Staycation … a portmanteau that combines “stay” and “vacation” and refers to a holiday that takes place either at or near home.”

With gas well above $4 per gallon this summer, and with airlines raising prices and canceling flights because of high fuel costs, it’s not too surprising to find a word like “staycation” gaining a toehold in the North American lexicon. Google now finds nearly 200,000 web pages that use the word — most of them added within the last few months, if my casual browsing is any indicator.

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But even back when fuel wasn’t so pricey, some of my favorite vacations were spent within a 50 mile radius of home. It’s easy to forget how many parks, museums, nature walks, boat rides, and all-around fun can be found close to where you live — which makes a staycation a perfect opportunity to reconnect yourself to your home town.

So I’m curious: Is anyone out there planning a staycation this year? Where are you, and what do you plan on doing?

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