By Shalini Raj
The world is moving towards a new normal. When there is still much dubiety regarding international travel, the search volumes for staycations definitely uphold an appetite for going on vacation. No wonder it is one of the biggest holiday trends currently. Staycations means a holiday spent in one’s home country instead of travelling abroad, or one spent in and around one’s hometown, taking day trips to local attractions, or exploring the area like a local.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led the world to cancel vacations, reunions and business trips this year. The embattled travel and hospitality industry has been hit with waves of cancellations. Now, as countries cautiously reopen after several months of lockdowns, people are searching for safe ways to return to some pretense of normal life. Here the idea of staying at a comfortable and safe home-away-from-home with great views and without the worrying about contracting the virus is the perfect one. That is precisely why hotels and resorts around the world are promoting staycations, and simultaneously attracting customer attention to the extensive steps they are taking to minimize the chances of infections.
Staycation is an increasing trend because it’s an easy way to take a break without travelling too far. It is a wonderful way of spending joyful vacations while aiding one’s pocket and the environment. In fact, staying close to house eradicates the budget for accommodation (15% of the funds of average households on vacation) and transport. There are no burdened or wok-load days, you do what you feel like doing (with leisure-activities and without consistently falling into temptations such as Netflix) and there is no hurry to go from one activity to another just to remain busy all the time.
The wider hotel and hospitality market has long been occupied by business travellers and conferences. Before Covid-19 struck, half of all Preferred Hotels guests were corporate travellers, while leisure guests made up between 20% and 30%, but now the situation has altered. As the rules of work and play are fading, professionals are discovering creative ways to spend leisure time with family and friends. Owing to the time-crunch experienced by people, spontaneous staycations in their own cities with leisure breaks is becoming highly popular.
In order to stimulate your curious mind and push yourself to find out new tracks and new things to do, here are some of the benefits of a staycation:
- Staycation limits the stress related to organizing a trip: from finding accommodation to preparing multiple suitcases filled with clothes that many times aren’t even used.
- It allows carrying out activities that you never do because of a busy schedule during the year – such as visiting the permanent collections of museums, taking benefit of the good weather to play some sports in the nearby parks.
- Staycation also promotes the local economy. You leverage the time of vacations to take a tour on the local markets, visit the farm to pick fresh fruits and vegetables, be a part of the seasonal competitions or artistic courses; or even to spend a night in an amazing hotel nearby.
- Discovering or rediscovering the beauty of your city or region, which we often forget to notice due to stress and the power of habit is another potential benefit of staycation;
- Last but not least: staycation allows you to learn how to take advantage of the present moment.
(The author is Founder, Journey Weavers. Views expressed are personal.)