Need To Get Away? Think about Planning a Staycation!

View of the pool at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort in Dana Point.
View of the pool at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort in Dana Point. | Source

The Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort

For my wife’s 40th birthday I wanted to surprise her with something special. Being that I didn’t have much time to plan a full-blown vacation nor the means to pay for it, I decided on something closer to home.

A Staycation seemed in order.

I decided on The Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort.

The hotel had wonderful amenities:

  1. Views of the Dana Point Harbor
  2. Excellent restaurants at the hotel and within walking distance
  3. Multiple pools, including a family friendly pool
  4. Spa (My wife, her best friend and sister truly enjoyed this)
  5. It was only forty miles away and didn’t require extensive travel of any sort

What is a Staycation?

For those not knowing what a “Staycation” is, I’ll give you my definition and then you can decide whether to Google the technical definition based on my contrived response.

Staycation (noun) – A retreat from the mundane, every-day life one is accustom to, which allows for mental recharging while avoiding BMW payments (Break My Wallet).

Why a Staycation?

There are some real advantages for choosing a staycation over a conventional vacation.

Less Travel Intensive/More Convenient

Typically you will want to choose a destination within driving distance and one that doesn’t require more than two hours on the road. Why not remove the airline travel and hectic airport experience altogether? Besides, there are ways to keep the family entertained on a road trip to your destination.

On the flip side of the coin, staying local provides much convenience. You only really need to find a hotel or resort you want to stay at and then the exploration of the area is up to you. Visit a well-known restaurant, check out the local museum, or just enjoy the hotel amenities.

Money Saver

When you rule out the cost of airfaire, you are saving a good chunk of money on what can typically be a quarter of your vacation cost.

As an example, according to the lowest average flight from Los Angeles to San Diego is $69 per person, one way. So for one person round trip the cost would be $138 plus taxes and fees per person. Considering the distance from Los Angeles to San Diego is about 120 miles, it may not be worth it to fly in the first place. You would probably fill up the tank twice on this trip. I’m estimating you’ll spend anywhere between $100 to $125 depending on the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Money saved, and money that can probably be applied to another area of your trip.

Same Deals on Hotels/Resorts

Whether you’re flying across country or driving a half hour, hotel deals don’t discriminate. You can find the same deals locally through the same websites. Websites like Orbitz,, Kayak and AAA will allow you to find that same great rate. If you’re serious about finding local deals, allows you to sign up and based on your zipcode will e-mail you deals as they become available.

In some instances you’ll also want to check the hotel website as they often times have deals for the local traveler as well.

Local Exploration and Entertainment for the Family

I’ve lived in Southern California for twenty years, and I’m still learning about the local areas around me. Of course as you grow older and your family changes and expands, you see the local areas differently. Our trip to Dana Point was a wonderful family excursion, but had I visited 15 years earlier I probably would have visited for the surf.

Staycations provide you with the opportunity to learn about the locals and cultures around you. It is easy to take for granted that because it’s fifteen miles away that it’s not worth exploring. Or that you already know everything you need to about the area. A silo view of your own community is never a good thing. I’ve found myself on plenty of day trips where I realized that I would like to spend more time in one area. But just never get around to it.

A staycation is a great way to have a short vacation away from home, but doesn’t necessarily require extensive planning or money. In today’s economic environment, it is not always possible to plan a week-long vacation. Instead, short distances and stays at local resorts can often fill the vacation void while also recharging your batteries for the work week.

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Comments 2 comments

Borsia profile image

Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

Ha ha interesting and helpful idea but when I read the title I thought you were going to be talking about my idea os a staycation. I go to a place for vacation and stay there. My current stacation is going on 3 years, the last one lasted 2 years.

marek504 profile image

marek504 5 years ago from California Author

Borsia, sounds like you're definitely staying!

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