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Enjoy a staycation this summer

July 16, 2010|By LESLEY MASON

With increasing fuel prices, higher airline fees and a lagging economic recovery, "staycations" are still a popular alternative this summer.

A new study from Ypartnership and the Harrison Group shows that in the past year, 26 percent of leisure travelers with household incomes more than $50,000 took an overnight trip or vacation within a 50-mile radius of home. This is up from just less than 10 percent one year ago.

Need staycation ideas? "The Great American staycation: How to make a Vacation at Home Fun for the Whole Family (and Your Wallet!)" by Matt Wixon offers ideas for planning and implementing a great time in and near your home.

Visit local landmarks. Acting like a tourist in your own town can be a great staycation strategy. Visit the Western Maryland Room at the Hagerstown Library to find little-known local history.

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Try camping (even if it's in your own back yard). Unplugging from the TV, Internet and your cell phone can really bring the family together. Campfires and s'mores never go out of style. "The Kids Campfire Book" by Jane Drake has book everything you need to know about having a fun and safe campfire. This collection of outdoor activities, games, stories, songs, and more is for kids and families to share around the campfire. It includes tips on how to find the best campfire site, identify animal cries at night and locate constellations.

Attend local festivals. Food, art, music and more all take center stage at local summer festivals. Don't forget to photograph these adventures. "Towns Along the Towpath" by Kate Mulligan offers information on festivals, museums, local history, best bets and vignettes of life in towns along the C&O Canal. Keeping photo albums of your travels, even if they are local, will make them feel special.

Still need some great summer-inspired reads? Try these:

"Bunbun at the Fair" by Sharon Pierce McCullough

While Bunbun is enjoying all of the activities of his first fair, he gets separated from his brother and sister. Ages 3 to 6.

"Lucille Camps In" by Kathryn Lasky

When Lucille is upset that she can not go camping with her father and older siblings, she and her mother decide to go camping inside the house. Ages 5 to 7.

"Summer Begins" by Elizabeth Doyle Carey

In this first book in the series, the 12-year-old Callahan cousins all converge on their beloved grandmother for a summer of excitement. Ages 8 to 12.

"The Summer I Got a Life" by Mark Fink

Instead of Hawaii, Andy is spending two weeks on a farm in Wisconsin with his somewhat odd, but well-meaning, aunt and uncle. Once there, though, he finds that things aren't so bad. Ages 14 and older.

Lesley Mason is a children's and teen librarian at Washington County Free Library.

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