I did a little bit of research for this one! What I found was really interesting: the word “vacation” comes from the Latin word vacare, meaning, “to be free, empty, to be at leisure.” Well, what about a “staycation?” It’s a new word in the travel dictionary! A staycation is nothing other than a vacation that happens with all the benefits of fun and relaxation, but without traveling anywhere.
Staycations have become especially appealing considering the rising price of fuel, which cranks up costs for air travel and road trips. Combine that with a faltering economy and stressful air travel during peak season and “just staying home” begins to look pretty good!
And if staying home means a “staycation”–bring it on!
In Your Home Sweet Home
The purest “staycation” is staying put in your home, yet experiencing the R&R of a getaway.
Do day trips to the best attractions in your area: the ones visitors enjoy, but locals somehow never find time to visit. Take the money you’re saving on airfares or gas and spend it on fun outings such as taking a hike or visiting the park, if you live in a city. If you’re not near a town, go for an outdoor adventure. Virtually everywhere these days has some kind of fun activity being marketed to tourists. When you’re on a staycation, that tourist is you.
For more budget-minded staycation outings try local theme parks, a nearby aquatic center, or somewhere that has lots of wave pools and slides.
Stay in: When you’re at home, spend time just relaxing and enjoying being together as a family. Just be forewarned, however. You will face the inevitable challenge of a staycation: turning off the busyness of daily life in order to be at leisure in your own home. It’s not easy, especially for those who work from home. Meanwhile, quality time with the kids may elude you during a home-sweet-home staycation, as kids get busy with friends or their usual pastimes.
Your at-home staycation may work better if you proclaim certain days to be sacrosanct “staycation dates.” On these days resist doing regular scheduled activities and nix any temptation to decide it’s a great day to clean out the basement with everyone’s help.
Or try this solution …
Staycation, Type 2:
With this “staycation” you still stay local, but you do make a move away from home. Stay at a local family-friendly hotel, such as one with a cool kids’ program. Upscale brands such as Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton have some creative programs at their kids’ clubs. Of course, many more budget-minded choices are available, too.
Once you’ve got your home-away-from-home, do sightseeing, take outings, or just chill out.
Ultimately, “vacation” is more about a state of mind than a state of place. People may travel far, far away on vacation, but never actually enjoy a period of respite if they remain wired to their busy lives or workplaces via cellphones and Blackberries. If you can relax, leave work behind, and do fun activities with your kids, then that’s a vacation, even in your own house.
If you take a look at this month’s edition of our magazine, we have many more ideas for every age level and a complete staycations guide for the Capital District! Take a look at: http://blog.kidsfunplaza.com/magazine-issues.