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Ask The Readers: Did You “Staycation” to Save Money on Gas?

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gas-pump.jpgMemorial Day weekend is over... *Sigh*... back to work. The local news last night interviewed a number of people about how they spent their Memorial Day weekend. I was surprised by the number that were really cutting down their driving to save money on gas. One family decided to cut down their vacations from 3 to 1.

My wife and I don't drive very much for vacations. We might go 45 miles north to Napa for some wine tasting this summer. When/If we do, we'll hopefully find a cheap motel or perhaps even camp out. We also might look into more activities in the nearby San Francisco. Even thought we've lived here almost two years, there's still so much we haven't seen.

So let's turn the questions back to you... are you reducing your driving this summer? What is your budget for travel this summer? Do you want to punch me in the face for using a cutesy term like "staycation" in the title? Let me know in the comments.

Last updated on June 14, 2008.

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28 Responses to “Ask The Readers: Did You “Staycation” to Save Money on Gas?”

  1. anonymous says:

    “I was surprised by the number that were really cutting down their driving to save money on gas.”

    When the news wants to do a story on people who aren’t taking vacations due to high gas prices, they only show interviews from people who aren’t taking vacations due to high gas prices.

    It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Gas prices aren’t that high, only marginally higher than they were in the past. But tell enough people that “OMFG GAS IS SO EXPENSIVE” and people start to believe it.

    Anyway to answer the question, I’m not reducing my driving. Over the weekend I drove about 400 miles. It cost precisely “I don’t care how much.” I work hard and earn plenty of money precisely so I don’t have to worry about the cost of gas or milk or eggs.

  2. Jeremy says:

    I’m with anonymous. Gas prices are higher this year compared to last, but in terms of actual dollar amounts, if the extra 10, 20, 50, or even 100 extra that it would cost you to reach your destination is holding you back from taking a vacation, you probably couldn’t afford to take it anyway.

    It hasn’t held us back, and in fact, we did a ton of driving this weekend. I drove halfway across the state just to play a round of golf and have dinner with my dad for one day. It cost me about $7 more in gas than the trip cost in gas last year. I don’t think I’m going to call off a great day for the price of a fast food value meal or two fancy Starbucks coffees.

  3. Pinyo says:

    Wine tasting sounds great. My family stayed at home and enjoyed local events.

  4. Kyle says:

    I staycationed, but not because of gas prices. It was quite a nice weekend, actually, and I hardly spent anymoney.

  5. Cos says:

    I also stayed at home for the holiday weekend – it had nothing to do with gas prices and everything to do with not having squat to do. I agree with Jeremy’s “probably couldn’t afford to take it anyway” statement, very true.

  6. jim says:

    I staycationed because I was Lazy… actually because it’s fun to hang out, enjoy the weather, and grill out. I used gas… propane to be exact, and I don’t care how much it cost.

    And to be frank, the people that area truly affected by rising gas prices aren’t going on vacations over long weekends. They don’t go on ANY vacations because money is tight. I feel for them but the idea that people are sticking around because of gas prices is the result of lunacy.

  7. Jeremy says:

    Oh, I forgot to add that I do want to punch you in the face for using the word “staycation.”

  8. anonymous says:

    Since Jeremy backed me up, I’ll agree with him on the ‘staycation’ thing.

  9. Lazy Man says:

    Eh, Jeremy wants to punch me in the face, must be Tuesday.

  10. Mrs. Micah says:

    (amused by Buffy reference in the comments)

    We decided not to go anywhere, but it was more a mix of:

    a) our families never did anything on this holiday

    b) gas prices in general…we would have had to budget for a trip and we wanted to use the money elsewhere. Less an OMFG the gas prices are so high! and more that it would be money at all. ;)

    c) we find weekend trips kinda stressful. we’re homebodies.

  11. I don’t know if I would call it a stay-cation, because I didn’t really do anything special (hey….maybe that’s what a vacation should be!), but I did abort plans to go to the ACC baseball tournament, in part, because of gas prices.

    I probably would have gone had Carolina been able to advance to the championship game on Sunday. But, since their fate was sealed late Friday, it was an easier decision to make. $100 round-trip for gas to see two college baseball games (the tickets for which would have cost less than $25) just didn’t seem all that smart.

    I didn’t go see Carolina when they played at FSU or Miami this year, either. In years past, I would have gone in a heartbeat.

