No Staycations! Why I Need a Real 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.
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?