Everyone loves to go camping, but the fact of the matter is that there just isn’t enough money going around for most families to be able to pack up and drive a long distance for camping this summer. No matter what kind of equipment you’ve got, or what kind of money you make, with gas prices and the recent economic downturn, heading off to camp somewhere far away might not be the best option for you. The gas money alone can make it not worth it. Luckily, there is a great way to still get in the camping that you have always wanted to get in, without having to worry about spending quite so much money on it.
What Is A Staycation?
Staycations are fast becoming this summer’s best vacation idea. The term refers to a vacation spent either at home or very near to home as a means to take a break from the grind without spending a large amount on travel. They involve all of the necessary prep work for a vacation: getting time off of work, buying groceries and supplies, and planning vacation-type activities. But instead of getting into your camper or truck and driving miles and miles with very high gas prices or buying an expensive airline ticket, you don’t go that far from home.
One of the easiest and best ways to get outdoors on your staycation is to plan an at home or close to home camping trip. This is an especially great vacation for families with kids. Families can use their backyard or go to the local park that allows camping. Even a campsite in a town ten or twenty miles away can work as a great staycation.
How Does It Help?
You might not think a staycation is really going to benefit you but really stop to think of all of the money your family could save. The gas money to drive hundreds of miles away is simply too much for many households to afford nowadays, especially when you consider that for a camping trip, a truck or mini-van is needed in order to pack all of the camping gear. These vehicles tend to consume more gas per mile than smaller cars. Additionally, tourist attractions are going to cost consumers more as the summer goes on due to the increase in fuel and energy prices. Food prices are already starting to rise. Eating out at restaurants while vacationing in another state or at amusement parks or attractions will slowly chip away at your pocketbook too.
It’s Still A Vacation
Even with a staycation, you will still get to have all of the benefits of a vacation. You will be able to take advantage of the time that you get to spend with your family. When you are not worried about how much it cost you to get where you are going, you’ll be able to relax and better enjoy the time that you have with them. Even 10 miles down the road, you’ll be able to learn more about your family, spend quality time together, and do things that you often times only get to do on a vacation – play cards, take a nature hike, have campfires, tell stories and just joke around together. The point of a staycation is to be with your family, the same as any vacation would be. Why should it matter where you are?
You can also meet new people just as you would far away from your home. Whether at a campsite in your town or a neighboring one, you’ll meet people from all over. Almost all campsites nowadays have great activities, like trails for hiking, places to swim, and wooded areas for going on nature walks. Even if you decide to camp out in your own backyard, you can take the time to get to know your neighbors by inviting them over for a BBQ. You can take advantage of these no matter how close to home you stay.
A staycation doesn’t have to be a week long affair, either. If you are unable to afford to take the time off of work because of the economy or high gas prices, you can take just two or three days instead of a whole week. Making family rules like no TV or phone or internet can cut you off from the rest of the world in just the same way, even if you do stay right in your own backyard. Many families plan their staycation at home in just the same way as a regular vacation – let people know they will not be available, change the voicemail to say they are vacationing, ask that services be postponed until they “return”, etc. Your staycation can be planned so that it doesn’t matter if you are a few hours a way, 10 miles from home or not away at all. And they can more easily fit into your family’s life style and budget.
The point of a staycation is to make sure that you are able to relax with your family. You don’t need to go far away or see amazing sites in order to do that. Explore what things your own town has to offer or enjoy the nature in your own backyard. You’ll be surprised at how less-stressed and fun your staycation can be!