kid at Carkeek beach - flikr matildabenStaycation…a portmanteau that combines “stay” and “vacation” and refers to a holiday that takes place either at or near home.”

With gas well above $4 per gallon this summer, and with airlines raising prices and canceling flights because of high fuel costs, it’s not too surprising to find a word like “staycation” gaining a toehold in the North American lexicon.  Google now finds nearly 200,000 web pages that use the word—most of them added within the last few months, if my casual browsing is any indicator.

But even back when fuel wasn’t so pricey, some of my favorite vacations were spent within a 50 mile radius of home.  It’s easy to forget how many parks, museums, nature walks, boat rides, and all-around fun can be found close to where you live—which makes a staycation a perfect opportunity to reconnect  yourself to your home town.

So I’m curious:  is anyone out there planning a staycation this year?  Where are you, and what do you plan on doing?

Photo courtesy of Flickr user matildaben under a Creative Commons license.