Finally! Your Freedom to Travel...

Finally! Your Freedom to Travel...

How About a “Staycation”?

 When I asked my 11-year-old niece what she’d be doing for the two-week holiday break, her answer surprised me a little: “We’re taking a staycation.” This is a family that’s traveled to places like Aruba and St. Barts to soak in the sun, or Vail to enjoy winter’s delights. But, they do live in one of the great cities of the U.S.—Chicago—so there’s certainly plenty to see and do in their own backyard.

 With the economy being what it is, you may be looking for travel alternatives that don’t include getting on a plane, taking a long drive or even staying in a hotel. And, if you’re like me, it’s a good bet that there are plenty of interesting things you’ve never seen in your own hometown…or places you only visit with out-of-town guests.

 Why not plan a vacation in the city you live? If you have the means to book a hotel, by all means, do it. There is danger in “vacationing” at home in that you may be tempted to deal with routine chores that would fall by the wayside if you were away.

Pretend you’re a tourist, purchase a guidebook and don’t end up at places you regularly frequent. Many larger cities have trolley or bus tours, which I find are a great way to learn about a place, whether you live there or not. On one of my many trips to my hometown of Chicago a few summers ago, some friends and I took a two-hour bus tour of the city—basking in the sunshine from the open-air second deck—and I learned a ton about the place I’d spent the first 21 years of my life. I haven’t taken advantage of the tours I know are available in my adopted hometown of San Diego…but I know I should, since it’d be fun and educational.

 There’s no reason to pout if you find you have neither the time nor the resources to get out of town for vacation. Plan a staycation and have a blast in the city you call home.