How Stay-Cations Can Actually be More Worthwhile Than Travel

Jordan Mendiola
Photo by Surface on Unsplash

With inflation hitting all-time highs, and money not going as far as it once did, travel might be ruled out of the budget these days.

Have you ever considered a “stay-cation”?

Google defines it as:

A vacation spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

We don’t have to break the bank for airfare, or pack heavy for a week-long trip. You can pack for the weekend or even the day and be on your way.

My girlfriend Sam had the brilliant idea to plan a lakehouse AirBnb in Wisconsin, about two hours away.

She invited her friends, I invited mine, and we all got the getaway that we needed.

Little things like stay-cations can go a long way for your mental health and wallet.

You can maximize the number of trips you’re able to take with stay-cations

Flying or road-tripping would still be costly. It adds up very quickly.

A four-hour drive maximum still opens up many options for somebody looking for a little escape.

With all these local stay-cations, you will spend only slightly more than you would for a weekend at the bars.

I would give each stay-cation an average budget of $300 for food, drinks, gas, and any excursions you may discover.

You don’t need to go far to feel like you’re “getting away.”

Even though my Wisconsin trip was only two hours away, it felt like we had all stepped into a different lifestyle.

Surprisingly, hours away from work, home, and the regular day-to-day work wonders.

As someone who served a year overseas, seeing new places and living in new environments gave me something new every day.

There are so many unique, small towns that are often more intimate and genuine.

You may not be in the “flashy” parts of your state, but you are somewhere new to you.

Mental Health Relief

Now more than ever, mental health is being prioritized.

People are walking away from jobs that are affecting their mindset.

Some are getting into meditation and searching for their inner peace.

Stay-cations don’t have to be “Instagram worthy,” nor do they need to impress anyone.

You work hard for your money, so you might as well invest in your well-being and explore everything out there.

Final Thought

Vacations are sweet, don’t get me wrong.

Stay-cations are a valuable mental health break. If you’re planning to spend your time away from work, consider a stay-cation.

Airbnbs are practically everywhere, so finding a unique place to live for a few days won’t be impossible.

At the end of the day, the way you spend your free time is up to you, not everyone else on social media.

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Creative entrepreneur, U.S. Army Engineer, and dedicated runner. Committed to sharing ideas that lead to more fulfillment in all areas of life. Email:

Chicago, IL

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