The current economy is stuck in a real-life Catch 22: while the need for a vacation is increasing due to the rising stress caused by the cut-throat nature of the job market, the costs of embarking on such escapes are steadily moving out of reach. With all work and no play, Americans today are becoming high-strung and harder to deal with. Like New Yorkers in the winter, we’re all turning into snappy, stressed-out, soul-sucking monsters.

So here’s a solution. Staycations, as they’ve come to be called, are defined as “a period in which an individual or family stays and relaxes at home, possibly taking day trips to area attractions.”* Staycations give you the reprise that you need to stay sane without completely draining your wallet. So book a week off, toss out your business phone and give some of these Staycation ideas a try.

CLASSICS

New England Aquarium Seals, penguins and fish. Oh my! The New England Aquarium is fun for the whole family.

Freedom Trail Need to catch up on your U.S. History? Take a walk through this interactive cheat-sheet.

Fenway Park Channel your Bostonian pride at this world-renowned stadium, home to the Green Monster and the Citgo sign. This is a fan favorite, even for you non-baseball lovers.

Whale Watching Get up close and personal with nature on this 3-hour whale-watching tour. But don’t get too close…

Top of the Hub Experience fine dining and an astounding view of Boston atop the famous Prudential Center. Let’s hope you’re not afraid of heights…

Duck Boat Tour Coming by land and by sea, this one-of-a-kind tour will blow your other vacations out of the water. Don’t forget to quack!

OFF THE BEATEN PATH

Chocolate Tour! Take a guided tour to some of Boston’s best chocolate shops (and stop in to some along the way). I hope you saved room for dessert.

Ghosts and Gravestones Tour It may not be Halloween yet but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore your supernatural interests. Learn about the local hauntings on this spooky ride.

Hotel Getaway Hey, even if you can’t travel to that exotic island you’ve been eyeing, you can still live like you’re on vacation at one of Boston’s finest (and inexpensive) hotels. Grab some friends and family and embark on a wicked awesome summer adventure.

Ocean Kayaking Paddle alongside your favorite sea creatures with this creative summer activity.

Chinatown So maybe you can’t make it to China in this lifetime. Boston’s Chinatown offers visitors the next best thing with authentic Chinese cuisine and shops.

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