10 Reasons to Plan a Camping Staycation
Vacation fun doesn’t have to mean traveling far. See why a staycation may be just what you need!
Few things are as freeing as a vacation, the chance to step outside of everyday life and push the “reset” button. In fact, one could say that vacations are absolutely necessary in life. Sure, routines can be great — you know what to expect, can plan ahead, but it is so important to give your body and mind a break from that sometimes monotonous routine once in awhile and go on vacation.
When most people hear the word “vacation,” they envision planning a trip overseas to Europe to experience all the sights, history, and excitement it has to offer. Or, they may think of vacation as a camping trip to the California coast where they can go surfing and bask in the sun.
But what many people don’t think about is that vacation doesn’t have to mean traveling — you can vacation right in your backyard. When you really think about it, vacation just means an escape from the norm. And with a fresh perspective and some fun ideas, a vacation in your area, a.k.a. a “staycation,” may be the perfect way to reset yourself.
So what about staycations make them sometimes better than a big trip? We’ve got 10 reasons why right here. And we bet that after reading this, you will look at the word “vacation” with a much broader view that encompasses escaping from reality both near and far.
1. Save Money
By keeping your vacation close to home, you save some major dollars. No plane tickets, no train tickets, and minimal (if any) gas costs. And, as a KOA Value Kard Rewards member, you save 10% every time you stay at a KOA campground, whether near or far! While staycationing you can also pack more of your own food, allowing you to save money that you would spend on eating out if traveling far. No matter how much meal prep you do for a long distance trip, you will find yourself at a drive-thru or two along the way. Additionally, as you well know, when traveling there are often unexpected costs that pop up — anything from a flat tire, to an extra night at the hotel. But when you opt for a staycation, you avoid these unplanned reaches into your wallet.
2. Get a Fresh Perspective On Your Area
You likely feel you know your local area pretty well. Whether you’ve lived there a short while or many years, you’ve definitely done some exploring to get to know your surroundings. You’ve got your favorite cafe, your favorite movie theater, your favorite grocery store, and other top spots mapped out. You truly are a local and feel confident that you’ve got a solid lay of the land. Well, then you are the perfect candidate for a staycation. This is your fun chance to get a fresh perspective on your area and look at it through the eyes of a tourist. Oftentimes some of the most popular tourist attractions in your area are ones you’ve never visited. Take the Statue of Liberty, for example — a large population of NYC residents have never seen the statue up close and personal! So allow yourself to turn off the local inside of you for your staycation. Grab some tour guides and have fun planning!
3. Truly Unplug
A staycation is your best opportunity to unplug. While traveling afar you will still need the internet, cell phone, some form of technology to find your way around and communicate with others. However, when you decide to stay near home, you won’t need any of these things. Leave your phone, tablet, and computer at home and give yourself a chance to connect with your surroundings and your fellow vacationers. Knowing that anything you need is just a short trek away means you won’t be stressing about “what ifs.” You may find that a staycation is the most relaxing vacation you’ve ever had.
4. Save Time
Though an unfortunate reality, the truth is that these days, vacations don’t happen nearly as often as we’d like and need. Thus, when you do have time for a vacation, you really want it to count. And with a staycation, you don’t have to waste a bunch of time traveling to your destination; with a staycation, your vacation starts right away.
5. Test Out New Gear
If you love camping as much as we do, then you’re likely a connoisseur of camping gear. Every year there are fabulously fun and exciting new gadgets and gizmos released, and we are guessing you’ve already picked some of them up to see if they’re worth the hype. Rather than risk having major malfunctions with your gear while far away from home, a staycation is the perfect opportunity to try out your new camping accessories. If your brand new “must-have” backpacking bag rips apart 10 minutes into your staycation hike, no stress. You can just run back home and grab another one!
6. Say Goodbye to Packing Stress
There’s no denying it: packing for a trip is stressful. No matter how many lists you have of what to bring, it is inevitable you will end up forgetting something. You may get lucky and forget something small such as your floss, or you may make a big mistake and forget something major such as your sleeping bag. But if you’re staycationing, you can ditch the packing stress and not worry if you forget something. Everything you need is just a quick run back home so toss out that packing list and have fun getting ready for your staycation.
7. Improve Your Camping Skills
Are you a camping newbie or feel that your skills are not quite at the level you’d like them to be? Well, a staycation is a great time to work on improving your camping skills without the worries of majorly messing something up (such as getting lost on a trail sans a map, compass, or GPS). After a staycation or two, you will no longer be a beginner and will be ready to take your camping somewhere outside your comfort zone!
8. Connect More With Loved Ones
Though technology has made many things in our lives much easier, it has also disconnected us from the people that are closest to us. How many times do you sit down to dinner with a loved one and find that you are both sitting there scrolling through your phone? We are all guilty of this one. But with a staycation, you are able to unplug (see #3 above) and really connect with your fellow campers. Without the distraction of technology or the stresses of adventuring in unknown territory, you can relax and enjoy the company.
9. Recharge Your Own Battery
You are always making sure your phone, your laptop, and your tablet are charged and ready to go. But are you making sure that you are fully charged and ready to go? Probably not. A staycation is a great way to force yourself to recharge. Without the stresses of longer trips, you’ll really have the opportunity to recharge your mind, body, and soul.
10. Spend Time With Your Furry Friends
How many times have you gone on a big trip and wanted to bring your favorite pup along but couldn’t? With a quick staycation camping trip it’s easy to bring the whole family along. Without a long trip to your destination, your dog can come along and enjoy the outdoors just as much as (if not more than!) you. Enjoy the company of your entire family with a quick trip close to home.
So staycations sound pretty great, right? We challenge you to take a look at the KOAs in your area, pick one that looks fun and start planning your trip today. You may find yourself feeling that staycations are your favorite vacations!
Born and raised in the Big Sky Country of Montana, Leslie K. Hughes is a writer, editor, and communication specialist who calls Arizona Home. Leslie has over 10 years of experience in working with words and helping people use the magical English language to grow their businesses. When not traveling and choosing “cake over steak,” Leslie serves her fabulous clients as Copy Girl.