The ‘staycation’ is the best vacation of all

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By Lee Scott

Every year, millions of Americans plan their annual summer vacation. This adventure usually involves car travel, plus hotels or rental property. It might even mean visiting amusement parks or relatives. 

At the time of the long sought-after vacation, the car is loaded with food, clothing, children’s toys/electronics, beach chairs and other miscellaneous needs. 

Then after a fun-filled holiday it is time to load the car again and return home; sometimes exhausted and sunburned.  

And, for many people, it means heading back to work the next day. 

Ah yes, the annual vacation!

It did not take me long after starting a full-time job, while raising kids, to figure out that my all-time favorite vacation week was my “staycation.”

This was an entire week off from work where I could just stay in my own house for more than two days without being sick. Oh, the joy. Putting on shorts and T-shirts every morning, going to the pool and catching up on my reading from the pile of books stacked next to my bed.

What a treat to sit on the porch with a glass of iced tea and not have anything to do or have anywhere to go. 

The extra money I might have spent on hotels and restaurants went towards enjoying my own home and town. Seven days of not having to get up early, commute to work or go to bed exhausted. 

For the most part, we spent the sunny days at the pool. My kids could play with friends and I could unwind. On the rainy days, we would close the curtains and put in a Beta tape (yes, I did not have a VHS) watch some movies like “Goonies” and eat lots of popcorn with butter. We would treat ourselves to ice cream cones and pizza. By the end of the week, I would be rested up and more prepared for the work week ahead.

Looking back, I think the kids might have thought it was boring. They liked the trips to Disney World and the beach. 

But now they have children and jobs of their own and it does not sound so boring after all. I think they appreciate the cost of a staycation versus a normal vacation also. It is quite a difference. 

Even though I do not work full time anymore, I still require a staycation. One or two weeks where there are no projects in the house, no outside commitments and no long drives on the interstates. Just time to sit around in shorts and a T-shirt and read the books stacked up next to the bed.

My kids are so jealous!