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June 23, 2009



Fodor's left out the most useful and effective tip: Don't fly. Buy some guidebooks and research your home town as if it were halfway around the world, and enjoy a staycation discovering the treasures you've overlooked in your own backyard. Take a road trip. Take a bus trip. Take a train trip. Ride your bicycle. Walk. And enjoy-- a great vacation doesn't have to revolve around arbitrary restrictions capriciously imposed by unaccountable pretend-policemen, as a prerequisite for the privilege of getting pretzeled into a middle seat for 14 hours on what was supposed to be an 8-hour flight.

I'm not suggesting giving up world travel permanently. I'm only reminding everyone that there are alternatives that may be just as satisfying. Enjoying a great trip that doesn't involve flying is the best way to tell the TSA and the airlines what you really think of the service they provide. I just got back from a wonderful solo road trip that has made me very excited about the longer one I'm planning for the autumn.


I like the idea of a road trip. It's always fun to get out and explore.
A "staycation?" Not so much. Unless I leave my house and home life completely, chores and errands creep in.


It depends on how you do a "staycation." Taking well-researched day trips from home may be an excellent way for someone who is suffering with the current economic difficulties to nonetheless enjoy a fine vacation. But otherwise I think it's false economy to do that, for exactly the reasons you note (to which might possibly be added the unpleasantness of a lengthy "commute" to those day trips). A solo staycation in a nice hotel in another part of your home town can provide all the necessary elements of a "real" vacation, including escape from quotidian chores and routines. It's obviously not something you'd want to do every time, but it's surely good to enjoy a vacation without the restrictions, hassles, and discomfort air travel imposes. Again, the point is that there are worthwhile alternatives to the ordeal of flying.

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