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No Staycations! Why I Need a Real Vacation

No Staycation, I need a vacation!

Just recently, Grayson wrote about how he and his family used staycations as an alternative to expensive vacations so they could still enjoy themselves while working their way out of massive credit card debt.

While I’m so happy they were able to pay off their debt and use the occasional staycation as motivation and a reward for their progress along the way, I won’t be doing the same thing. I can’t stand the idea of taking staycations. Here’s why I won’t go on a staycation and some alternatives to consider instead.

Most People Won’t Take a Luxury Staycation

The article talked about how you can save money by taking a luxury staycation at home by making your home into a mansion, hiring a personal chef for the weekend, or staying at a 5 star hotel just minutes away from you home. While those are all great ideas, I’d argue that not many people will go the route. Instead, most people’s idea of a staycation is taking the day off work and exploring their city’s tourist attractions and maybe dining out at a nice restaurant.

Again, this sounds nice to me, but part of the reason why I won’t personally be partaking in a staycation is because none of these options are available where I live. I live in a rural town of 7,000. There are no fancy personal chefs to hire for the weekend and our only tourist attraction is a tiny museum about the history of the great plains. While it’s an interesting museum, it’s only good for the first 1,000 or so visits. 🙂

If You Are Going to Spend the Money, Go on a Shorter Vacation

Many of the luxury staycation ideas were around $1,000+ for a few days or even a weekend. While I get that this is cheaper than some vacations that get you away from home, I’d argue that if I’m going to spend $1,000 I’d better be going to experience somewhere new. A vacation doesn’t have to be on a beach in Mexico with a luxury resort. You can take a domestic weekend vacation for less than $1,000 and still be getting to experience a new city.

Related Read: Use credit cards to get airline miles or cash back for your vacation!

Another alternative is to go on a mini-vacation to a nearby city that 2-3 hours away, if that’s an option where you live. For example, I could drive into Denver (3 hours away from me) and stay for a few days and still spend less money than these luxury staycation ideas.

Or if you live a little closer to a city or are ok with a very long day, you could make a day trip out of visiting a city that’s a couple hours from your home. One the most expensive parts of a vacation is usually lodging, so if you can cut that from your budget you’ll save a huge chunk of money.

Take Advantage of Friends

One of my favorite things about building a community of friends online via blogging is the chance to leverage those friendships to see the world and save money. I’ve already gone to stay with one of my blogger friends for nearly a week. I got to stay right outside of New York City and my trip expenses were very minimal. I’ve also shared a hotel room with another blogger friend to cut down on expenses when we were both travelling through the same city after a conference.

If you don’t have friends all over the country that you can use to your advantage, you could always stay in an AirBnB or try Couch Surfing if you don’t have small children in tow. These experiences are part of the adventure and might make for a more authentic visit to an unknown city. If nothing else, some crazy experiences will like make for a good story to tell when you get home.

Planning a Vacation Gives You Something to Look Forward To

Finally, one of the big reasons I won’t go on a staycation is because they don’t get me excited. I love the thrill of travelling and I can’t wait to do it again. Thus, I’ve made travel a reward for myself if I’m able to pay off a certain amount of debt by a certain date. I’ve gotten excited planning out my trip and it motivates me to work harder to save and pay down debt so I can actually go on my trip. This type of motivation would not be possible if I were only looking forward to a staycation.

Are you a fan of taking a staycation?

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Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.


  1. March 23, 2016 at 3:39 pm — Reply

    We never take staycations, vacations are one of our main priorities. They allow us to unwind and also see the world. This not only relaxes us, but helps us learn more about other cultures and really grow as individuals.

    • March 25, 2016 at 9:34 am — Reply

      Yes! I love this comment. Vacations are a chance to learn about new places and people, that’s why a Staycation just won’t do for me.

