Staycation illustration

With airfare demands in the U.S. at an all-time high, there has been an increase in the cost of travel, making vacations less affordable and more crowded. For that reason, staying at home while taking much-needed time off work or school should be considered more often than expensive trips.

The consumer price index, which tracks the price of goods, rose by 19% in April, making it the largest increase since 1963. As summertime rolls around each year, the number of planned vacations dramatically increases. A survey conducted by The Vacationer found that over 80% of Americans planned to travel this summer.

Vacations are beneficial in lowering stress levels, creating a more positive mindset and increasing motivation. However, traveling to a vacation spot is not essential to enjoy the summer break. Staycations are beneficial to strengthen current relationships, save money and reconnect with one’s community.

Staying at home during the summer break allows college students to direct their time and energy toward loved ones. The school year can become overloaded with class schedules, extracurriculars and events but the summer presents a great opportunity for students to enjoy spending time with the people in their lives.

survey conducted by the College Pulse found that nearly 14,500 college students claimed their relationship with their parents improved significantly since beginning college. With the independence gained through moving to college, the students claimed that they had a newfound appreciation for their parents. The summer break is a great opportunity to show appreciation towards parental figures by spending more time with them.

That being said, this opportunity is not limited, and it can be applied to other relationships as well. Exploring your community with a group of friends is a great way to indulge in a staycation and offers many benefits. Spending time with friends can improve self-confidence, promote a healthier lifestyle, increase a sense of belonging and reduce stress. Without the distractions present throughout the school year, the summertime allows for students to uplift one another through quality time spent together.

Travelling can become very expensive, and staycations can be much more fitting for a college student’s budget. The average cost of a one-week vacation in the U.S. is over $1,500. Depending on location, planned activities, food and transportation, this sum can become significantly larger.

43% of full-time undergraduate students work jobs while they are enrolled in school, and college expenses are very high. Staycations offer students the benefit of a decreased vacation cost and opportunities to explore their community. With a busy college schedule, it can become easy to fall into a repetitive pattern in day-to-day life. Summer break is a great opportunity for college students to break this cycle.

Attending local events is a great way to spend time on a staycation and find other individuals sharing similar interests. Staycations do not have to follow a specific format and should instead be spent participating in enjoyable activities within proximity. Attending game nights, outdoor markets, concerts, fitness gatherings, conventions, museums, or art classes are all great ways to spend time during a staycation.

Showing up to these events locally improves an individual's sense of belonging in the community, which helps to reduce mental health issues and boosts human connection. While finding a local event to attend can be intimidating for some individuals, it is important for students to get out of their comfort zone and explore their area.

Staycations can help individuals explore their community but there may be limitations due to the constraints of one's residency. The extent of local activities available could be minimal depending upon their town's size and location. Some activities may not be locally accessible for individuals. Regardless, the staycation's impacts are hugely beneficial for students who chose to partake in the activity.

While some individuals may be taking summer classes, working or participating in extracurricular activities throughout the summer, it is important for college students to allow themselves to relax. Whether that be through a gathering of friends and family or by themselves—staycations offer many benefits. They are a cost-efficient way to spend time with loved ones, explore one’s community and designate a time to relax.

- Kadence Cobb is a journalism freshman

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