Southland residents are looking no further than their own back yards, relatively speaking, when it comes to planning summer getaways. According to a feature in today's L.A. Daily News, 2009 represents the second year so-called staycations are in vogue. Last year holiday travel was cut by skyrocketing gas prices and steep air fares. Although those two metrics are far more traveler-friendly this year, deepening apprehension about the global recession, combined with Angelenos' anxieties about job security, are making day trips to Disneyland or Universal City way more popular than two-week stays in Hawaii or Europe.
Jeffrey Spring of the Auto Club says his group's annual pre-summer
survey of membership travel plans won't be out for a couple of weeks,
but feels this year's vacation season will be “softer” than 2008.
For those willing to blow the wad on an overnighter, options range from
(Lake Arrowhead), to the coastal (San Diego) or to heat-driven bargains
(Palm Springs). The unwillingness of many, however, to entail overnight
expenses is killing hotel business in places like San Francisco. Last
week's N.Y. Times reported that
boutique hotels in the City by the Bay were going for under $100 a
night. The Auto Club's Spring says hotels are already preparing for the
slowdown by slashing prices and offering tempting package deals.
even such same-day destinations as Six Flags Magic Mountain or
Disneyland don't seem recession-proof. Six Flag's stock fell so low on
the New York Stock Exchange last week (27 cents a share) that it
suffered the ignominy of being delisted
by the exchange, and the Walt Disney Co. has announced 1,900 layoffs in
its theme parks nationwide, with 300 pink slips being handed out at
Anaheim's Disneyland Resort.
Of course, really frugal Southlanders are taking the term staycation to a literal level and by not going anywhere at all. The Daily News feature
raises the new specter of the “naycation,” where people don't simply
stay home, but stay home and grumble about their plight.