    However, the price of gas is not just marginally higher this year – gas is a full dollar a gallon more than last Memorial Day – up more than 30%. When you consider how much menu prices have gone up, hotel rates have gone up, and day-to-day expenses have gone up, we need to realize that this is not the same 2-3% inflation that the government keeps telling us. For those of you in fortunate positions to “not have to worry” about cost increases – good for you. Unfortunately, you are in a real minority. I work hard, too…I just prefer to keep more of my money than fritter it away on things where the expense cannot be justified.

  12. tom says:

    I hope everyone was able to “chillax” on their “staycations”!! I want to punch both of us in the face.

    We flew down to Texas to my parent’s ranch. We had a huge BBQ with a whole pig, brisket, chicken, ribs, and lots of beer. I’m now recovering from getting toasted in the pool. So to answer your question, no, gas prices are not keeping us from traveling.

    I hope everyone had a great weekend even if they had to cancel plans!

  13. Lazy Man says:

    Tom, can I come to your party next year? That sounds just about my speed.

  14. PT says:

    It’s not affecting our plans for travel, vacations, just my plans for current/future automotive purchases. Is it dumb to keep a big SUV that I don’t need right now?

    Oh, and yes, punch you like Tyson’s Knock Out.

  15. Sabrina says:

    It cost me $72 to fill up my tank last time. I’m going to do as much biking and walking as possible.

  16. Mary Sue says:

    I grew up in Napa. You don’t want to go to Napa. The motels in Napa are overpriced and skeezy, the wine tasting prices are outrageous, and the campgrounds are waaaay out in the middle of nowhere.

    I suggest Fairfield. It’s the gateway to the Solano Wine Country (Wooden Valley Winery in Fairfield puts out my favorite wine ever), and if you ever went to the old Nut Tree you have to see the way they’ve revamped it.

  17. David Carter says:

    I didn’t really have a staycation, more of a workcation. Not very fun but it helps pay the bills.

  18. Experts on Credit says:

    I didn’t feel like spending extra money to celebrate three days off, and the gas prices were just a good excuse.

  19. AkiraSabine says:

    I don’t like to go out unnecessarily coz going out means spending money. The fuel, the parking tickets, the food, entertainment. I can do a lot at home surfing and learning from the net.

  20. Joseph Sangl says:

    I loaded up the family in a gas-guzzling SUV and drove over a 1,000 miles for Memorial Day.

    Time with my parents is short. High gas prices (or the latest so-called crisis) will always be around.

    Because we PLAN for our vacations and SAVE money for them, we are able to just go and not worry about it.

    But I would have preferred to pay $0.69 for a gallon of gas instead of $3.86!

  21. We actually just commissioned a Roper poll that found out that the majority of Americans will be cutting back on visiting friends and family due to gas prices. Almost two thirds said they’d cut back on driving for enjoyment, and a fourth for work (more poll results here: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/gas-card-price-poll-1277.php. Really sad that we’re having to cut back on fun activities because of this. My family is about a three hour drive away, and I haven’t been home in a while because gas is so costly, and then once I’m there, I have to do a lot of driving to see everyone. I’m going to Europe for two weeks this summer, but fortunately I’ll be taking trains and buses most of the time.

  22. We stayed home over the weekend, and have put off visiting friends and family because of gas prices. We won’t be going to several wedding we were invited to this Spring, either, because of travel costs. Good poll.

  23. @ Emily– that link doesn’t work for me.

  24. Anitra says:

    We’re not much for vacationing to begin with, but I can see exactly ONE change in our vacationing plans that is related to gas prices… We’re treating my mother-in-law to a special trip to an undisclosed location in July (about a 4-hour drive)… We’re going to put five people (me, husband, his brother & sister, and “mom”) in one sedan to get there and back. If it weren’t for high gas prices, we might drive two cars down instead.

  25. There were a lot of people on the roads during this memorial day weekend. Luckily for them however, they were just walking, rather than driving :-)

  26. Ryuko says:

    Staycation? haha. I spent so much $ on gas this weekend that I couldn’t even afford to vacation at home. I just sat on my ass and surfed the web. At least I was able to go surfing… :p

  27. Shane says:

    Yeah, i’m totally feeling the effects. But what I’m doing is slowing down on the freeway and that’s cutting down my gas consumption a lot. I calculated it out at http://www.slowdowntosavegas.com/

  28. Jackie Yang says:

    As a Chinese here,”Staycation” is really new word but not new in idea.For me,that is a bridge to explain this cultural point to the English beginners!That is fun!

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