To Vacation or Not to Vacation this Summer?

What is summer, and what does it mean to me?

Swinging from a tire into the river, jumping from a low bridge into the channel, playing whiffle ball until everyone in the neighborhood is ready to start a fight over rules that don’t exist, caddying at the golf club, and working a low impact waiter/waitress/busboy job at the local haunt.

Summer is quite simply the bee’s knees for many Americans who deal with 2-3-4 seasons or foul weather and crabby-patty-attitudes, so I am excited to present what Mr. & Mrs. Johnny Q. Public have to say in Ipsos Public Affairs’ June Thought Starter, “It’s Vacation Season in America”.

Does it shock me that 54% of Americans plan on taking a vacation this summer?  Nope, not a bit, but it horrifies me that 46% said No or Not Likely.

Holy Matzo Balls!  Are you kidding Moi!  I feel like we need to kick start a little Kid Rock, “All Summer Long,” and remind folks there was a polar vortex taking a rest stop hiatus on all our heads this past winter.

Now before I challenge all 46% of Americans to a throw down at the BBQ pit while piling a pound of Texas famous pork ribs into my stomach while enjoying a beverage of choice, maybe there is some simple reason why so many have chosen not to vacation.

Well, dialing in at a whopping 64%, ‘Lack of funds’ is the overwhelming number one reason why Americans state they will not take a vacation this summer.  This is five times greater than any other reason stated.

Huh?

I get it, but I don’t get it.  You don’t have to vacation at Trump Towers, the Hamptons, Lake Mackinac, or hop a plane to Europe or for that matter Iceland (it’s getting popular you know).  Whatever happened to the ‘staycation’?  Why is she hiding her head in the sand?  Come on America, it doesn’t have to be elaborate, it simply has to be time-off from work, and some local planning with your house as the central hub for activity for it to be a staycation.

My mother always said, “Paul, the backyard is a special treat, and so is the tree fort we built, and the swing set we erected.  Go make a special day with your friends in the backyard.” Sound advice from a sound lady.

One question we asked in the study which can be used in parallel with my mother’s wise advice was, “What two things do you look most forward to do on summer vacation?” Survey says:

  • See sights, restaurants, theme parks – 42%
  • Be together as a family – 36%
  • Outdoor activities – 24%
  • Visit family/friends – 23%

Last time I checked, none of these activities requires a Brinks Job, or a winning Powerball ticket.  Get off the couch, get motivated, put some planning into it, and make a staycation your 2014 vacation before it’s too late.