Essay Final: Should I Stay or Should I Go: Vacation vs Staycation

Columbia Southern University

Vacation vs Staycation

You finally got approved for two weeks off at work and now you want to plan your vacation. If you live up North then a trip down to Florida would be nice, or if you live where is dry and flat, then a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains would suit you better. But what if you live in Florida, minutes from the beach, or you can look out your back porch in Tennessee and see the mountains every day? In that case, a staycation could possibly be the better choice. Depending on where you live, your budget, or what it is you are wanting to experience, both options can benefit you for different reasons. Although vacations and staycations differ, they both give you a chance to just get away from the everyday routine and relax.

Travel Vacations

Sometimes, regardless of where you live, you just want to get away. Just taking time off work or your busy schedule is sometimes not enough to relax. According to a recent AAA survey, more than one-third of Americans (35%) are planning to take a family vacation of 50 miles or more away from home involving two or more immediate family members in the next 12 months (Hall, 2016). To some people, a vacation is not a vacation until you are in a different state.


For others, staying at home and binge watching a series on Netflix is their idea of a perfect get away. When you think about the hassle of traveling, you start to realize why a staycation is a very viable option. Things such as packing, getting to the airport, travel time, and probably the biggest factor, money, are all things that make a staycation easier and more comfortable for the homebody type person.

With the cost of living forecasted to rise 3% next year (Yun, 2016), the cost of vacations will inevitably rise with it. When you began to factor in all the steps it takes to take a vacation, you start to realize that a vacation is more than just what you spend when you get there. The average vacation expense per person in the United States is $1,145-$4,580 for a family of four, per American Express (American Express, 2013). With the benefit of saving money, a staycation can be taken with all the benefits of a vacation. With the suitable cost of gas, you can travel close to home without having to commit to a hotel or high travel expenses. Like on a vacation, visiting something new and different is a highlight and allows you to be home at the end of the day.

Being able to experience different cultures at a young age is something that cannot be replaced by staying home. While a staycation would be cheaper than taking the family to Egypt, the memories and exposure to the lifestyle there is irreplaceable. “Meeting people who have different perspectives, backgrounds, and life experiences can be a transformative experience because it often shapes you into a more open-minded individual” (Muñoz, 2013). Taking the family to a less than fortunate country where Wi-Fi is scarce and video games are not as accepted can help them become more appreciative of what they have at home. It has also helped many others find a passion that they would not have felt from staying home, ultimately turning it into a career or hobby.

Whether a vacation or staycation, getting away from the everyday routine and relaxing is one of the biggest benefits of taking time off. Where a cruise to the Bahamas may seem to be more relaxing, others would argue that pitching a tent in their backyard would be just as pleasurable. Being far away would make it a lot easier, and sometimes forces some to relax and forget about the bad work week they had. In a survey consisting of 2,068 adults aged 25 years and older, 88% feel vacations are important for rest and relaxation and 71% of people were more satisfied at work when they regularly took a vacation (Nielsen Consumer Research, 2015). Being happy at work makes for an easier and more enjoyable day, which in turn makes for a happy home life. If you prefer the staycation, you can still receive all the health benefits of a long distant vacation. Plan and make arrangements that might be needed while you are gone, and make known the person someone needs to contact in your absence. With no one bothering you for every little problem, a staycation can feel like your miles away.

In conclusion, taking a vacation has many benefits and experiences if you have the money and time for it; however, a staycation can be as enjoyable and relaxing as a long-distance trip all while saving money. If planned correctly, both a vacation and staycation can improve health and relive stress, ultimately creating a better lifestyle at home and at work. Regardless of what you have read or been told, the benefit of either a vacation or staycation is to take time and do something you enjoy. The reality is take some time off and just break the routine day-in and day-out routine, and take time to spend with your family or friends or just yourself. Be careful though, it could be very addicting and could result in a much happier and productive you.


American Express. (June 2013) Summer Travel Soars; Many Americans to Spend More. Retrieved


Hall, J. (April 2016) More Than One-Third of Americans Will Take a Family Vacation This Year. Retrieved from

Muñoz, D. (March 2013) 5 Reasons Why Experiencing Culture Shock is Good for You. Retrieved from

Nielsen Consumer Research. (2015) Understanding Vacation Habits and Their Impact on Health and Happiness. Retrieved from

Yun, L. (October 2015) Cost-Of-Living Adjustment Likely Rising To 3% in 2017 After Zilch In 2016. Retrieved from

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