  2. March 24, 2016 at 8:29 am — Reply

    No for staycation. Haha! I am actually travelling to a beach out of town. Travel is something I always look forward to. Traveling outside the country at least once a year is a requirement for me. 😀

    • March 25, 2016 at 9:36 am — Reply

      Good for you! As long as you can afford those international trips, that’s awesome!

  3. March 24, 2016 at 10:56 am — Reply

    I like at least one real vacation a year, but we generally rent a beach house off season. That keeps the cost down with lower rates, cooking in most meals, and no cost entertainment (Well, maybe a few dollars for boogie boards at Five Below.) We’ve also stayed with family members.

    Staying home can be cheap, but somehow it doesn’t usually get us feeling relaxed and vacationed. We end up getting caught up in the usual stresses. Getting away, even for a weekend with family, tends to get us out of our regular life a little better.

    • March 25, 2016 at 9:46 am — Reply

      I agree! During a staycation it’s hard to ignore all those household tasks that need to be done so you can really relax. That’s another reason why I’m a fan of a vacation instead of a staycation.

  4. March 24, 2016 at 3:19 pm — Reply

    I recently moved to a city that other people like to vacate in, so we’ve already had family and friends come through town. Entertaining them when they visit has given me the opportunity to get to explore a city that is still new to me! It’s not the same as a vacation, but it’s a bit like a short staycation and it’s a nice break!

    • March 25, 2016 at 9:48 am — Reply

      When you first move to a new city I can see how a staycation might be a little more exciting. 🙂

  5. March 24, 2016 at 7:29 pm — Reply

    While I am a fan of taking a “Staycation” if you are trying to pay off debt, we really value traveling abroad now that we paid off our consumer debt. It is good to do a stacation every once and a while, but I really do prefer getting out of town when vacation time comes.

    • March 25, 2016 at 9:50 am — Reply

      Even though I’m still in debt, I do plan to do more domestic travelling and vacations as an occasional reward for financial progress. I’ll also take steps to make them cheap, but fun. 🙂

  6. March 25, 2016 at 3:40 am — Reply

    I never thought I would be a fan of Staycations, but as I’ve gotten older the idea does appeal to me more. I’m not talking about hiring a chef or exploring, but simply taking a week off work to just stay home. Sleep in, stay up late, drink too much 🙂 and maybe tackle a few lingering chores. This is a dream to me.

  7. March 25, 2016 at 7:31 am — Reply

    I agree – I’m not a “staycation” kind of person. I live in Fort Collins, CO, and while it’s a nice place, I don’t have my own transportation and so I feel stuck here most of the time. A staycation would only make that worse.

    I’ve never gone on a proper vacation – i.e., one that lasted >2 days, was not for work, and did not involve crashing on a family member’s couch. However, I’d really LIKE to go on a real vacation someday, so I’d rather just save my money up and do it. Go big or go home. But without spending a lot of money. 🙂

    If I do need a cheap vacation, I usually just go camping. I love being outside anyways. Once, when I was 16, I lived in a tent for a whole summer on my parent’s property. I am very strange. 🙂

    • March 25, 2016 at 9:55 am — Reply

      Well in that case, I haven’t been on a real vacation either. 🙂 I usually try to stay cheaply by crashing with friends or family, but it’s still nice to get away from the “norm”, which is why I consider it a vacation. I haven’t done much travelling either, but I definitely want to do more now that I have the flexibility from being my own boss.

  8. March 26, 2016 at 10:38 pm — Reply

    No to “staycation.” There are really so many good place to pay a visit to. That’s why I work and earn as much as I can so that I could at least visit some places, if not all.

  9. March 28, 2016 at 7:42 am — Reply

    Hahah this post is awesome! I probably need a vacation so bad that I don’t even realize it! I’m guilty of taking a staycation and blogging! 🙂

  10. April 4, 2016 at 8:43 pm — Reply

    Great tips! I love vacationing and would much rather take an inexpensive vacation than a luxury staycation.

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