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Wiser Living

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Green Travel: Save Money and Travel Emissions with Staycations

by Susan Melgren, Web Editor

Tags: green travel, vacations, staycations, travel, emissions, save money,

If a traditional summer vacation isn’t feasible this year, consider taking a staycation instead. Staycations, vacations taken in-town or at home, are a smart way to save money, reduce emissions from long-distance traveling and support your local economy. Whether you’re taking your vacation days at home or checking out a local hotel or bed and breakfast, it’s important to treat your staycation like a normal vacation. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of your staycation.

Set start and end dates: When planning a staycation, set parameters just like you would a normal vacation.

Plan activities: What’s your vacation style? Do you prefer to relax, or are you vacations oriented around fun activities? Be sure to plan your staycation the same way.

wine bottle on picnic table
Taking a staycation doesn't have to mean sitting at home. Go on a camping trip or take a picnic. Plan to relax or engage in fun activities on your staycation—certainly don't plan on working! Photo By Colleen Proppe/Courtesy Flickr. 

Take photos: Treat your staycation like a normal vacation, so do your normal vacation activities, including pictures. Taking photos is a great way to turn ordinary happenings into an event.

Get out of the house: If money isn’t an issue, spend your staycation at a local, eco-friendly hotel. Getting out of the house will make your staycation feel more like a vacation, and it will also help support the local economy. If you don’t have the funds for a hotel, go camping. Enjoying the great outdoors will give you a mental boost—and it will also save a few pennies.

Avoid work: If you’re taking your staycation at home, don’t allow yourself to work. Be careful not to fall into your normal activities, such as checking work emails or doing chores, and don’t use your staycation to get caught up on work around the house. No cleaning out the garage, rearranging your office or doing chores of any kind. Relax! This is your vacation.

Plan ahead: Not making hotel reservations? Half of the excitement in taking a vacation is the anticipation and planning. Put some thought into your staycation several weeks in advance. Plan activities, map out your relaxation—at least plan not to do anything!

Busch Stadium
Check out major attractions in your area. Visit your city's zoo, go to a play or take in a baseball game. Photo By Joe Penniston/Courtesy Flickr. 

Looking for in-town entertainment to make your staycation more exciting? Matt Wixon, writer and columnist for the Dallas Morning News and author of The Great American Staycation, gives these ideas for staycation activities.


• Museums, obsesrvatories and planetariums
• Regional amusement parks
• Local water parks, springs or other favorite swimming hole
• Zoos and aquariums
• Bed and breakfasts
• Local wineries or breweries

Or check out local:

• Concerts
• Sporting events
• Festivals and fairs
• Community theater or Broadway productions
• Historic homes tours

Other ideas:

• Take a scenic train ride.
• Spend a romantic evening on a sunset cruise.
• Stay at a local resort.