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Maybe You Didn’t Have to Take a Staycation After All

It was the buzzword of the travel industry this summer. You may call it a “staycation” but I call it a “nocation.” And if you think about the premise behind what a staycation really is — staying home and doing nothing — you’ll realize that it really just means not going on vacation. From here on out I will no longer call this phenomenon as a staycation — I prefer to call it what it is. A nocation!

An article in today’s New York Times details the staycation of one man whose cancelled trip to Jamaica forced him into a nocation. He stayed in bed, mostly, and watched Judge Judy. His back started to hurt from being in bed so much. People — this is insanity. Nocations will eventually lead to bedsores if we’re not careful!

The irony of all this nocation talk is that maybe you didn’t need to take one after all. Maybe you could have afforded that summer trip. I was convinced that traveling was not as expensive as the media hype would have you believe and it turns out I was right. Analyzing flight and hotel data from July, I was able to easily identify 14 cities where the cost increase of a trip was no more than $50 more expensive than it was last year. Some cities were even less expensive in July 2008 than July 2007. Here are the complete findings.

I don’t want to say that $50 isn’t a lot of money, because when it seems like the cost of everything is up — from gas to groceries — even a few dollars can seem like a lot. To offset any additional costs, here are a few tips:

Book a vacation package. Bundling your flight, hotel, and any extras like a rental car together will save $240 on average.

Take advantage of every promotion. For example, $50 off any 3-night Hotel + Activity package in California . In Colorado, $75 off any 4-night Flight + Hotel vacation. These promotions do have some restrictions, as well as limited availability. See Travelocity.com for more detailed information.

Book a GoodBuy Hotel. Pre-paying for specially negotiated, discounted hotel rooms guarantees you a low price – plus, for a limited time, you get $50 off many properties when you book a 3-night stay on your MasterCard.

Look for freebies. Many hotels offer “free night” promotions with a certain length of stay; resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico offer “kids stay free” promotions.

Finally — don’t let the media scare you into thinking you can’t travel. Maybe you can, and maybe you can’t. But do yourself a favor and find out for yourself before you let them ruin your next VAcation.

genevieve_brown

My name: Genevieve Shaw Brown. I also answer to Genny and Gen.

How I earn my keep: I work at Travelocity.

Greatest travel lesson learned: I travel for my job, but I've learned work is work, vacation is vacation, and it's best not to try and do both on one trip.

Fondest travel memory: There are so many... but a recent experience was being totally jet-lagged and waking up pre-dawn in Koh Samui, Thailand, and watching the sun rise with my husband on the beach. We talked about what all our friends and family were doing at that very same moment as the sun set back home in New York.

First thing I do in a new place: Peruse the local restaurants and map out my dining strategy for the duration of my trip. Dining strategy = eating at as many restaurants as humanly possible.

First thing I do when I get home: Put a push pin on the destination I just returned from on the map of the world that hangs on the wall above my couch.

Travel ambition: To cover that map completely in push pins.

My most beloved place in the whole world: Cockle Cove Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts.

Comments

leandra
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We’ve been seeing prices for flights this fall from Raleigh (where we live) to Seattle and Portland for just over $200 RT (cheap!), so we are heading out west for a wine and waterfall trip in October.

We love to travel, and there are always deals to be found if you know where to look.

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