A summer staycation travel guide

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Are you tired of financing a tank of gas? Are you afraid your armpits might burst into flames if you leave the air-conditioned confines of your home? Or maybe, like our family, you blew a decade’s worth of vacation savings on a trip to New York City over the Christmas holidays, and you’re still having night terrors about subway rats dancing to Broadway show tunes.

Whatever your reasons, if you are in the midst of a summer staycation this year, the following is a brief guide for enjoying the exotic destination of your home address.

First, a staycation is all about relaxing, and what better place to find the ultimate form of relaxation than in your bedroom – sleeping – a lot? Let’s face it. We often return from traditional vacations totally drained–and not just in the wallet area. On a staycation, you can avoid that kind of financial and physical exhaustion by sleeping as late as humanly possible. In fact, if you still have teens or partially-grown persons at home (who are famous for their general slothfultude), you can make it a family competition. First one out of bed cooks breakfast – or afternoon brunch!

And speaking of brunch, it’s important to get a sense of your destination’s culture by sampling the local cuisine (whatever’s in the fridge and/or pantry that hasn’t reached its expiration date). Here in the South, where we often throw cardiac health to the wind, biscuits with gravy is considered a delicacy. Since the object here is to enjoy yourself, why not go a little crazy and have both the canned and frozen variety of biscuits? And if you’re feeling really extravagant (and carb-deficient), you can whip up some chocolate gravy and force one of your children to stir it for thirty minutes while it cooks. To add a touch of elegance to the meal, break out the fine China – or Chinet (or anything not made by Dixie).

Once the first meal of the day is done at around 2:00 PM, it’s time for some adventure as you enjoy the indigenous wildlife – namely your pets. Experience the excitement of examining tracks (sometimes in the form of droppings), listening to their calls (as they whimper to go outside to potty), or cautiously approaching the Siamese, Maltese or indeterminate terrier mixed breed with a shedding brush and flea drops in hand. The idea is to irritate your pets enough so that they are relieved when your family returns to work and school.

Finally, it’s time to end the day with some bonding in the form of “family game night” held in the luxurious accommodations of your living room. Our gang enjoys the “Let’s order a pizza, leave each other alone and stare at our phones until bedtime” game. The beauty of this game is that the whole family can participate, everyone wins and if someone feels the need to communicate, a simple text will do.

As this travel guide demonstrates, you don’t have to spend lots of money, deal with the hassles of the airlines or undergo the pressures of actually trying to have fun when you settle for a well-air-conditioned summer staycation. All it takes is a semi-comfortable mattress, a can of biscuits, a pet–or two–or three and some good old fashioned unmanaged screen time.

Bon voyage!

Copyright 2023 Jase Graves distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at [email protected].