Saturday, May 22, 2010

Summer plans: Staycation or not?

Going Green Mama is relishing her last summer before 20 years of school schedules...

I admit writing about staycations seems a little much, seeing I arrived home Thursday night from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see a friend in Puerto Rico. But as our family prepares for the arrival of the big K this fall, I feel compelled to do something as a family this summer.

For the last five years, our trips have revolved around family visits. Not that that's a bad thing in any respect. But I fondly remember our trips to the Rockies too each summer, and I'd love to have my kids have similar memories.

Last night, my husband and I decided to discuss the idea of a vacation - a college student-budget vacation, but a vacation nonetheless. And quickly, I realized while we had the same idea (camping), our execution might be a little different.

Dear husband had identified all national parks within a day's drive. Me, unsure how a fearless toddler will handle the whole camping experience (OK, maybe how I would handle a fearless toddler trying to get into everything...), was leaning toward a quiet night or weekend at a state park to test the whole camping thing out. I suspect with children, it's a whole new ball game.

If we couldn't make camping work, I proposed a short daytrip to someplace local, or just creating a special "family day" as Kindergarten approached. At this point, we haven't settled negotiations.

Interestingly we're not alone. A recent survey found that 11 percent are taking time off just to explore the local attractions, and 7 percent were taking a hiking trip or "experiential vacation."

Where do you fall this summer? Are you throwing caution to the wind, and traveling afar? Staying close? Enjoying nature? Or simply taking time off at home to rest?


Wonder-ful said...

Our town offers little outside of the library (threatening to close), city-sponsored sports (that department all but closed) and Vacation bible school. During the year, VBS is replaced

I say this because there really isn't a reason for a teenager to WANT to come here for the summer, and for some unknown reason we have two that have been looking forward to it all year (I think it's the sun... has to be the sun). I may take them to the waterpark (hour drive away) bur our "vacation" will consist of me taking them to the farmers market in town and to youth group during the week.

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

The other day I was asking my boyfriend if my daily 5 block walk to work (+ an average of 200 mi/ month driven) offsets our yearly vacation.

We fly from Nashville to L.A., pick-up my parents + drive about 600+ miles round trip to the Sierra Nevada mountains for a camping/ backpacking extended Memorial Day weekend with a large group of family + friends who travel from all over the country for this annual trip.

Throughout the rest of the year I rarely travel outside a 3 county range (+ 5 days a week, it's a 5 block range), so I give myself this one big trip.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

We do a crazy road trip twice a year to visit family in Pennsylvania and then down in Kentucky/Tennessee. It makes me feel guilty every time, but at the same time, I'm not willing to sacrifice seeing family. At least we don't fly!

We're hoping to get a few camping trips in this year also.

Holly said...

I am all about exploring, no matter where you are. I grew up next to DC so I learned at an early age to get out and see the attractions all around and would take the metro as a kid to the Smithsonian. No matter where I've been I've had a desire to explore and find new things. Or enjoy whatever there is around. Of course that is easy to say when the Smithsonian is down the street. But playing in the stream or going for a walk is just as good. There is always something even when there appears to be nothing. So when the term "staycation" started being used, I was confused. I thought that is what people did all the time in their every day life. Didn't everyone like to explore?

But then again when it comes to vacationing, going somewhere to do something new or experience something further away, or going back to your roots and friends, I'm all for it! Guilt should not factor in, but smarts should. As long as you continue to live smart, travel smart and respect. It will help you live outside your comfort zone and have a new hands on perspective of the things you already love and discover new things to love.
It helps not just us, but those around us. Have fun!

Rosa said...

Last summer we set aside one weekend per month to go camping somewhere a short drive from home. We actually went more often - hit 6 different state parks and one state forest in five months.

It was great. My son loves it. If we had national parks nearby we'd probalby go to them, but for me the short drive (longest was 4 hours) makes up for many shortfalls - and the walk-in sites in our state parks are beautiful and under-used.

Then we took a 2-week vacation in Rocky Mountain National Park with his grandparents. That was great too, but I can safely say he doesn't enjoy the really majestic scenery any more than any piney woods w/some running water close to home.


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