Why a Vacation is Always Better Than a Staycation

The Urban Dictionary defines a staycation as “A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer.”

You know, that lame idea of not spending money on a real vacation, opting instead to try to find fun things to do in your city. While there might be some really interesting things to do close to where you live, if you haven’t done them already, I doubt they’re all that inviting. Museum visits, new restaurants, ordering in? Don’t you already do this on weekends and when you have relatives visiting from out of town? Wikipedia lists the term ‘staycation’ as a neologism, while the word doesn’t even merit an entry on To me it seems more like an oxymoron–how can staying at home and whiling away your hard-earned days off from work be anything like a real vacation?

While very few employees and/or parents of school-going children will choose to spend a break at home instead of heading off to a national or an international tourist destination, how many long weekends have you spent at home? How often have you taken advantage of a public holiday falling on a Thursday or a Tuesday to call in sick on Friday or Monday, yet stayed at home to ‘unwind’ instead of leaving the city for four days?

Still don’t get it? Well, here are four reasons why you should head out of the city instead of convincing yourself that it’s a good idea to stay at home over a long break:

You cannot unwind in the city.
Whichever city you live in, you cannot get away from ringing doorbells and urgent phone calls. Add a pesky neighbour or two, some issue with your household help, and the inevitable lunch with in-laws, and you have the recipe for a day that’s worse than one spent at work.

No really, cities are meant to facilitate work. They are centres of commerce and industry and de-personalisation. The word ‘vacation’, on the other hand, has connotations of freedom and living one’s dreams. Unwinding means getting away from the stress of the city. How can you do this without removing yourself from the scene of crime?

You end up doing things that you normally do on weekends
Like going for a movie or a theatre performance. Or meeting friends in a club. You might eat out, or you might order in. Yes, it’s indulgent, and it’s different from what you’d do on a workday. But is all this really enough? The only problem is that at the end of the break, you will wonder where the time went, especially if you have no lasting memories (or photographs) to show for your week off.

You waste the day watching television or take short naps
Whole days with nothing to do? Let’s do what we never get a chance to do during the week: let’s channel surf, let’s wake up late, let’s take a gratifying afternoon siesta.

Think of a time when you felt satisfied with the way you spent the day. Chances are that instead of lazing around, you achieved a lot on that day. Yet who wants to spring clean the house or plan finances while on a staycation? And why battle the mid-morning traffic when I can sit back with a home DVD, right? Wrong. Because if what you did on your staycation could be done on any evening after work, isn’t that a waste of a holiday?

You spend almost the same as you would on a trip out of the city
If you plan even a few weeks in advance, flights and hotels can be booked at a fraction of the cost. What’s more, with the travel industry burgeoning, the average newspaper reader is swamped daily with all-inclusive packages to destinations near and far. In comparison, in order to ‘make up’ for not going on a real vacation, staycationers often opt for swanky restaurants and premium theatre tickets, which are already overpriced because businesses predict this sort of behaviour. Yet the one reason everyone cites for not taking real vacations is that going out of the city costs more!

Stop reading now, and try to recollect the most boring vacation you took. Or the one that gave you the least value for what you spent on it, if that’s the way you rate your vacations. And now think back to the last time you spent a long weekend at home idling away your time. Which would you rather do again?

You picked idleness over visiting a new place? I knew you wouldn’t. That’s what nerds do, because what do those guys know about having a good time, anyway? So, when’s your next three-day vacation?

By Michelle D'souza


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Travel Magazine: Why a Vacation is Always Better Than a Staycation
Why a Vacation is Always Better Than a Staycation
Travel Magazine
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