Being Savvy Welcomes: Work It, Mom on What I Did on My Summer Staycation

July 16, 2008

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What I Did on My Summer Staycation

If vacationing close to home or 'staycationing is the newest travel trend, I'm waaaaaay ahead of the curve.

We almost always stay home for the summer. I say almost because there have been two exceptions: In 2003 we drove to Niagara Falls because the kids were complaining that they'd never been to another country (hello, Canada!), and last week I had to research a couple of family travel stories and so we went to an old-fashioned amusement park and careened down a snow-less ski slope on a bobsled and spent a night in a tree house. It was way cool. The kids loved it. My husband and I did, too, but I think that, while the kids came home re-energized after our little adventure, us parents were more exhausted after our vacation than we had been when we left.

With gas prices skyrocketing and airlines imposing new and bigger fees for everything from checked baggage to warm soda, home is becoming a hot travel destination. Hotels are marketing getaway packages to their local clientele. AAA offers Drive Vacations to make road tripping trendier (even with gas costing more than $4 a gallon, it's still cheaper to drive than fly if you're taking kids along). Camping and hiking have become popular again.

But for some of us, staycationing has always been the norm. Yes, gas prices are high, but stress levels are even higher when you cram five kids into a car and hit the road for hours at a time. Add in a handful of food allergies, which makes it impossible to indulge in fast food during the trip, and stress levels can reach a whole new high. And if any of your kids are still in diapers, it's worth noting that hell hath no fury like that of a preteen stuck next to a toddler with a blow-out.

(That didn't happen this trip, thank goodness.)

The biggest upside to staycationing, for this working mother, at any rate, is that I know the territory. There was a point in my life where exploring a new city would have made my heart go pitter-pat; lately, though, just the chance to avoid the daily commute makes me giddy. I live near a big city there are plenty of museums to visit and cultural events to attend; they're close enough to do easily if I have a few days off, and far enough away to be impossible with my regular work schedule. Staycationing gives me a chance to take advantage of the things right in my own backyard why deal with packing and plane fare, especially during one of the most crowded travel times of the year?

Do you have summer vacation plans? Or will you be staycationing this summer?

From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    This is the first time we are staycationing and I have to say that it has been very fun. We have been getting together with friends, enjoying the beach, using our Sea World and zoo passes,taking advantage of the library programs, enjoying a picnic dinner while attending the free concerts down at Balboa park and finding other little nuggets around our wonderful city.

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 2

    We are also not quite staycationing. Instead of traveling far, we're driving a little over an hour from San Diego to Newport Beach. We rented a beach house there with another family, which is pretty affordable since we're not driving far and can eat breakfast and lunch in most days. We're looking forward to a week of relaxing on the beach with no rushing to activities, sitting in traffic, etc.

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 3

    We are sort of staycationing. We researched Mexico and finally decided to stay in our own backyard, splurging on a nicer hotel in Santa Cruz (90 minutes away) with the funds we'll save not flying. We'll have the beach, pool, unlimited restaurants (key to vacation for Mommy is no cooking), and did I say beach and pool? What else do we need?

    over a year ago


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