What is a Staycation and why in the world would you want one?

The word “staycation” was coined by Canadian writer Brent Butt for his television sitcom Corner Gas. In October 2005, gas station owner Brent Leroy (Brent Butt) stocks up on sunscreen, suntan lotion, and sunglasses, then spends his “annual vacation” (which occurs once every two to three years) relaxing in a lawn chair outside the gas station.

Brent calls his getaway a “stay away vacation,” short for “stay away vacation.” The word caught on, and now you’ll find it in reference sources like the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Urban Dictionary.

The stay has been referred to wryly as the equivalent of being unemployed for a week or the chance to sit down and figure out all the reasons why you wanted to get away for a week in the first place.

Actually, it refers to any vacation at or near home.

So why would you want to take a vacation at home?

• To save money on gas and airfare.

• To visit local sights you’ve never seen before.

• To avoid the hassle of planning a formal vacation.

• To reduce the stresses of packing and travel.

• To prevent foods such as traveler’s diarrhea.

• To reconnect with family.

• Feeling safe at home instead of traveling on modes of transportation that are inundated with more terrorist threats and security measures almost every week.

You can probably think of many other points to add to the list.

A stay requires some planning, but if done right, it can leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated in a way most vacations can’t. Better yet, you won’t have to mortgage the house to pay for it.

Activities may include:

• Touring the local attractions

• Watch DVDs about exotic places

• Order ethnic foods to eat at

• Playing board games

• Go biking with family or spouse

• Play tennis or badminton in the backyard.

• Relax in the shade and read a good book

• Take planned naps in a hammock.

• Tent in the backyard

• Observe planets and stars through a telescope at night

• Play hide-and-seek in a dark house.

• Sit in front of the fireplace and tell spooky stories

• Have a Wii or Mario Kart bowling tournament

The opportunities are as varied as your imagination and ingenuity. Look around your house for recreational activities. Visit the tourist information center or chamber of commerce for brochures. Read the local newspaper for details on festivals and special events during your stay.

Your stay-at-home vacation can be a planned family effort or a romantic vacation as a couple.

Have you started to smile when you think about how much money you could save?

What are you waiting for? Start making a list and join the millions of people around the world who will spend their next vacation in their own community.

One final thought: remember the sage words of advice promoted by Lacey (Gabrielle Miller) of Corner Gas: “I don’t bake on vacation!”

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