I love to travel – whether it’s a totally new setting and learning a new culture in a far-off international destination, or a weekend trip to somewhere nearby – I really enjoy all of it.
But at the same time – travel can be expensive, and costs seem to be increasing. The cost of a flight, hotel and some sightseeing can easily be in the thousands of dollars for one week for two people. There are also lots of other costs to consider like meals, foreign currency exchange rates, transportation and staying connected with friends and family back home.
We’ve recently started thinking about our travel plans for next year and while we’d love to make another international trip, it probably isn’t going to happen.
Staycations vs. International Trips
The staycation is becoming more and more popular as people look to decrease their travel costs, and venture out in their own area to see what is available.
While it’s not something I’ve taken seriously in the past, we might just take a one week staycation next year in order to save money yet still do some sightseeing.
An international trip would require more planning and we’d likely have to look at booking sooner rather than later before prices start to rise.
A staycation, on the other hand, can be done on the cheap – we could save thousands by staying in the area rather than travelling to another country. It would also be more relaxing – if something comes up last minute, we wouldn’t have to worry about changing travel plans or potentially paying some costly cancellation fees.
How Much Can We Save?
I’ve done some quick math and here’s what I came up with:
Cost of a staycation: $250 meals, $400 sightseeing, $650 total.
Cost of a trip to Europe: $2,400 flights, $400 meals, $600 sightseeing, $300 miscellaneous, $3,700 total.
Total savings: $3,050.
There are also some other costs we’d have to pay for a trip to Europe that I didn’t even include: the cost of a dog sitter, costs for someone to check on our home while away, travel insurance and the foreign exchange currency costs. When those are factored in the total cost gets even higher – likely closer to $4,000.
Related: Why I Always Buy Travel Insurance
Here are a few ideas we’ve considered for what we could do during a staycation….
- Housecleaner – with al the money saved from staying close to home, we thought about getting our house cleaned for one day – top to bottom. After all, who wouldn’t want to come home to a completely clean home after a day of (local) sightseeing?
- Hiking – we happen to live in the Rocky Mountains and there are some prime hiking trails that we have never had the chance to explore. A day of hiking would be tons of fun and our dog would love it, and the costs would be minimal. We could plan for a day trip and pack snacks/lunches while enjoying the scenery of the area.
- New restaurants – in the past year I’ve heard of at least 3 restaurants in the city that have opened up and become popular. Since I spend most of my days working I haven’t had the chance to check out any of them. A staycation would be the perfect opportunity to check out some of these restaurants and since I’ve never been there before it would be new scenery to me and would almost ‘feel’ like travelling (within my own city).
The list above is just a few of many ideas for a staycation. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the sights & sounds within your own city without breaking the bank.
Percentage of Income
After looking at our annual spending budget, it looks like a total of 5% of income allocated towards travel is doable – something that an international trip would definitely go over.
On the other hand, a staycation would come in well below the 5% mark – with plenty of room for other things.
The best part of a staycation? The savings – I could save thousands with a staycation compared to an international trip.
Conclusion: As you can tell, I’m leaning towards a staycation next year. While I’d like to travel to Europe, the budget just doesn’t allow for it. I like the benefits a staycation can offer – being able to explore our city, perks like getting the house cleaned for a day and the obvious cost savings. A trip to Europe would take up more than 5% of our income and a staycation would be significantly less.
What percentage of income do you spend on travel?