The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

May 6, 2012

Staycations can fit limited budgets

DANVILLE — High gas prices and limited money after the bills are paid may mean vacations are out of the question this year. But families don’t have to travel great distances or spend a lot of money “to get away,” do something different and relax.

Most important, however, is making memories.

“Travel means experiences you give your children,” said Jeanie Cooke, executive director of the Danville Area Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.

An adult may have a hard time remembering favorite toys he or she received at past birthdays or Christmases. But adults likely can easily remember specific vacation times participating in activities with family members.

“There really is no end to the things to do,” Cooke said.

There are several options locally for “staycations.”

Staying around home might not sound fun, but a long car or plane ride with a toddler may not be fun either.

The term staycation is a more recent word. People have taken vacations and stayed home for years. But with tougher financial times, the word staycation has been used more commonly.

“It is a trend we are seeing,” Cooke said.

“People still want free time and relaxation,” she said, despite the economic downturn.

Vermilion County residents are surrounded by beautiful parks, museums and there are events every weekend.

Cooke said it is a well-known pattern that local museum and park attendance normally increase with people visiting more local sites in tough economic times. Cities also benefit with local residents or others traveling within an hour or so from home.

For a visitor visiting Danville, it’s estimated that they can spend about $75 for a day’s visit. If someone spends the night, the local revenue increases to $125 per person spent on lodging, shopping, food, etc.

Cooke said Arts in the Park is a big local draw in the summer, in addition to Danville Dans baseball games. The Walldogs wall murals also have been bringing in groups and individuals.

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