Saving Money and Emissions with a “Staycation”

Ever return from holiday travel only to find yourself more exhausted than when you left? When we felt stressed out just contemplating a vacation with a two-year-old, we knew we needed other options.  Suddenly, my husband blurted out, “Let’s have a staycation!”  Immediately our heart rates leveled out and we began breathing more deeply.  

You might assume that my husband and I have a tiny comfort zone—or a case of agoraphobia.  Actually, we’ve lived and traveled in several countries, but at this point in our lives we have no desire to leave town.  Our son sleeps horribly even on short trips, hates being immobile in the car seat, and often seems out of sorts while we’re away.  It ends up being rather grueling for all of us—so we were excited about the option of staying home for a week and purposely relaxing.

So why did we choose to staycation?

1.  We greatly reduced carbon emissions.  We didn’t have to log airplane or car miles that eat up fossil fuels—plus we avoided hours of trying to entertain a toddler in the backseat. 

2.  Our vacation budget was HUGE. Without having to pay for gas or lodging, we were able to go out on a few dates, pay for babysitting—and still save loads of money.  I really wanted to splurge for a massage, but ran out of time. 

3.  We had fun in our backyard. Since camping with our toddler still seems a little beyond us, we set up the tent in the backyard during the day as a pre-camping experiment.  We could lie under the giant cedars and watch the clouds float by without having to pack up the gear.

4. It was fun to view our area like tourists. We went hiking, took a day trip to the zoo, and rode the city bus all over town.  While I get to do some of this in the summer with Roscoe, we hardly ever get time to do it all as a family.  

5. There was no packing or unpacking required.  What a luxury!  We didn’t have to scramble around the house trying to remember every last thing—only to find that we’d forgetten a few items anyway. 

As much as we enjoyed our staycation, we did fall into the trap of accomplishing a “few” household projects during the week.  It ended up eating a big chunk of our time.  If we had it to do over again, we would totally avoid work and try to plan our fun more carefully. 

Next year a family vacation might seem more manageable, but we’re glad that this year we took the opportunity to save a little money, help the planet and simplify our vacation.  

You’re sure to find loads of budget-friendly green tips below from our Thrifty Green Thursday blogging crew.  Bloggers are welcome to jump in and join anytime––just go to this page and carefully follow the steps. Thanks for enriching our Thursday with your creative ideas!


  1. We’re lucky enough to live in a tourist town where we can have a staycation every day of the year, whether it’s trendy or not. However, I must admit that we significantly cut back our vacation expectations this year when thinking about our own staycation, which I’ve deemed a “locavacation” in this blog posting on The Lean Green Family (formerly Suddenly Frugal), the sister blog to Green Boot Camp.

  2. That’s a great idea. I hate traveling with our two kids–it’s so stressful. I’m perfectly content to just vacation in CO for now b/c 3-5 hours of travel time is about all my boys can take.

  3. We did this also this summer! We took a lot of day trips and went to concerts. We thought it was best because of Ethan still being so young.
    Have a great day!

  4. It’s funny how people spend lots of time and money to tour other cities, but have not taken advantage of the offerings in their own backyard. Many people have museums, art installations, libraries, play houses, parks, and shops in the city that they live in and have never visited them.

  5. What a great idea. This is something I’d love to do. We have lots of family friendly attractions around us and the majority are free. I get to enjoy them with our girls but my husband doesn’t. Unfortunately most if not all of his vacation time is spent traveling to see far flung grandparents (or maybe we’re the ones who are far flung?).

  6. I think that when you can stay home you get to enjoy your home, yard and surroundings.

  7. Hey guys, I am hoping to be back online in time for this next week. Great ideas here this week…we didn’t go anywhere this summer either! But it is nice to stay home, I agree with Sommer. We couldn’t get away if we wanted to.

  8. What a terrific group of contributions this week! Please remember to check out each other’s posts and offer comments. Also, make sure you linked back to this site so that all the TG Thursday bloggers have a chance to get some traffic. This weekend I shall enjoy a tomato paste mask, purchase some wrap-n-mats, and maybe even whip up some homemade salsa thanks to your collective frugal wisdom!

  9. We had a semi stay cation this summer. My husband is a teacher so we had two months off and we stayed very close to home. It was a great way to relax and not worry about all the stress that we impose on ourselves and our planet.


  10. play houses, parks, and shops in the city that they live in and have never visited them.

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