Consider a Staycation This March Break

Date posted: March 10, 2017

Photo Credit: Alice Hampson

I have fond memories of March break when I was a child. I would relax around the house and lounge in the sun reading, and I would and get plenty of extra sleep. My parents did not make plans to take our family anywhere, and that was fine by us. Unfortunately, the days of relaxed March breaks seem to be over. It seems that in recent years the pressure has been on parents to entertain children on March break, and instead of stretching out in the sun with a good book, parents send their children to camp, take them on ski trips, or even to Disneyland.

This increase in activities has resulted in an increase in cost, and like many lifestyle inflation trends, many Canadians pay for their March break trips with debt.

I don’t know about you, but I think that you should avoid debt at all costs. If you don’t have the money to pay for a March break trip with your family, you should consider doing a staycation instead.

While it used to be just called “staying home,” the term staycation rose in popularity after the crash of 2008. During these years of economic turmoil, many North Americans both north and south of the border were in financial difficulties and couldn’t afford to go anywhere for their vacations.

Even after the economy has recovered, the term “staycation” has persisted, and if you can’t afford a March break trip with your family this year, here’s why you should consider a staycation instead.

The Frugal Choice

The most important reason Canadians should choose a staycation for their March break is to save money. Staying home will save you thousands of dollars in flight costs, hotel fees, and theme park fees. If the alternative to a staycation is to put those charges on a credit card or other high-interest debt, you’ll also avoid paying hundreds of dollars in interest charges as you pay the loan back.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a trip, just a few hundred dollars spent on a staycation can make it a memorable experience for your family.

A Chance to Explore Your Home City

If you choose to make your March break a staycation, you’ll have the unique gift of time with your family to explore the city you live in and experience it from a tourist’s perspective. Go to museums that you haven’t had the time to visit, or go to a restaurant you’ve wanted to try.

By getting out of the house and exploring your city, you’ll entertain your family, gain a deeper knowledge of your neighbourhoods and town, and save money.

Complete Lingering Projects

I have several home renovation projects I’ve been itching to complete, but I haven’t had a chance because there simply isn’t enough time to complete them in a weekend or evenings after work. Staying home on March break gives you a chance to devote real time to home projects, whether that is giving your bathroom a refresh with new paint, decluttering the storage room, or getting a jump on your Spring cleaning. You don’t need to devote your entire March break to these tasks, but even a small portion of the vacation would be enough to knock a few projects off the list.

Slow Down

Most importantly, a staycation for March break will give you and your family a chance to slow down and have some down time. In today’s busy world, families are often go-go-going everywhere, from ballet class to hockey to parent-teacher meetings to work. If you add in a March break trip to that, you’ll be anything but refreshed when you return.

By choosing to stay home and relax on your March break, you’ll have a chance to reconnect with your family over the simple things in life like watching a movie together or playing board games. These little moments are the fondest memories I have of my March breaks growing up, and those are moments that can’t be replicated on a ski trip or at Disneyland.

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