nearly secret area that you never heard of that sounds really great.

Trying New Restaurants

Why eat just the way you usually do at home on staycation? Skip the fast food places and try some of the restaurants in your area you’ve been curious about. You’d be doing a lot of eating out if you went off on vacation anyhow, why not try it more locally? You might find a new favorite.

What Not to Do On Staycation

Whatever you do, don’t tackle big projects around the house when you’re taking a staycation. Don’t decide that it’s time to organize the closets, paint the house, landscape the yard or anything like that. That would be taking days off to do things around the house, not taking a vacation. If you need to get that stuff done, dedicate some time to it but don’t say it’s a staycation.

The great part about taking a staycation is that you cut out some of the frustrations of vacations that require more travel. You aren’t spending hours or days getting to your destination. You don’t have to worry about if you’ve picked a good hotel or feel as though you have no options if you pick one that doesn’t work out. Just think about what you can do in your local area that will help you get the kind of relaxation you’d like from a vacation.

How Can You Make Your Summer Road Trip More Eco Friendly?

Summer is a great time for family vacations. The kids are out of school in most areas and the weather is great… so long as you aren’t after snow or something. Now you just need to find that balance between a fun vacation and being good to the environment, particularly with the Gulf oil spill much on our minds. You have a few options.


A staycation is often the most environmentally responsible choice. Check out the fun things to do in your own area. Often people skip the tourist destinations in their own area because they’re always there. You know you can visit them eventually, and often eventually is really far away.

Use your staycation to do the fun things in your area. Visit local historic sites, parks, beaches, trails and so forth. Try out unfamiliar restaurants.

Local Road Trip

Next best is a local road trip. Find some nearby areas you can drive to visit and stay there. This can include camping, exploring sights a bit further from home, staying in a hotel and so forth.

Longer Road Trip

A long road trip can be a lot of fun for the family. Mine someday wants to do a long road trip up the California coast on the 101, camping whenever we need a break. It’s a great way to appreciate the natural beauty of a place.

If you’re driving for your vacation, short distance or long, make sure you inflate your tires correctly, remove excess weight from your car, use your cruise control and obey the speed limit. These tips should improve your fuel efficiency.

What About Buses, Planes and Trains?

This is a complex calculation. Which is the best depends on what’s available for your transportation, the distance and how many people are in your group and sharing the transportation with you. A full flight is going to be more efficient per person than a half empty one, after all! Depending on where you’re going, you may still need to rent an efficient car to get where you’re going. Most of us aren’t going to spend a vacation in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

Time is also a factor. Planes are fast, but may not be the most efficient option in terms of direct fuel cost. If you don’t have the time to drive, take a bus or train to wherever you’re going, that’s the option you’re going to pick, regardless of efficiency.

There’s a good review of the options at Scholars and Rogues that discusses the lifecycle cost of each type of transit. It has a lot of food for thought. It covers the issues from more than just the viewpoint of fuel consumed by each vehicle. There’s the entire complex lifestyle, and the results go against the usual calculations done based on fuel expended per person. It’s an interesting perspective.

Don’t Forget Bicycling

Bicycling isn’t an option for all family vacations. Kids can only ride so far, and may not be able to do distance riding safely. But of all options, it’s the most energy efficient and the best way to appreciate nature. If you’re going on your vacation by car, consider taking bikes along, remembering that the bike racks will decrease your gas mileage.

No option is perfectly environmentally friendly, but then living isn’t perfectly environmentally friendly. Think about your impact before you pack.