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Staycations: The rising trend in travel and why you should take one

Plus Staycation ideas for each corner of the US



So what is a Staycation, anyway?


Mirriam-Webster defines a Staycation as a vacation spent at home or nearby.


Modern travelers define a staycation in different ways though. There’s those who consider a staycation as staying at home during their breaks from work. Others consider it any vacation spent somewhere in their home country. Either way, during a staycation you tend not to venture too far from where you hang your hat.


Why are staycations growing in popularity?


For our U.S. readers, you likely only have two weeks of paid vacation time a year (how nuts is that?) That’s hardly enough time to sufficiently plan AND enjoy an international trip. And isn’t relaxing on your vacation kinda the whole point?


Since the pandemic, folks have still been weary of traveling abroad. Whether it’s being cooped up on a flight with a hundred other strangers, or the destination being more remote with health care being further away, travelers are still hesitating to head to far-flung lands during their PTO.


There’s also the issue of expense. Prices are rising with the current economy. Domestic flights and consumer costs are expensive and not so eco-friendly.


Travelers are finding that the best budget and eco-friendly way to get the most out of their vacay is to staycay. (Say that ten times fast. Ready, Go!)


What are the benefits of a staycation?


With a staycation, everything gets a little more flexible. Here’s some benefits of opting for a staycation:

  • Save time planning

With a staycation, the simplicity of taking a holiday at your home or just outside of town eliminates many logistical factors. You can have a spontaneous getaway

  • No visa applications

Some processes for obtaining a tourist visa are easy, others are difficult. With a staycation you can avoid the hassle of obtaining a tourist visa altogether.

  • Save money

No need to break the bank. Without international airfare and potentially without the need of lodging, staycations can be customized in alignment with your budget and values.

  • Discover the hidden gems near your home

Finding out surprising little features are to be found within a close radius of your residence.

  • It can be better for the environment

When planned with intention, your staycation can be better for the planet. With sustainable options like train travel, camping, and vetting accommodations for sustainable practices, you can relax knowing you can limit the negative impact of your vacation.


Best staycation ideas for each corner of the US


No matter which area in the United States you hail from, there’s tons of little spots to discover for your staycation. Here’s a list of gems from all over the United States.


North East:

Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom: Filled to the brim with sustainable breweries, delectable farm-to-table restaurants, scenic retreats, and world-class ski areas, Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is a solid choice for a New England staycation.


Want a done-for-you responsible Vermont tour? Check out the CTC Vermont foliage trip here.


Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, ME: The absolutely stunning Acadia National Park and the quaint seaside town of Bar Harbor are must-sees in Vacationland. Hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain or grab some good eats from one of the local-owned restaurants and cafes.



MidAtlantic States:

Alexandria, VA Just five miles south of the U.S. Capitol, Alexandria is not only a perfect base from which to explore D.C., it also is loaded with things to do if you’re looking for a more low-key staycation. Some favorites are the Alexandria Black History Museum and the Mount Vernon bike and boat tours.

Outer Banks, NC A gorgeous and unique string of barrier islands, the Outer Banks is a relaxing retreat (and a stark reminder of the fragility of earth’s climate). October is the time to visit North Carolina’s best beaches and quaint coastal towns as the summer masses have dissipated.



Southeast:

Savannah, GA There’s so much to see in this city on the Savannah River. Some eco-friendly favorites are an ecology tour to Tybee Beach for the nature lovers, a Savannah bicycle tour for the history-buffs, or a spooky ghost tour to visit Savannah’s haunted locations.


Everglades National Park, FL Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Everglades National Park, aka the ‘River of Grass’ is much more than just that. Giant cypress trees, alligators, thousands of species of birds, the rare Florida panther are just some of the natural attractions you may see if you choose to visit the Everglades on your staycation.



Southwest:

Taos, New Mexico Taos, NM is a beautiful and culturally stunning place to visit for a staycation in the southwest US. Home to Taos Pueblo, a Native American community, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and testament to the preservation of Native culture. Also a haven for creatives, the art galleries in Taos are sure to inspire.


Arcata, CaliforniaTucked amongst California’s infamous redwood trees, the little town of Arcata is a friendly and environmentally conscious west coast getaway. With bikeways, farmers markets, and plenty of trails to explore, Arcata is a great staycation option for nature lovers.




Pacific Northwest:

Olympic Peninsula For those looking to escape Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State has endless options for a PNW staycation. Rent a kayak or canoe to explore Lake Quinault or hike up to Hurricane Ridge. Indulge in the many different flavors of the Peninsula with local and sustainably-sourced cuisines on the Culinary Loop.


Oregon Trailheads and quirky townships abound in Oregon. For those who love the great outdoors, hike yourself up through Crater Lake National Park for some breathtaking views or spend the night in a treehouse after a day full of high-flying treetop activities.




Midwest:

Bozeman, MT

With sustainability front-and-center, Bozeman is a staycationer’s playground. White water rafting, horseback riding, and hiking for a breath of fresh mountain air. The Gallatin History Museum and the Bozeman Art Museum for some wholesome indoor fun.


Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri is full of outdoor and indoor adventures alike. Trails through limestone caves beneath the lake, paddleboarding on the lake, and history museums are just some of the fun adventures you can get into during an Ozark staycation.




Gulf:

Corpus Christi, TX This Gulf Coast city is a favorite among Texans. Art museums, Corpus Christi Science and History Museum, concerts at the Concrete Street Amphitheater for an activity-filled itinerary. OR relax and unwind on the beach at the Padre Island National Seashore. Corpus Christi has the elements required for a great Gulf Coast staycation.


New Orleans, LA A sustainable staycation to the Big Easy is easily attainable if you keep some Conscious Traveler tips in mind (psst..we share some of those in our blog here and here). Take a bike tour through the highlights like the French Quarter or a eco-tour with Lost Land Tours to learn about the delicate and beautiful wetlands of Louisiana and how more of them are being lost through rising sea levels and damage from manmade structures.




There’s plenty of fun to be had on a staycation, and quite feasible to make it a sustainable and budget-friendly event. It’s always a delight to discover what treasures are to be found in your own backyard…



The author of this blog is the oh-so-talented, Shelagh Hogan.

You can find out more about her work on our team page