Staycation or Vacation?

by MomGrind

california-beach

The concept of staycation – staying home and relaxing instead of going on an expensive, stressful vacation, makes more sense than ever during a global recession.

We still want to break away from our routine and recharge, but most of us are looking for frugal vacations rather than costly ones.

Staycations are easy and inexpensive. Vacations, on the other hand, tend to be complicated and costly. They often involve a lot of advance planning and many expenses, such as air travel, hotel, and car rental.

When it comes to air travel, it’s not just the expense I object to. I don’t know about you, but I hate to fly. I always hated flying. Being locked up in a small, pressurized cabin with no hopes of getting out until the plane lands has always made me more than a little nervous.

The added security measures and the gradual deterioration in customer service over the past decade are making the entire experience even worse. Of course, flying is also extremely unhealthy.

If it were up to me, I would never fly again.

Obviously, I sometimes have to fly. But when it comes to planning a vacation, in recent years the desire to avoid flights has certainly had an impact on my travel plans. Even if in our case, a staycation is not necessarily about actually staying home, I much prefer going someplace close to home over picking a far away destination that would force me to fly.

Recently, my husband and I spent a lovely long weekend staycationing in Half Moon Bay and in Carmel, California. Both locations are a mere 2-3 hours drive from our home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Instead of the elaborate vacations of years past (such as our visit to Barcelona and to Mercat de la Boqueria), which involved several flights and hotels, we picked a nearby destination that enabled us to really take it easy.

We spent one night in Half Moon Bay, where we enjoyed a gourmet dinner, followed by a lovely breakfast and a stroll along the beach the next morning. Yes, the Northern California beach is cold – you definitely need a jacket there, even in July:

half-moon-bay

 

But it’s also pristine and magnificent:

north-california-beach

 

After breakfast, we drove along the beautiful, picturesque California Highway 1 to the Carmel area. On our way, we stopped at Ano Nuevo State Park. Hiking in the fresh air was pleasant, and watching the local elephant seals pick a fight with each other was hilarious:

elephant-seals

 

Taking in the views from the gorgeous highway was one of this road trip’s main attractions. We saw several historic bridges that were built during the Great Depression. The magnificent Bixby Bridge was one of them:

bixby-bridge

We did indulge in fine dining – this is important to us. But we completely avoided shopping, which we hate (you just add more clutter to your house when you buy stuff. I hate clutter.)

By the end of the weekend, we were happy, relaxed, and ready to face the new week.

vered-deleeuw

Air travel is usually pricey and stressful. A staycation is the perfect solution for me.

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