The staycation – or
stay-at-home vacation – is a greener, stress-free, inexpensive
alternative to a more traditional holiday that involves travel further
afield. Here are some guidelines and ideas.
Travel experts say that sustainable tourism is an increasingly
popular trend, with travelers making a conscious effort to reduce their
carbon footprint and respecting local culture.
Another trend, which I think dovetails with sustainable tourism, is
the stay-at-home-vacation. That’s where a family stays home and
participates in day trips to local attractions, or just takes it easy at
home, sleeping in their own beds at night.
A “staycation” is more sustainable than a trip that involves air
travel, which has a huge impact on climate change. In fact, airplanes
account for up to nine percent of the total climate change impact of
human activity. Compared to other modes of transport, such as driving or
taking the train, traveling by air has a greater climate impact per
passenger kilometer, even over longer distances.
Vacationing at home is also a great way to save money. The American
Automobile Association says that “the average North American vacation
will cost $244 per day for two people for lodging and meals. Add some
kids and airfare, and a 10-day vacation could top $10,000.”
There are other staycation perks too. When you vacation at home, you
get to use your whole vacation, rather than spending time at the
beginning and end traveling to your destination. And you won’t find
yourself exhaustedly wanting another vacation to recover from your
vacation! Vacationing at home will also minimize stress (including that
which increasingly happens at airports), and allow you and your family
to discover the attractions of your own region. Long-distance travel can
be hard on children, so a staycation will minimize the stress for them
(and for you while dealing with their impatience).
Here are some ideas for your staycation:
- Visit local museums. Most larger cities will have an art
gallery, a natural, history or sports museum, an arboretum or
botanical gardens, and maybe a zoo or aquarium.
- Go to the beach or neighborhood pool (or, if you’re lucky enough
to own one, lounge beside your backyard pool).
- Get some exercise – take a class, work on your tennis or golf
game, or go cycling.
- Enjoy some Nature by hiking on a trail or even picnicking in the
- Spend time with your kids. Play a board game or cards, or just
enjoy some fun conversation.
- Cook up a great meal – one that you wouldn’t normally spend the
time preparing or money on buying ingredients for.
- Get some neighbors and friends together for a potluck backyard
- See a movie, play, opera, or dance performance.
- Visit a local festival.
- Take in a baseball game – big league or minor…and don’t forget
- Pitch a tent in your backyard for the kids to experience a
stay-at-home camping experience (with access to the bathroom!).
- Catch up on some sleep in your backyard hammock.
- Take a bus tour around your city (or one that’s nearby) or boat
tour on a local lake.
- Read a book or two. Your couch, the backyard with a cold drink,
or your favorite café with a cappuccino are all great places to
spend a few hours lost in a book.
Do not use your staycation time to catch up on chores, do
the laundry, participate in obligatory (but not necessarily enjoyable)
extended family activities, or clean the garage. You’re on vacation,