“Staycation…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.
WE (family of four) rode our bikes twenty miles to a state park on the olympic peninsula and camped for three days. No fuel was used other than propane/butane for the back packing stove (mostly to make esspresso). Our travel included stops for meals and ice cream, watching bats in the evening, cooking back pack style, pitching the tent, and learinig the art of packing light.Our daughters 8 and 12 enjoyed our day at the beach that included softserve ice cream, sun, seals, eagles, watching Pigeon Guillemot in the near shore, and of couse bike riding.My wife and kids kept commenting on how it reminded them of our trips to Costa Rica–We are planning more staycations–
I hate the phrase, but we too are planning a simple staycation this year—we’re going to erect a tent in our backyard, and “camp out!”
I’ve been “staycationing” for years. The Stillaguamish River valley is just 30 miles from my home, and the hiking and camping opportunities abound, especially if you’re willing to get out of the car and onto your feet to explore the many lakes and peaks. When you hop off the treadmill of Industrial Tourism you find that time slows down, your wallet stays full and you don’t need another vacation just to recover from your frantic see-seven-states-and-three-theme-parks 2500 mile asphalt marathon.If you’re a year-round hiker and long to see something different, try leaving the car at home and take the train to Glacier National Park. Once there, you can camp for omly $5 a night (higher rates apply if you insist on dragging your automobile with you!) and ride the park’s free shuttle bus to trailheads. Relax in the evenings with talks and slideshows by ranger/naturalists. From my home in Everett, roundtrip trainfare is only $160 if you book your trip at least 30 days in advance.
One notch above casual browsing, http://www.google.com/trends?q=staycation shows you that indeed staycation is a recent addition to Web pages.My family is moving from Seattle, our home over a decade, to Zurich. We left work at the end of the school year and will start with the new school year. Where to go during our long summer vacation? Why… right here! We ditched our grand plans to cross the USA for our last time on the continent, and instead enjoy house-sitting (we sold our condo) and week-long vacation rentals, visiting different Seattle neighborhoods and local parks, and spending probably more time with friends in this last couple of months than we have in the hurried working years past.The spot where we’ve spent the most time so far is not a tourist hang-out: it’s the Wallingford wading pool within walking distance of our current lodgings.