Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Consider a "Stay-cation"

When we think of taking a holiday from work, people often start contemplating what fancy destination they will visit next.  Warm beaches, fancy fruity drinks, and the hot sun are the idealized visions of vacation dreamers.  This contemporary view of vacations seems all nice and dandy, but let's talk about some of the bad sides.  First, vacations are a lot of work; planning the event, making arrangements for your pets or other types of home care while you're away, the act of traveling, and actually getting to your destination take up a significant amount of time.  All this in the name of finally getting to relax.  The next problem with traditional vacations is that they can be very stressful.  With today's flight security, going through the TSA can be very stressful if not mentally prepared.  Additional stresses can come if your vacation involves seeing family.  Whereas you are happy to see them, you can sometimes be reminded why you only see them a couple times per year.  Traveling can also have a considerable toll on the environment with all the wasted energy in transporting you to your final destination.  Finally, and what I consider most importantly, traveling can be downright expensive.  According to one study, the average American family spends $1,180 per person on a summer vacation.  For a family of 4, you're paying $4,720!  If you had instead used that money and invested it in a inflation adjusted 4% return over the course of 30 years, you would have spent over $19,000 in today's dollars.  Is your vacation worth $19,000?

Allow me to suggest an alternative, the staycation.  Basically, a staycation is using your precious vacation time to stay at home.  Now hear me out before you out-right dismiss me.  The benefits of a staycation include decreased stress, potentially supporting your local economy, finding more family activities to do, and most importantly cost.  For just a few hundred dollars, you can go out to a nice restaurant, see a local attraction, and do a couple other fun things with your whole family.

Don't get me wrong, traveling on your vacation is a fine thing to do, but I just want you to be aware of the cost.  If early retirement or financial independence is not your goal, then by all means, spend your money however which way you like.  If instead, you are like me, then these world trips are far and few between, and you prefer to explore your regional domain.  Try a staycation once and awhile; you just might enjoy it.

Wonderful Moment of the Day: Late fall and still 50 degrees outside.  Awesome weather for this climate and time of year.

No comments:

Post a Comment