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The recent economic downturn has made it unrealistic for many Americans to take time off from their jobs, and for the unemployed the prospect of travel is virtually out of the question.

Surveys show that Americans take fewer vacation days than Europeans but still a few more than the Japanese. This trend actually goes back several years, and can be traced back to 2006 when “Shrinking-Vacation Syndrome” was first identified.

Let’s call it “SVS” for short.

If you’re a victim of SVS, you may be feeling particularly gloomy about the prospects of a stay at home summer. Keep reading, though, and you’ll feel much better. By the time you’re done with your stay-cation you’ll wonder why you ever wanted to leave home!

Begin by trying a bit of cognitive dissonance reduction. We all have come to believe that the best vacation is one that involves exotic travel to amazing places. In fact, who wouldn’t sacrifice anything and everything to see the Mona Lisa? You think to yourself, “If I can’t see the Mona Lisa this year (or next, or next …) I haven’t lived. What’s wrong with me and my life?”

Well, you’d be surprised to find out that, according to one travel review site, the Mona Lisa is the #1 (out of 8) most disappointing sights in Europe. Riding a gondola in Venice is #2! What is wrong with these jaded travel reviewers? How can they be so cynical? The answer is that when you factor in the cost, effort, and potential crowding in the most popular tourist attractions, they are just not all they’re cracked up to be, according to the pros.

To make you feel even better, you can figure out how much you’re saving by not going anywhere. Take a look at the  most expensive hotel rooms in the world.  The Royal Villa at Grand Resort Lagonissi, Athens tops out at #1 with a cost of $48,000 USD per night. How ridiculous is that? What’s more, you’d pay $16000 USD to book the Royal Suite at the Four Seasons George V in Paris. Even more ridiculous. Why would you want to waste your money just to see the over-rated Mona Lisa!

OK, you’re feeling a bit better now. But there is something else to be gained by fantasizing about yourself in one of these posh properties. Cornell and Penn State researchers Robert Kwortnik and William Ross found that vacation planning in and of itself can release a host of positive emotions. The closer the vacation image is to your mental image of your true self, the more positive emotions that planned vacation stirs up. If you have visions of yourself as one of the Sex and the City travelers, then you’ll get the most rush out of checking out (online of course) one of the luxury Dubai resorts.

Read more: http://www.thirdage.com/travel/staycation-5-fun-while-staying-put#ixzz10f9fCBo1

Read more:  via www.thirdage.com -A boomer’s guide to a life of health, happiness, passion & purpose.

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Filed under: Why Travel?

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