Checklist for the trip: Tickets, ID, shirts, pants, shoes, underwear, socks, extra underwear, toiletries (including travel size), cash, credit cards. Alarm off? Stove off? Pets dispatched? Do we have pets? Do we still have kids? Whew—all this and more before you even leave on that “relaxing” vacation that, by the way, is costing an arm, a leg, and three toes.
Then you get to the airport. Security lines, boarding lines, waiting in the plane aisle and trying not to kill “that guy” who’s trying to stuff a shipping container-sized bag into a thimble-sized overhead bin. When you get to your seat, everyone in the row has shoulders like The Incredible Hulk and fiercely guards the armrests. Then there’s the coughers, the sneezers, the crying babies, the loud talkers, the seat kickers, the tiny bladder brigade, and of course, the farters. There are always farters. And if you forgot to bring your own food, it’s peanuts and pretzels or a mystery meat sandwich for 20 bucks.
Sound relaxing? Remember, you have to do this again to come home. All the good vibes, chakra massages, and halcyon memories will be replaced with anxiety, anger, lost luggage, and ultimately, post-vacation depression. And woe to the first person to ask, “How was your vacation?”
Exaggeration? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s why I’m recommending trying a STAYCATION! Unless you live in Excrement Point, West Virginia. Then you should drive to the next town. There’s a lot to see in West Virginia.
Staycations have become more popular lately for a number of reasons, including cost, hassle factor, and the realization that we need to enjoy all that our fair cities have to offer. Lately, according to YouGov, 53% of Americans surveyed have taken at least one Staycation, including 58% of those between age 45 and 54.
I live in San Diego, one of the top domestic vacation destinations in the United States, and yet most of the time, I just work here. Only lately have I begun to delve into the natural beauty and amazing attractions that my city has to offer: the beaches, the parks and hiking trails, the museums, the downtown nightlife, the numerous playhouses and theaters, and the top-notch restaurants.
Think about where you live and the surrounding areas. Imagine having a week or two to just explore. You sleep in your own bed, drive your own car, go where you want when you want, and save a ton of money that you can spend on great food and entertainment. And when friends and colleagues ask what you did on your vacation, you’ll smile. But don’t just smile or they’ll think you’ve gone mental. Gather them around you and recount the wonders and adventures you experienced in your shared city.
Now don’t get me wrong. Traveling is good! NBC News listed 5 scientifically proven health benefits of traveling abroad:
- Travel makes you Healthier
- Travel relieves Stress
- Travel enhances Creativity
- Travel boosts Happiness and Satisfaction
- Travel reduces the risk of Depression
Nevertheless, Staycations are a good alternative to more extensive traveling in times of economic downturns, pandemics (like we’re experiencing in 2020), or personal disabilities.
The most important thing to do, if you take that Staycation, is to not let your work know until afterwards. Some bosses or colleagues will think that just because you’re in town they can call you with questions. So lay low. That might also apply to some friends and family!
So, stay local and have a blast. Or come to San Diego—we could use the revenue!