15 December 2011

Why Staying Close To Home for Summer Holidays May Not Be as Budget Friendly as You’d Think

We are only a few days away from the official start of the Australian holiday season, when millions of Aussie families hit the road (or the airport) for four weeks of summer family fund and relaxation. This year, instead of heading off overseas or interstate, many families are choosing to stay close to home and enjoy a staycation.

When the economy started to slide down that slippery slope the advice from budget experts around the globe was to stay close to home when holidaying. Thus the term “staycation” was coined. In theory the advice makes great sense.

When you stay close to home for your vacation you may save money on travel expenses. To be sure, it is costly to buy airline tickets for a family of five. However, there are many surprising expenses that pop up when you plan a staycation.

The High Cost of Fuel

The first unexpected expense is often the cost of the fuel that it will take for you to get to your destination. If you’re traveling a few hundred miles from home by car every day of your staycation, at $1.35 or more per litre, that can add up quickly.

Pricey Hotels

Hotel costs are essentially the same wherever you go. And if you’re traveling to a touristy location in your state during peak travel times, the nightly rate may actually be more expensive than traveling to a far away destination.


Often, one of the reasons for staycationing is to become familiar with all of the wonderful sights and locations your state and community has to offer. However, you may spend more money on those sights and destinations than you would on a vacation in a distant location.


Finally, when people believe they’re saving money by staying close to home for their vacation, they may not be as detailed about tracking their expenses. It’s easy for a staycation to break the budget when you’re not paying close attention to what you’re spending. On the other hand, if you travel to an exotic destination you may be more likely to create a budget and to stick to it.

Affordable Options

There are actually many other options that may be much more affordable than a staycation. Here are just a few to compare and consider:

Holiday Packages

Discount travel sites offer exceptional deals. Find the right deal and you can take your family to Movie World, Uluru or even Disney Land for less than it can cost you to travel 500 kilometres from your home. Check out the travel sites and sign up for their announcements. If you’re a little open minded about where and when you holiday, you can save a bundle.

Holiday Rental Homes

You can find affordable vacation rentals in just about every travel destination. Their nightly rate is often much less expensive than staying at a hotel. And you save money by cooking your meals instead of going out.

Home Swap

Finally, if you live in a desirable location you can swap your home with someone who lives in a place you’d like to travel to. There are websites where you can find the best home swap match to meet your needs.

Holidaying doesn’t have to break the bank and it doesn’t have to be out of a Cheapskate’s reach. There are many ways to save money and make memories. While a staycation may be the best solution, it’s not a given that you’ll save money. Compare your options, create a budget, and have a great time!


  1. I actually holiday at home and make trips via public transport eg. train to Mandurah is a good, inexpensive day out espec if a Senior. Admittedly, I'm not there yet but it's good to visit different op-shops.

    Also, a day spent in the Perth Cultural Centre, having taken lunch from home is another great day out.

    Compliments of the Season to all @ Cheapskates

  2. We went to Margaret river and stayed in a chalet where I cooked dinner each night and served brealfast every morning. but as a treat we had lunch out every day. It takes us a good 5 hours or so to get to Margaret river so take petrol costs into consideration also, we went to mostly free things like nature walks and picnicking. But we also visited a reptile sanctuary and a bird park etc..

    The next holiday we decided to stay at home and head out daily for trips to visit family, the zoo, hillaries boat harbor etc, y know, Perth stuff. We spent the exact same amount of money.

    I'd much rather go stay somewhere different instead of coming home every night. Because then I feel obliged to do some washing and cleaning etc... When your not at home you don't do any of that it's a real getaway.

    So we will be spending our holidays away in the future. Not overseas though because I'm sorry but even a trip to Bali for a week costs ALOT more than a trip down south or up north. And thats whilst budgeting too. Maybe we budget so well here in WA that we can't top our frugalty anywhere else? Lolll

    Wish we could though!


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