Vacation in Your Backyard
A long weekend is stretching in front of me: no work, no Blackberry, no high heels ... and no money.
We're staying put this holiday and telling our out-of-town friends to come to us. With the economy refusing to perk up (see our breaking news about record unemployment), more folks are choosing to spend the weekend in the comfort of their own homes, according to AAA.
The group reported this week that about 16 percent of Washington area residents -- or 859,000 people -- will travel 50 miles or more from home, a drop of 2.2 percent from last year.
Nationally, AAA projected that the number of Americans traveling for the holiday weekend will fall 1.9 percent to 37.1 million. It also expects a 2.6 percent decline in auto trips this year to 32.6 million. That's in part due to the rise in gas prices. The national average has gone from $2.49 a month ago to over $2.60, though prices came down this week. Air travel, however, is expected to rise 6 percent this weekend.
So what to do if you're staying put? You don't have to be slumped on the couch watching old episodes of Sex and the City and pining for better economic times.
Consumer Reports has compiled tips to help you get through your "staycation." Dogster even has ideas for how to keep your pup occupied. And since you're home anyway, Traveling the Green Way suggests you stop procrastinating and switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs already.
How do you plan to spend your time -- and save your money -- this Fourth of July? Share your staycation suggetions here or e-mail me at muiy[at]washpost.com.
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