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 TV comedy, Corner Gas. In October of 2005, gas station proprietor Brent Leroy (Brent Butt) stocks up on sunscreen, suntan lotion, and sunglasses, then spends his “annual vacation” (which comes around once every two or three years) relaxing in a lawn chair outside the gas station.

Brent calls his getaway a “staycation” – short for “stay-at-home vacation”. The word caught on, and now you will find it in reference sources such as Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and the Urban Dictionary.

The staycation has been referred to tongue-in-cheek as the equivalent of being unemployed for a week or a chance to sit around and look at all the reasons you wanted to get away for a week in the first place.

In reality, it refers to any vacation at or near home.

So why would you want to take a staycation?

• To save money on gas and airfare.

• To visit local sights you have never seen before.

• To avoid the hassles of planning a formal vacation.

• To avert the stresses of packing and traveling.

• To prevent ailments like travelers’ diarrhea.

• To reconnect with family.

• To feel safe at home instead of traveling via transportation that is inundated by more terrorism threats and security measures almost every week.

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

A staycation requires some planning but done right, it can leave you refreshed and rejuvenated in a way that most vacations cannot. Better yet, you will not have to mortgage the house to pay for it.

Activities might include:

• Touring local attractions

• Watching DVDs about exotic locations

• Ordering ethnic foods to eat in

• Playing board games

• Going for bike rides with family or spouse

• Playing tennis or badminton in the back yard

• Relaxing in the shade and reading a good book

• Taking planned siestas in a hammock

• Tenting out in the back yard

• Looking at planets and stars through a telescope at night

• Playing hide-and-seek in a darkened house

• Sitting in front of the fireplace and telling spooky stories

• Having a Wii bowling or Mario Kart 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 pamphlets. Read the local newspaper for details of festivals and special events during your staycation.

Your stay-at-home vacation can be a family-planned effort, or a romantic couple’s holiday.

Have you started to smile as you think of 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 be spending their next vacation in their own community.

A final thought: Remember the sage words of advice touted by Lacey (Gabrielle Miller) of Corner Gas – “I don’t bake on staycation!”

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