Gas prices are so high, and the dollar's so weak, that many of us are forgoing our usual family summer vacations, and opting to stay home instead. I'm from LA, which is usually plagued by copious amounts of traffic — it's so slow on the 405 sometimes that you could play Jenga without the stack teetering at all.* But this past 4th of July, no one, and I mean literally no one, was on the freeway. It took me all of 40 minutes to get to Ventura Beach from my house. Normally, that would've been a 2 hour drive, easy, in holiday traffic. Not only that, but beach condos, which normally rent out by April or May for the summer, are still available, and cheaper than usual. Evidently, people are staying close to home.
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal published an article about "staycations" — vacations that people take at home. And some of them get really creative about it, too — from hitching camping tents in the living room, to rearranging the bedroom to look more like a hotel room (complete with a "Do Not Disturb" sign).
From time to time, we check in with Amy Dickinson, who writes the syndicated column "Ask Amy" for The Chicago Tribune. Recently, she's been getting a lot of mail from people who say the current economic situation is putting a strain on their relationships, and creating tension among family members. And now that people are taking vacations at home, who knows how high those tensions will rise.
What are you and your family doing differently as a result of the economy? Are the tensions rising? And if you have any questions for Amy, leave them here.
* Do not try this at home.