This year the new buzzword in vacations is the ‘Staycation.’ With the increase in fuel prices, plus the economic downturn, many people are looking at the annual vacation as a luxury instead of a well-deserved holiday. If it isn’t the high price of operating a car or recreational vehicle it is the lack of available funds stemming from job layoffs or other decreases in household cash flow.
However, everyone needs a bit of down time and the economic woes and increased cost of traveling is not keeping everyone down. A ‘Staycation’ is taking a holiday close to home or, in some cases, staying right at the residence. The only difference is that the fun happens without traveling far.
The first large of ‘staycations’ began abruptly after September 11, 2001. The urge to travel locally stemmed from the fear of traveling long distances due to the paranoia of ‘unfriendlies’ harming the vacationers. It seemed like there were terrorists everywhere. People began canceling reservations in favor of taking day trips rather than flying to a far destination. An offshoot of this disaster is that the U.S. requires its own citizens to have passports or other official certification to travel to destinations like Canada that used to be easily accessible.
A good spin-off of this ‘local way of thinking’ was that people began discovering their own backyard as many vacationers rented cabins or vacation homes close to their own homes. Local tourism operators who were feeling the pinch of people from afar not coming to them anymore began experiencing an influx of locals and those from the next state.
Another “staycationer” is the type of person who used to be labeled as “cocooning.” Instead of booking a winter travel package to Mexico or, in the summer, this person has taken a few year’s worth of vacation money and fixed up their homes into luxurious recreational palaces complete with patios, swimming pools, tennis courts and home theaters.
Most ‘staycationers’ will spend money within a certain radius of of his or her home and this is great for the local economy.