LUBBOCK, Texas — Ricky Wilks and his wife wanted to take a vacation, but after two of their trips were canceled due to protests and COVID-19, they decided to go a different route.
“We just needed a break,” Wilks said. “Instead of trying to plan something big and extravagant, we decided we would just get a room for the weekend and get out of the house but stay close to home.”
According to Visit Lubbock, even before the pandemic, staycations were not uncommon.
“Staycations have actually been around for a really long time. There are a lot of people who enjoy doing that,” said Visit Lubbock President and C.E.O John Osborne.
Osborne encourages staycations especially since Lubbock, which normally sees over 6 million tourists a year, has seen a decline in tourism amid the pandemic.
“We have definitely been affected by the total number of visitors. I think there is a general desire for people they want to get out and about, but they are trying to make sure that things are safe,” Osborne said.
But even with case numbers still high in Lubbock, Osborne says businesses are doing their best to be safe.
“Our hotels have done a phenomenal job of implementing policies to make sure things are clean, so it makes for a great opportunity for staycations. To just get out of the house and see a different set of walls,” Osborne said.
For Wilks, it is all about taking time for a little rest and relaxation.
“If you’re overworked or stressed out or just need a break, it’s pretty simple. Book a room close to your house, in case you need to go home for something and just turn everything off for a weekend. It’s like recharging the batteries,” said Wilkes.
While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is currently discouraging travel to limit coronavirus exposure, Visit Lubbock encourages people to take staycations as they can be a way to support your local economy.