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Staycations: How to enjoy a local vacation.

in Managing Money & Credit
staycations: enjoy a local vacation

More so than ever, staycations (spending vacation time at home or close by) are a great, cost-effective option. When you consider the cost of airfare, a rental car, and a hotel, there’s no denying the fact that prices in these categories have risen dramatically in the last few years. Inflation is soaring to new and unprecedented heights. The consumer-price index rose at a rate of 8.6% in May – a rate not seen since the 1980s. Besides the cost factor, planning a trip across country or on the other side of the world comes with its own stresses (e.g. preparation time, travel restrictions, etc.). Read on to learn why a staycation may be just right for your next vacation.

Your Staycation Guide

The Benefits of a Staycation

When you’re looking at whether to plan your getaway, consider the many benefits of taking a staycation instead:

  • Money savings
  • Time savings
  • Less stress
  • Relax at home
  • Avoid heavy tourism
  • Better community
  • Discover new things nearby

Money Savings

The average round-trip flight out of a major metro city in the 4th quarter of 2021 was $331. The average daily rate for a rental car in December 2021 was $81 (up from $46 before the pandemic). The average daily cost of a hotel in a major U.S. city (such as San Francisco) is currently sitting just under $300.

Of course, when traveling there are many other vacation costs to consider, such as restaurants, entertainment, or tourist attractions you may want to visit. For a one week stay-away from home, you could pay as much as $3,000. And this is a one-person cost…

Taking a staycation might sound unusual to you, but it doesn’t mean you have to take all the fun out of your time off. Think of it this way: with a staycation, you eliminate the three biggest vacation expenses – which can give you much more freedom for other activities. Without hotel, rental car, and airfare costs, you can spend your money on fun outings or at a fancy restaurant you’ve been wanting to try.

With the money you’re saving, you can be smart about what you do with it. At Lafayette Federal Credit Union, we’ve got some great savings account options with nationwide-leading rates.

Time Savings

On a staycation, you can avoid the long wait times getting to and from your destination. Forget the 4-hour flight or the time spent shuttling to your rental car. Staycations allow you to get where you want in little to no time at all.

Besides the travel time you’ll save, staycations provide even more time benefits. Since you don’t have to spend time planning — i.e. booking flights, cars, and hotels — you can spend more time relaxing and enjoying your time away from work.

Less Stress

In March of this year, almost 25% of flights were delayed. Staying local for vacation means less stress because you don’t have to deal with the delays and hiccups that are inevitable whenever you travel. Also, the stress of planning the details of a vacation far away from home is drastically reduced when your getaway is close by.

Relax at Home

Staycations provide a unique opportunity for you to focus on relaxing! Often, a travel vacation can become a hassle with so many details to remember, the mapping out of your destinations, and deadlines to meet. Staying at home puts you in the driver’s seat with your time.

Nowadays, as a culture forget what it means to relax. Staycations are a great way for you to rediscover true relaxation in a comfortable and familiar environment.

Avoid Heavy Tourism Sites

You are probably aware of the potentially chaotic environments associated with major tourist attractions. While popular destinations can provide immense value and education, they can also lead you into situations where you’re shoulder to shoulder with many other folks. Staying at home during your time off will help you avoid the crowds – and help restore sanity.

Better Community

Speaking of the random crowds you may encounter on an out-of-town getaway, think of the true friends and family that you can spend time with by staying at home. How often do you get to spend quality time with the people you’re close with? Probably not often enough. Consider the benefit of staying home and having time to relax and commune with the people that matter most in your life. It’s good for the soul!

Discover New Things Near You

When you’re focused on what’s far away it’s easy to miss what’s right in front of you. When planning a non-local vacation, you likely spend time researching things to do and places to visit. How much time have you spent researching what’s in your hometown? There are likely many amazing things you can do that are close to home – some you may have yet to discover.

Staycation Ideas in the DC Metro Area

Within the DC metro area, there are incredible opportunities around town, all of which don’t require much travel. Stay close to home and enjoy a staycation with the amazing attractions near you.

Go to a Ballgame

If you’re a sports fan, the DC area has a lot to cheer for. Whether you love baseball, basketball, or football, you’ll have your pick. The Washington Nationals, Washington Wizards, and Washington Commanders are local teams that offer great sports entertainment!

Enjoy the History

The DC area is plentiful for historical landmarks. Just one walk down the two-mile stretch of the National Mall and you can visit the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the U.S. Capitol building and so much more.

Besides the many things you can find at the National Mall, Washington DC has a long list of other attractions to keep you busy on your staycation:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • The International Spy Museum
  • The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Library of Congress
  • Pentagon

Savor the Food

If you haven’t partaken in the food scene near you, Maryland crabs will make your staycation worth every second at home. You can get steamed crab, crab cakes, fried soft shell crab, crab soup, crab dip, or any other form crab can take.

Other Fun Staycation Ideas

Stay at Home Spa Day

This is a staycation idea you can do by yourself or with others. Trade massages, take a long Epsom salts bath, or treat yourself to any of the personal grooming activities that make you feel beautiful and relaxed. A home staycation can provide you with a great excuse to lay around and pamper yourself. If you want to set the mood even more, turn on the essential oil diffuser, light a candle, and set some dim lighting. The possibilities are endless!

Movie Night

Who doesn’t love a good movie? Whether you’re the modern superhero or the classic romance type, take some time to sit back and enjoy a movie marathon. Catch up on the latest flicks or go back to your favorites. Get the popcorn, kick up your feet, and enjoy the show!

Get Lost in A Sea of Books

For those who are more inclined to pick up a book — or those who want to but never have the time — use your staycation to catch up on your reading list. Head to your library or go to the local book store. Pick up a good read and get lost in imagination.

Board Games

Are you a board game fanatic? Staycations offer the perfect excuse to have family or friends over for a board game extravaganza. Get out your favorites or ask a friend for some recommendations. There are plenty of fun games out in the market that are sure to be a blast!

Swap Homes With a Friend

This is one of the more unique staycation ideas. Swapping homes with a friend can be a great opportunity to stay close to home while putting yourself in a “new” environment. If you’ve got a willing friend, make the trade for a few days and enjoy the comforts of their home while they enjoy yours.


Perhaps you’re the kind of person who’s more inclined to spend time at the great outdoors. Wherever you are, there’s likely to be a gorgeous landscape around you just waiting to be discovered. Look up campsites near you and get out underneath the stars.

Save For Your Next Staycation With Lafayette Federal Credit Union

At Lafayette Federal Credit Union, we offer financial solutions that make sense to you. Everyone has a unique financial roadmap. We have the products and services to make your savings and vacation goals come to fruition.

For whatever staycation choices you make, you can take advantage of the debit or credit cards offered by Lafayette Federal. Our credit cards are a great way to spend and allow you to earn in the process. With no annual fee, limits up to $50,000, and the ability to earn a 50,000 point bonus in your first 90 days, our Mastercard credit card option is a fantastic way to get more for your money.

Not a Lafayette Federal member yet? You can become a member by completing an online membership application.