If the troubled economy has made you rethink your vacation plans, you are not alone. A recent USA Today Gallup poll1 found that only half of Americans plan to travel this summer. 52% of those travelling say they are altering their plans because of the current recession. That's a quarter of all Americans.
"Staycationing," or vacationing close to home, is a growing trend and a welcome alternative to a traditional vacation. The economic downturn may be what motivates most folks initially, but those who try a staycation soon come to appreciate the real benefit: an opportunity to kick back with less hassle.
Traveling can be hectic; bouncing from airports to planes to shuttles and back is exhausting. So why do we continually put ourselves through the stress when we are supposed to be relaxing?
Shorter distances mean less planning, more time to unwind, and fewer carbon emissions from planes, trains and automobiles. And it's a great chance to discover or rediscover local attractions, which are often similar to activities you enjoy on a destination vacation - minus the costly airfare.
There is no better time to take a fresh look around and see what you've been missing, and this time it won't be your luggage!
To help you out in this process, here are two alternative staycations to common destination vacations, whether you live on the East Coast or West Coast. And for those of you in the middle, check out some ideas below.
Smart Staycation: New Jersey
Five days in Costa Rica for a family of four from New York City averages $5,000, lodging and airfare only. The staycation alternative? Save that $5,000 and almost 2 days of travel by exploring nearby New Jersey. That's right NJ. While NJ may not be widely known as a vacation destination, New Jersey Travel and Tourism features destinations and attractions for just about any recreational activity you could imagine.
1Recession Altering Plans for Half of Summer Travelers. Gallup Poll May 22, 2009
Smart Staycation: California
Most Americans are within three hours of wonderful tourist destinations that are often overlooked. The perfect summer vacation with swimming, tennis, hiking and biking, ballgames, concerts, museums, zoos, aquariums or planetariums is very doable for a fraction of the cost of a typical destination vacation. Five days in Hawaii for a family of four from the West Coast can average $5,000. The staycation alternative eliminates 2 days of travel hassle and saves almost five thousand.
12 Staycation Resources, Mini-Getaways and Day Trip Promotions
New Jersey Statewide Packages, Discounts and Deals
Vermont Staycation Getaways at the Wildflower Inn
Walt Disney World Florida (mousesavers.com)
Cobb County/ Marietta/Atlanta Georgia
Chicago Food Tasting & Cultural Walking Tours
Lee's Summit, Missouri Parks and Recreation Staycation Packages
Disneyland 3-Day Summer Fun Pass~ $99
Go San Francisco Card 50 Attractions: up to 40 percent discount
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego "Wish You Were Here" Staycation Package
Ogden, Utah Adventure Pass Staycations
Top 20 L.A. Entertainment-Dining, Spas Discounts
Compliments of Santa Barbara
Discounts: AAA.com Discounts members can enter their zipcode for discounts or pick up a Tour Book at the local Auto Club office. Each book is region specific with 1,000 pages of travel information, coupons, details and contact information for diamond rated restaurants, local attractions and points of interest.
Trip Planning: The AAA TripTik Travel Planner helps plan road trips with maps, detailed stops, restaurants and more. Apple iPhone users can download a free GPS-based application that displays nearby AAA discount retailers. The application is loaded with over 110, 000 participating locations in North America.