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Spend less, enjoy more
With money being tight for many Oklahomans, more people are planning “staycations,” the newest form of a vacation that costs less.Staycation is defined by the Urban Dictionary as “a vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environment has to offer.” Many wonder exactly what that is, since the typical point of a vacation is to travel. However, it’s possible to get away even when staying close. “Oklahoma is the sixth best travel value in the country,” said Hardy Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. “Aside from saving money, people can enjoy the same break with family and friends and gain a new appreciation for the state.” Creating a staycation only has a few simple requirements. One is that it must be treated as a real vacation. It means turning off cell phones and putting away the chore list. Dates must be set, just as they would be to take any other trip. And people must be informed that regardless of where you are, it is a vacation. “It’s the only time no one in my family works, studies, or runs errands,” said Emilie Blanchard of Edmond. “With a family of seven, that’s a rarity.” For those worried about time, Watkins said there are many activities in Oklahoma that require only a day trip. “Alabaster Caverns is a must-see,” Watkins said. “You can go crystal digging and walk through the largest cavern of its type.” Those taking a staycation must have also some structure. The same preparations apply as they do for taking a vacation away, and Watkins encourages considering staying somewhere other than your home. “Motels along the way are a lot of the fun,” Watkins said. “Route 66 draws people from all over the world, and there are so many places to stay while you drive along it.
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