Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How I Spent My Summer "Staycation"

With fuel prices going through the roof, the media has coined a new word for vacation, calling it a “staycation.” Since people apparently can’t afford the price of gas for their cars, RVs, and boats, more people are choosing to stay home rather than travel. Along with gas prices, everything else seems to be going up in price, like food, hotels, airfare, car rentals – everything. By the way, I feel no pity for those people who bought massive bus-like motor homes and huge boats, and are now whining about the gas prices. I mean really, what did they expect when they bought a gas hog?

For me, staycations are not really new. I’ve always enjoyed having time at home just to do things around the house, or explore the area near where I live. Sure, I will still have to buy gas for the car to get to these places, but I won’t be spending as much on it. It’s not the price of gas that’s keeping me off the road this year, though. For our (almost) annual trip to Hilton Head, it would only cost us an extra $75 in gas expenses, something that is clearly not outrageously out of reach. For the last few years, though, we haven’t gone to Hilton Head because we’ve been saving to have a new roof for our home. (Three trips to Hilton Head, with condo rental and food equal one roof, in case you were wondering.)

While the media seems to portray staycations as something horrible, I think it's a good thing. Yes, it’s nice to get away, but it’s also nice to not spend a small fortune to get there. And who wants to travel by air any more? Not me. Airlines are trying to add to the price of your fare by new and creative ways, or cutting back on services to improve their bottom line. Going through the security screenings are a hassle. It used to be such an event to fly; now it’s almost worse than going to the dentist for a root canal. Who needs the stress? Not me.

The media can keep venting all they want about staycations, but I’m at peace with them. There’s nothing wrong with saving money and reducing the fuel I consume. And my house is enjoying it too, getting a new roof and getting all the interior rooms painted. And when my house is happy, I’m happy.

So I say "embrace the staycation." You may find you enjoy it.

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