An African-American man and child on a staycation

An African-American man and child on a staycation. © Hemeroskopion - Fotolia.com

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As the bright summer sun gradually makes its way into our hemisphere, it’s only a matter of time before the vacation season will be upon us. It might be the one time of the year we have to put the rat race behind us. According to a recent American Express survey, many households are expected to spend about $1,200 per person on family vacations. From airfare and rental cars, to gas, hotels, food and activities, the costs add up quickly.

However, due to the recent (and current) state of the economy, people have begun searching out innovative means of saving money. Spending a lot of dollars on travel is no longer making a lot of sense.

The desire for a cost-friendly vacation option — for which the relaxation experience will be just as rewarding — is in high demand. Thus, the staycation was born.

A staycation is a cost-effective alternative to taking a “real” vacation. Instead of flying across the country to some far-away destination, a staycation means simply bringing the vacation to you. Perhaps you and your family can accomplish this by visiting a local exhibit, finding a hidden cove of paradise in your own backyard, or enjoying a free live concert at a local park.

Staycations have become a very popular alternative to the common “pack your bags go” vacation. Staying home (or at least close to home) can be less expensive, create less hassle, and be much more comforting.

The trend is truly making its impact, as the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries has released statistics stating that overseas travel is down one percent year-to-date for U.S. citizens compared to February 2012.

Although, staycations are very appealing to the cost-conscious individual, the very essence of a vacation is often associated with a trip or journey to another place. Many would argue that a vacation just isn’t a vacation if you’re not going away!

So, the choice is yours. Expense permitting, you might want to weigh what is more important to you: saving every penning or learning how to enjoy a “vacation” in your backyard.

From travel expenses to overall value in an experience, theGrio has presented the pros and cons below. Let the battle of the “staycation” versus traditional vacation begin!

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