By Diana Reese
1. They're cheaper. That matters to Mary Lou and Dan Fritts of Prairie Village, Kansas. With five teenage daughters in their blended family, they say travel is tough financially. A staycation, even with lots of vacationlike perks, will probably be significantly cheaper than a traditional vacation.
2. They involve fewer hassles. "A staycation can be a more valuable experience and more treasured," says Matt Wixon, author of The Great American Staycation and dad to three sons. "We camp in the backyard, barbecue with the neighbors, and don't have hassles with lost luggage or a four-hour flight delay with a 2-year-old."
3. They are more relaxing for everyone involved, especially mom! "You don't want to feel like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation," says Carla Girkin, mom of kids ages 10 and 8 in Blue Springs, Missouri, who's done staycations as well as long road trips with her family. There's still planning up front for a staycation, but without that exhausted feeling at the end, Girkin says.
4. More relaxing means more bonding. Taking a staycation gives everyone a chance to slow down. "You can spend meaningful time together," says Los Angeles psychotherapist Phyllis Goldberg, Ph.D. Done right, a staycation can be the ultimate family quality time.