Sun Holidays
Last Minute

How to Save Hundreds (or Thousands) on your next Vacation

By Kathy Steinemann

Gas prices are rising. Airfares are doing the same. Unemployment statistics are appalling. You deserve (and need) a holiday, but how can you afford to put aside enough money? It might be easier than you think! This article provides a simple solution.

Picture an ordinary guy sitting in a lawn chair a few feet from his workplace. He is holding a tin foil pie plate under his chin to act as a sun reflector. He claims he is taking a much-needed annual vacation (which occurs once every two or three years). He calls it a "staycation".

Canadian comedy writer, Brent Butt, invented this word for his TV persona, Brent Leroy - the colorful character who regaled audiences for six seasons in "Corner Gas".

Until Leroy's friends realize what he is up to, they admire him for being able to afford vacations that include more than one country. They always enjoy receiving his postcards from "abroad", and never know in advance where he is headed.

That was 2005.

Nowadays, you will find "staycation" defined at and in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Merriam-Webster defines the word as "a vacation spent at home or nearby".

The Advantages of a Staycation

• Since you do not have to budget for gas, airfare, or other transportation costs to distant destinations, you can save huge sums of money in this area. If you opt to stay at home instead of a hotel or bed and breakfast, the savings continue to add up.

• It does not require as much planning as a vacation abroad.

• Done right, a staycation is very relaxing and stress-free. You return to your regular routine rejuvenated and revitalized.

• You do not need a special wardrobe.

• There is no packing if you decide to stay at home.

• You do not have to worry about security checks and terrorism threats.

• There is no need to visit the doctor for special immunizations and prescriptions.

• You know that the local water is safe (no travelers' diarrhea or hepatitis concerns).

• You can visit all the local attractions that you neglected in the past.

• You are able to spend quality, unhurried, stress-free time with family.

A Staycation Does Not Have to be Boring

Just because you are staying at or near home, does not mean that your stay-at-home vacation has to be dull and unexciting. Here is a starter list of ideas you can incorporate into your planning.

• Attending local festivals and events

• Visiting nearby tourism attractions

• Watching movies or documentaries about exotic destinations

• Playing classic games like Monopoly or Scrabble

• Ordering ethnic take-out or dining at exotic restaurants

• Going hiking or biking with spouse and/or family

• Playing games like Frisbee or ring-toss in the yard

• Pulling out the lawn chairs and reading a good book or two under a shady tree

• Having a nap every afternoon and staying up as late as you want at night

• Watching the stars and planets through a telescope on a clear night

• Having wiener roasts or tenting out in the back yard

• Turning off all the lights at night and telling spooky stories or playing hide-and-seek

• Dusting off the Wii system and having a sports night or Mario Kart fest

Visit your local chamber of commerce or tourism bureau for pamphlets and more ideas. With a little ingenuity, you can make your next "staycation" a holiday you will always remember ... a romantic couples' getaway for two or an extraordinary family event.

... and think of all the money you will save!

About the Author:

Kathy is an author and webmaster who provides content for several websites, including 111 Travel Directory and a popular travel tips site. Looking for budget accommodations? Try 111 Hostel Directory. Article source: 111 Travel Directory: (triple one dot com)
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