Are Staycations Grossly Overlooked in This Hobby? I’ll Give You 5 Reasons Why They Are

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Staycation

5 Reasons Why Staycations May Be My Favorite Vacation

Staycations became popular again a decade ago during the great recession.  Families were able to trim some costs while still getting away.  People were worried about their job security and did not want to go into the red taking a extravagant vacation. They decided to check out their local attractions instead. My definition of a staycation is somewhere you can get to within 4 or 5 hours by car.

I grew up taking road trips and staycations, as most of us probably did.  Taking trips in the full size van with the swivel captains chairs are some of my fondest childhood memories.  I remember folding down the backseat and turning it into a bed and watching VCR movies on our 5 inch TV. Minivans having nothing on the fold down backseat bed!

Staycations are not something that is blogged about much because they are not Bougie enough.  They are not sexy and they don’t get the clicks.  I am here to proudly tell you that staycations may be my favorite vacation.  I’ll give you 5 reasons why I say that.

Warning: The photos shared here are from our recent staycation.  Note that the smiles on the faces are real.  No children were harmed in the making of this staycation.

Staycation

The List

Everyone’s home state or country has somewhere near by worth visiting.  Well maybe not Ohio, I kid I kid, you totally have Michigan and Kentucky to visit :).

This miles and points hobby has opened up the world to us in a way that would not otherwise be possible.  That doesn’t mean we should neglect our own backyard though. These are the 5 reasons why I love staycations:

You Can Go At Your Own Pace

The first one is pretty simple.  You run your own schedule.  There are no flights to catch, no buses to ride to your hotel, no car rental lines etc. You have your vehicle and your destination but you get there however quickly, or slowly, you want to.  If you see some tourist trap on the side of the road go ahead and stop.  Water does run uphill at The Mystery Spot!

If you want to take an extra long lunch you go ahead and take it.  There is no rush on a staycation…you go at your own pace!

Less Stressful

This one goes hand in hand with the first point.  Fighting traffic getting to the airport, getting through security, checking bags etc. is stressful for most people.  If you have a family and you throw in getting toddlers through TSA, it is even worse. Let’s not even mention getting your stroller to properly fold up in front of 100 seething people.

The stress levels drop when you pack up the car with whatever you want, however you want.  No tiny carry on luggage needed here.  If you want a fifth of Jameson on your staycation there is no agent to snatch that away from you!

Easier to Get Family Together

Most of my extended family doesn’t play the miles and points game, I am looking at you sis! She happens to live in Ohio too…talk about a double whammy.  Once again I kid, I kid :).

Since they are not able to jet set around the world and stay in fancy hotels it makes it more difficult to do big family gatherings.  I just got back from a trip “up north” (if you are from the Midwest you know what that means) where the whole family was able to get together.  We haven’t been able to get everyone together for a trip since we all had kids, it just got too expensive.

Staycation

Make a Tradition 

This one also ties in with the previous point.  Since it is easier to get the family together that makes it easier to start and maintain a tradition.  Tradition is not a nasty four letter word ( I know it has way more then 4 letters, okay).  You can go to Paris, London, Tokyo and still do a gathering in your own backyard, so to speak.  No snootiness needed here.

The world is a beautiful, amazing place but so is where you live.  I mean you chose to live there right?  And since you probably already like it, and it is easier to gather people there, why not do the logical thing and start a tradition there.

Tradition is something that children remember and think back on fondly.  It is the thing they will continue with their children.  Don’t get me wrong they will love seeing the world, but I bet the simpler trips will be the ones they remember most fondly.

It’s Less Expensive

Last but not least is the almighty dollar.  For most people, maybe not us in the hobby, a staycation saves a lot of money.  No need for flights, international award taxes & fees, visa fees, passport costs, or car rentals.  You can save up some money for your next globetrotting adventure by mixing in a staycation every once in a while.

Conclusion

Going to the same place or on a roadtrip is not a sin. Especially when you can do it in a weekend and salvage your vacation PTO.  Sadly, some people in this hobby will try to make you think that though.  It probably won’t make your Facebook page or Instagram feed fill up with likes but it will put a big ole smile on your face. At least it does for me :).

Nothing quite recharges my batteries like a simple, affordable, (mostly) stress free good ole staycation!

 

Let me know in the comments if you love staycations like I do and what kind of traditions you had as a kid or continue with your family today!


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10 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with all your points, Mark, & also enjoy the close & familiar alongside the far & exotic. I would add that I think the best way to get large families together is with homes, cottages, & villas rather than multiple hotel rooms. Wyndham Rewards can be used for this type lodging, Hyatt too. Marriott often offers up the opportunity to use (many) MR for Marriott Vacation properties.

    Chains are getting your message & understand the need for offering family alternatives to cramped hotel rooms. There is crossover like never before with using points to book what used to only be available via a timeshare purchase. I think timeshare is still more economical long-term but nice that point options are now also presented for booking a large family vacation.

    In my own state of Texas, Wyndham is building beautiful multi-room condos in Galveston, Austin, Dallas, & the hill country all within driving distance. All of these timeshare properties can also be booked with WR for a great staycation.

    • Good point Pam. I think for the weekend trips hotel rooms work out fine but for the week long gatherings the condo or home rental is the way to go for sure!

  2. I agree, though I wouldn’t define a 4 hour road trip a staycation.

    Hubby and I retired to Pittsburgh from Connecticut a few years ago. We moved to be near family, in a city AND within 500 miles of most of the US population.

    Washington DC is 4 hours away by car. Philly is 5. We just used a Marriott night that was about to expire to go to Buffalo overnight to see Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Toronto is just another hour beyond. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is 2 hours. And Pittsburgh has tons to do. I have a season pass to the waterpark and consider it my neighborhood pool. Flyover cities are getting much more hip lately.

    We book our big overseas trips during the shoulder seasons to miss the crowds and have mild weather. We’d rather stay home when there’s so much to do here in the summer.

  3. Totally agree! Here in Hawaii, staycations are very common. However, because inter-island travel coupled with car rental and higher than the national average hotel expenses add up quick, there’s always a debate about traveling to the continental US instead. Personally, I’ll do at least one staycation a year, though that tends to be on my home island of Oahu. I know many loathe the area, but even locals like to visit for the great dining options in the area, people watching, and to just play tourist. And, I do blog about it too 😉

  4. Agree with Dee that a road trip is different from a staycation, but short road trips are a great way to use up those one-night hotel deals. I’m always baffled by bloggers who insist that the “value” of a free hotel night is defined by how much it would be worth in Bora Bora or the Seychelles. If you’re not the sort of traveler who just happens to find yourself passing through exotic vacation destinations on a regular basis, a single free hotel night can be a challenge to use up. I used my first free Hilton night as the basis for a wonderful weekend getaway to Chicago, and a free Marriott night for a surprisingly fun trip to Des Moines (which has one of the most beautiful state capitols). And those free IHG nights fit into a road trip to almost anywhere. For a while I was generating min spend by buying discounted B&B gift cards, and right now I’m planning a couple of trips by starting at the “accepts gift cards” search on bedandbreakfast.com and seeing where that leads me. As for true staycations – anybody with a BoA credit card should be sure to check out the Museums on Us program for their own state.

    • I have always thought that staying in your home state as a staycation. I think of road trips are multiple days in the car visiting other states etc. But everyone has their own definition of it :).

      I agree on over inflated values. A point or free night is only worth what you end up using it for. I think it is nice to have a general idea of what it should be worth but using it for something that makes you happy is the most important thing imo.

      If it helps you travel more, however you chose to travel, then it was a good use in my book.

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