Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Staycation vs. Vacation

For the last few months, my husband and I have really had to adjust our lifestyle and tighten our belts to keep up with the ever-changing economy. I took a 10 per cent pay cut for the last quarter of our fiscal year and my husband’s hours were cut in half during the summer because he’s a teacher. This year he was able to pick up some extra cash by umpiring baseball games most weekends.

We’re also preparing for the arrival of our first child in October. I can only imagine how our lifestyles and bank accounts will change then!

A group of friends asked us if we wanted to go on a vacation with them this summer to Myrtle Beach and share the cost of renting a condo. To give you an idea of how we’re saving money, picture eight adults in a two-bedroom condo complete with air mattresses. By the way, two of us ladies are seven months pregnant. After taking another look at our budget and managing to save on other expenses, we decided that this would be a nice break for the both of us. While it’s not a romantic suite at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, it does allow us to get away from our daily grind to relax on the beach. With gas down nearly one dollar from what it was last year, it seemed feasible for us. Who knows how often we’ll get away once the little guy comes into our lives?

This year you’ve heard many people talking about staycations, where they cut out the traveling and boarding expenses, stay at home and find things to do around town. I, too, find this quite appealing and a nice way to stimulate the local economy. If you have the opportunity to take some time off but can’t afford to go far, check out some of the happenings in Akron. The Akron Zoo has been a popular place to visit among my family and friends, and one of my favorite places to visit is Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. Don’t forget the great arts and culture community that Akron (and the region) has to offer, as well as the Akron Aeros baseball games. Take in a movie, go to the county fair, visit the metro parks or attend one of the festivals downtown.

However, in our case, we wanted to have one last hoorah with our friends (and no kids) in a crowded condo, becoming very familiar with one another. Road trip!