Are Staycations Really That Cool?

Today’s post is by our Wednesday contributor, Catherine Alford!

Lately there has been this trend of people taking staycations. Have you heard of them? Basically, this idea came about during the early part of the recession, and it has continued to pick up steam.

The way it works is that instead of taking vacation time from work and flying someplace new, people started staying home instead and enjoying their own cities. After all, it’s kind of a good idea, right? You get to save a ton of money and learn more about where you live.

Realistically, how many of you have been to the museums and other sites in your city? Maybe you only go when someone visits you or when your child goes on a field trip. The truth is, we almost never see what our own city has to offer unless it’s free food of course! A staycation is an opportunity to get out there and try that new restaurant or that cool hiking trail or that crazy ice cream shop with all the unique flavors.

My Staycation

Before I moved to Grenada, I was living in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond has an over abundance of great activities to do. From white water rafting through the middle of the city to tons of unique historical sites and restaurants, you can truly see it all.

It was a great place to live with a unique mix of people. Plus, they always had a festival of some sort going on every weekend and a hugely popular 10k that people came to run from all over the country. The thing is though, the hubs and I are introverts and we rarely took in what our city had to offer. I know; we’re nerds.

I even had a free pass to every museum in town since I worked for the park service, but I never used it until the last week we lived there! Basically, my husband and I decided that since we were moving, we had to see everything Richmond had to offer and catch up on everything that we missed. So, in one week, we checked out botanical gardens, historic cemeteries, and several museums. It was so much fun, and we couldn’t understand why we didn’t do it sooner! Plus, it was all free since I had the pass, so it was wallet friendly too.

Fancy Staycation

If you want to get fancy or you just have a slightly bigger vacation budget, you can even stay in a hotel in your own city. This helps you to really forget about the chores and the responsibility at home and instead focus on kicking up your feet and ordering some room service.

Remember, even if you stay in a hotel, you are still saving a lot of money on gas or flights all while enjoying time off and new, fun experiences.

So, I want to hear from you. Have you ever had a staycation? Do you love the idea or are you really devoted to the idea of actually going somewhere else when you take time off of work?

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About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a personal finance freelance writer who received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. She enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog,


  1. I LOVE a good staycation. New York City has endless opportunities for exploration. It’s also really easy to do day trips or weekend trips to the shore in the summer or the mountains in the winter.

  2. Staycations are not that cool where I live because there is nothing to do!

    I would LOVE a staycation in Grenada =)

  3. I have done many staycations. I consider a vacation anywhere in my state a staycation. Since NC is very diverse, I can really enjoy myself, especially in the mountains.

  4. Same as Stefanie…NYC is great for a staycation. I don’t live in Manhattan and don’t necessarily go there all the time so going there is like a vacation in itself except I only pay a couple of bucks for the subway compared to hundreds for a flight or for gas. There are also many daytrips you can take from the NYC metro area if you want to get out of the city.

  5. Bryce @ Save and Conquer says:

    There’s something to be said for both going somewhere and for staycations. We are going to Hawaii later this year just because it is so different from where we live. That’s not to say we don’t love where we live. It’s only a few minute’s drive from our house to the coastal mountains, and only 30 minutes to the beach. We have been most all of the local museums and parks, but that doesn’t mean we are tired of them.

  6. Hey Catherine and thanks for a fun and informative post 🙂

    I was also going to write about staycations over at my own blog but never got around to it, so yours will have to do 🙂

    I have been a huge proponent of staycations since I was a young kid. I never understood the huge expense some families or individuals would spend for a week or two in a strange town or location!

    I am not dissing traveling, but every year!?

    And you are so right, there is usually so much to see and so in one’s own backyard so to speak, that until all that has been exhausted, it’s a tad silly to jet off to some gated resort. Plus, I’m just not a beach person 🙂

    Thanks again and take care. All the best.


  7. Depending on where one lives, staycations can actually be really cool. Here in the Chicago area, there are multitudes of fun things to do. Lots of museums, festivals, cool neighborhoods, etc. Particularly in the summer, a staycation could be a lot of fun. For a family, it would certainly save on airfare.

  8. Another NYC opinion 🙂 Staycations are actually really fun (bf and I have done a few) when you’re in a big city. There are so many things that I still want to do here that are free and inexpensive.

  9. Hi Cat,
    I’ve lived in Richmond for the past 8 years (went to the University of Richmond before that) and it really is a great place to live! There’s so much to do here, but like you, we’re introverts, so we usually find ourselves staying home.
    Now that my kids are getting older, we go to the James River more often and try to see a lot of the sights, but we have to make more of a concerted effort to do so.
    I enjoyed the article — thanks,

  10. I HATE my city, so there’s no way I’ll play tourist here 😀

    Travel is one of the luxuries we do like to enjoy, so no staycation for us too soon. Sure, if we lived in a nicer area, it would be a different ballgame.

  11. For my birthday a few years ago, my wife booked us a night in a hotel overlooking Boston Harbor. That alone was really cool, but we also went out to dinner at this tiny little hole in the wall that had THE BEST seafood I’ve ever tasted. It was all so close to home, but definitely felt like a vacation. We had a blast.

  12. Living on an island like I do (I’m in Hawaii) stay cations are a huge part of our vacationing plans. I often take for granted the thousands people pay to visit here.

  13. I like staycations, but I think they get old after awhile. I do like going on holidays and travelling, too. I think a mixture of the two is the best – that way you can spend your travel budget on what really matters while still enjoying the town that you live in.

  14. I did a staycation a couple of years ago and while we did stuff around the city, it just didn’t do it for me. I wouldn’t do it again. I prefer going somewhere far and exotic . When I go on vacation, I want to experience different foods and different cultures.

  15. I prefer staycations, and mine are even more severe in that I am happy just staying at home! 🙂 We actually have a camper in our yard that we use for camping on occasion.

  16. I remember my last spring break at school in Lynchburg, my roommate and I stayed in the area – we never went further than Natural Bridge and just explored the heck out of everything – we called it our Discovering Lynchburg trip – and there was a surprising amount of stuff in the area that we’d never done. We’d lived there for a few years already and were just always driving past all these historical sites and cool restaurants we wanted to try, so we just did and it’s still one of my favorite “vacations” I’ve been on, and easily the least expensive!

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