A Staycation in the Woods . . .

Put a snorkel and diving mask on, stick your head in a home aquarium … could that substitute for a vacation in the Cayman Islands? Pack up the car for a family vacation and then just sit in the driveway and complain for hours .. is this a cheap way for the same family travel experience? …. No, I am not going crazy (yet) … these are descriptions of two comics from a recent Sunday paper. The common thread is the new way to vacation … do fun things at home – a “staycation”.

As a teacher, I have a three month summer vacation. That is probably the reason why, unlike most people, I do not associate the word “vacation” with “travel”. To me, “vacation” means “a relaxing break”. It is time off from the normal work routine to do things I normally do not have time to do, time to relax, eliminate stress and rejuvenate … I spend most of my summer vacation at home here in the woods. Thus, maybe I have been really taking “staycations” for years?

The goal of a staycation is to find cheap and free things to do at or near your home that provide relaxation and entertainment … museums, festivals, creative projects and just enjoying your backyard are possibilities. This trend is all the rage and I believe it is a great thing. There are many things we overlook in the familiar places we see in daily life that are truly fun and wonderful breaks from routine. MPR had a recent series of reports that challenged several of their correspondents to take a very inexpensive staycation that would replicate something from a typical vacation (trip). Check out what they came up with: Who Needs A Fancy Cruise If You’ve Got Inner Tubes? and Almost Like Fenway and Festival Fun On The Cheap For Young And Old

Staycations have become very popular during this time of financial hardship and unemployment. So much so, that the term was added to the 2009 version of the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

The inventor of the word “staycation” was trying to make staying home for your vacation sound fun … to get over the disappointment of not being able to afford a trip somewhere. Does staying home sound like fun to you? I guess that depends on where you live, your creativity, your ability to avoid work, and how much you can appreciate the little things.

I can see all sorts of possibilities to making a staycation the best and most relaxing vacation you have ever taken. It does not matter if you live in a big city or in the middle of the woods … staying home will allow you to save your money for things you may not normally be able to do … and finding things to do that are cheap or even free has it’s own internal reward, everyone loves a bargain! Interactive Map: Vacation U.S.A. For Less Than $100 A Day

Personally, I think staycations are the only way to go when you really need a break (vacation). When I think back to trips (vacations) I have taken, I recall that when I did get home, I often needed a vacation (a relaxing break) from my vacation (trip). Staying home (or close to home) allows me to really relax. I realize that I am lucky in that my home is located where others dream of vacationing (trip). The lakes and woods provide fishing, swimming, hiking, quiet, fresh air, campfires, biking, canoeing .. time to read, think, talksleep … all a part of many peoples ideal vacation (trip). Plus, since I live here … I am able to enjoy my home at the same time. I find things like gardening, reading on the porch, birdwatching, berry picking, and even cutting the grass a wonderful vacation (a relaxing break) and the best thing about my staycations are that it is also my time to hibernate (if needed).

Please share your “staycation” ideas!

~ by bearyweather on August 13, 2009.

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