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Is 2008 the year of the Staycation? Many families are trading in their travel plans for a stay-at-home vacation
What does it mean? Staycation is a portmanteau that combines “stay” and “vacation” and refers to a holiday that takes place either at or near home. It joins a list of other Buzzwords that are formed by melding two words into one: greenwashing, prosumer, ruralpolitan, and techorate.

Why the buzz? With the U.S. economy sagging and the nationwide average price for unleaded regular gas surging toward $4 per gallon, a pricey destination holiday is beyond the reach of many Americans. Not wanting to experience a summer devoid of well-deserved R&R, many families are trading in their travel plans for a stay-at-home vacation. These staycations take many forms, including backyard camping “expeditions” and romantic “escapes” to a local hotel.

Just like many vacations, staycations require gear, and at-home holidays call for some special accoutrements. Top of the must-have list is a dependable grill. The affordable Brinkmann 810-8410S, $200 (sold at Home Depot), and Char-Broil Commercial Series 463268008, $300 (Lowe’s), are Quick Picks. Read our latest report on gas grills for the full details and try out our easy, delicious grilling recipes.

Beyond a good grill, your outdoor-living area/kitchen needs a few other products to help make your staycation a success. For crushing ice and mixing fruit smoothies, keep a quality blender handy. Turn your patio or deck into an open-air entertaining room with outdoor furniture. To keep the bugs at bay, review our Ratings of insect repellents (available to subscribers), and find the best sunscreen. Finally, make sure your air conditioners are up to snuff—when you’re watching a movie at home on a scorcher of a summer evening, you’ll definitely want to keep cool.

Essential information: To prevent accidents from happening during your staycation, be sure to review our Summer Safety Guide, and see our Outdoor Living Guide for more information on outdoor fun.

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