Rich People, too, Take Staycations (It’s Flutin’ True, I Tell You!)

You may be thinking that rich people possibly can’t take staycations. They are only for those on an especially tight budget and those escaping living paycheck to paycheck. They’d visit local places that really don’t sound fancy, like regular parks instead of theme parks. They’d head to the local aquatic centers instead of water parks with tornado slides and family raft chutes.

Well, not all those who are rich and famous travel to faraway places. Not all of them own a private island in a tropical nation with a big resort. Not all of them rent out the finest suites in a hotel nearby a world-class theme park.

We all know why we’d ditch the wanted trip to Orlando, Florida and instead look for local attractions.

Not everyone can afford to go to Walt Disney World, you know. (This was taken on my winter staycation in 2005 and it was GREAT!)

First of all, there are times when air travel isn’t feasible, and it’s not just the airfares. (They can be either bearable or financially out of reach.) A lot of us hate standing in lines – the security lines, the lines to the ticket booths, or even lines to the bathrooms in peak travel seasons. If you’re not really prepared – as in if one 3oz bottle of liquid is astray from the quart-size baggie – you’d face long delays.

And let’s not mention that one person in your family being acrophobic, if you know what I mean.

Gas prices change at least every week. Does that mean that if they are low everybody can have free rein to drive with reckless abandon? Of course not! Even if they are tolerable we still need to conserve gas.

Some of us or at least one member each of our families has a medical condition that keeps us, him, or her from traveling far. Autism, for instance, has a lot of factors that set families back. Most places offer sensory overload, such a trip so far can be hard to adjust, and locations are unfamiliar. Unusual sights and sounds can be a perfect storm for a meltdown that induces stares and rude comments.

Get the picture? That’s another reason why people take vacations near home whether the economy is good or bad.

Even those with at least 6-figure incomes take those types of vacations, especially in tourism-intensive states.

Florida is one example of a good state to take a staycation. Not only we have big-name attractions like the Walt Disney World Resort (which believe it or not offers free things even when not staying there or going to the parks), Universal Orlando Resort, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and the famous beaches. We also have our lesser-known attractions too. When the big waterparks are expensive for Tampa Bay residents amid resident discounts, they’d consider Highland Family Aquatic Center as a low-cost alternative.


Believe me, even high-income Floridians within a 75-mile radius of Walt Disney World call staying at Gaylord Palms a staycation. (Photo by Bob B. Brown)

Another place where staycationing is likely is New Jersey. People from the northern counties flock to the eastern central part of the state to get golden tans, build sandcastles, and go fishing. (Locals call this “going down the shore.”) Also, residents enjoy the mountainous areas to camp out or take hikes, despite having to muscle through the state’s infamous toll roads like its stomach-turning Turnpike or the parking lot-like Parkway. (They’d probably know ways around them, even if road conditions and increased distance set them back.)

Not all people with huge gobs of money go to exotic places out of state, province, or country on vacation. They don’t often forget to see what’s in their hometown. Here are some ways to stretch your dollars (or other currencies) on your next near-home travel if you want to build wealth or already are doing so.

Relax and Make Home Relaxing

That’s right – switch the computer, the phones, and most everything else off. Hire a maid if possible or clean your house beforehand. Make your home relaxing if you are staying there instead of a hotel.

Look for Municipal Parks

City or county-owned recreation areas are not just the ones with nature trails, exercise paths, and playgrounds. They also include municipal water parks. Those parks have just about the same thrilling water slides you can slide by yourself or with a tube and the same play area with mushroom fountains for a low price. If your kids are begging you to go to top ones and they are either far or too expensive even for resident discounts, feel free to consider ones owned by your city or county as alternatives.

Have a Block Party

Sure, a neighborhood party requires planning, but in the long run it can save you money. Don’t just cook all the food and decorate the neighborhood – tell your neighbors to pitch in.

Have a Picnic

Where have all the picnics gone when most families shell out lots of dough for their vacations? Bring them back by having your own at the local park (see above).

See Local

First Look in your phone books or Internet to see what’s interesting around town. They range from small museums to amusement parks that aren’t well-known. Look for the aforementioned local discounts to save even more.

Even if you have a huge income, it’s perfectly OK to have a staycation. It saves you money in the long run and makes you even wealthier even if you’re already wealthy.

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