Due to a lousy economy and spiraling gas prices, the summer of 2008 has seen Americans taking staycations instead of a vacations, but who’s left out of the staycation fun?
As the founder of Manifesta Safaris for Women and Jennifer’s Journey.com, I have been passionate about creating vacations for women since 1997. My experience hosting worn out women desperately in need of a genuine break inspires me to question the staycation. Who does the laundry, cooks the meals, and makes the beds during a staycation? How can a woman put all her domestic, family, and work duties on hold when she remains at home? Ask any woman and she’ll tell you that a staycation filled with housekeeping and care-taking does not provide what we all need—a rejuvenating, relaxing, getaway vacation.
My guests are often women who recognize that a well-deserved break from everything is a genuine necessity. We all need time away to recharge. Former Manifesta safari guest Sunni Chapman is a mother and founder of Bella Fiore Art and Design  in Grass Valley, California. When asked about the staycation phenomena, she said, “Like many women, I work from home, and my responsibilities stay there. Unless I leave, it’s no vacation for me.” As a committed small business owner, I can relate to that statement. Staying home just doesn’t produce the wonderful benefits of a real vacation.
There’s plenty of evidence to support my belief in the value of time spent away. In fact, a recent study conducted by the University of Osewgo in New York concluded that “skipping vacations could actually be dangerous to your health.” The study’s co-author, Brooks Gump, Ph.D., noted that “Vacations have a protective effect because they help you reduce your load of stress, or at least allow you to take a break from the everyday stressors of the workplace.” This reduction in stress is good for our minds and our bodies.
Skipping vacation, while clearly unhealthy, is also surprisingly costly. According to Women’s Health Magazine, foregoing vacation can cost over $12,000 per year in health benefits and loss in work productivity. You can check their math at Women’s Health Magazine .
In the end, no one benefits when women forfeit their vacations—not the women, not their families, not their employers. So, if you’re concerned about the economy, then skip buying those heels you’ll only wear once, but don’t scrimp when it comes to your sanity.