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Phoenix Forward

7 reasons to take a staycation this summer

Summer vacation ideas

With the rising prices of fuel and the high cost of travel on our fragile ecosystem, you might want to consider the advantages of enjoying a “staycation” at home this summer, particularly on a holiday weekend like the Fourth of July or Labor Day. Francis Foley, instructor for the University of Phoenix hospitality management program, examines some of the benefits of unstrapping your roof rack in favor of staying local:

1. You’ll save money.

"American Automobile Association claims that the average U.S. vacation will cost $244 every day for two people for lodging and meals,” says Foley, who also works as a financial analyst at a lighting services company in North Carolina.

With a couple kids and air tickets, a vacation can easily hit the $10,000 mark. Without the added cost of travel or hotels, you can spend your money on the activities you love — from spa treatments to gourmet dinners or concert tickets — without feeling guilty.

2. It’s less stressful.

Anyone who’s ever waited in an airport security line with kids knows well that travel can add more than a few gray hairs to your head.

It’s unpleasant to rush to the airport, says Foley, who adds that flight delays and cancellations can also be stressful.

3. It’s better for the environment.

Summer travel emits a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In fact, airplane travel is the quickest way to exponentially grow your footprint: According to Sea Change Radio, a transatlantic flight for a family of four produces more CO2 than they create in a year.

4. You’ll have more downtime.

“Staycationers actually have more time to relax,” Foley says, “because the first couple days of a vacation can often be spent recovering from jet lag. If I fly my family to Hawaii, I’m losing a whole day, and I’m going to be exhausted when I get there.”

5. You can explore the sights people come to your town to see.

To make up for lagging tourism, Foley says, many venues, such as amusements parks and zoos, have been marketing to the local crowd, offering season passes at bargain prices. If you stay home, you may finally get a chance to visit the list of attractions you’ve been meaning to check out.

6. You can catch up on your to-do list.

OK, it’s not as sexy as the Caribbean, but finishing that workbench in the garage, or the tile in the bathroom, produces a major feel-good moment.

7. You can focus on your friends and family.

Relaxing at a friend-filled barbeque at home or going for an all-day hike with your best buddies may be just the type of break you need.

“People who work full time,” Foley says, “often don’t get a chance to just enjoy the company of friends and family living in their area.”

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