DES MOINES – With rising travel costs more Iowans are turning to ‘staycations’ or vacations where they stay in Iowa.

Travel Iowa is the state organization that sponsors and markets tourism across the state and they say that the pandemic caused a spike in staycations.

“During the pandemic, we saw a lot of people kind of exploring their own backyards,” Amy Zeigler, the State Tourism Manager of Travel Iowa said. “We saw anywhere from 50-60% of our travel during the pandemic was Iowans exploring their own backyards.”

Travel Iowa has a variety of Digital Passports on their website that offer discounts and other incentives at local businesses and attractions all across Iowa.

Another area that many Iowans have been taking advantage of for staycations is the state’s natural parks.

“Our state parks and our county parks are absolute gems in Iowa. A lot of people are looking for those outdoor adventures, either paddling, watersports, fishing, biking, the bike trails have been really huge in the past couple of years. Just kind of getting out and exploring the state and the natural beauty that we have,” Zeigler said.