The passport-free holiday is a trend that is dominating the world of travel.
Increasingly, travellers are deciding to ditch the traditional holiday practice of taking flights and instead explore locally.
Domestic holidays have grown astronomically in popularity during the pandemic, with The Oxford English Dictionary ‘Words of an Unprecedented Year’ reporting that the use of the word “staycation” rose in 2020 by almost 380% compared to 2019.
The popularity of the staycation has surged in recent years, most notably in 2020.
As health regulations generated by the pandemic restricted international travel, holidaymakers were confronted with the need to maximise the opportunities that resided on their doorsteps.
Many opted for the staycation as a convenient break from the endless monotony of Zoom calls that characterised the work-from-home office.
As borders opened and closed intermittently throughout 2020, staycations mitigated the risk of cancelled flights or immediate border closures.
After months of confinement at home defined by multiple national and regional lockdowns, it is no wonder that the opportunity of exploring the outdoors suddenly appealed to so many.
The rising influencer culture on social media platforms has undoubtedly shaped travelling trends.
On Instagram, for instance, there are almost six million posts under #staycation, featuring an array of Sunday selfies with breakfast in bed, enticing dips in the sea and photogenic snaps taken at foodie hotspots.
Influencers have captured the relaxed and laid-back nature of the staycation, with the main selling point being that we do not need to merely live vicariously through our phones but can embark on these journeys ourselves.
This is especially the case since a promising roadmap out of the lockdown has now been carved.
If you are searching for inspiration for your next get-away, seeking ideas for interesting domestic destinations or impressive local restaurants, then social media is an optimal starting point for exploring opportunities.
This search can be supplemented by online rental marketplaces such as Airbnb, which is ideal for sourcing the most comfortable accommodation, with options ranging from charming countryside cottages to chic city apartments.
You may be a self-confessed foodie who is eager to go restaurant-hopping in search of the best cuisine, a beach lover who is keen to flock to the coast, or an avid hiker who yearns to trek the countryside.
Regardless of what your ideal holiday looks like – an indulgent day at the spa, a family barbeque in the garden, or a leisurely dog walk in the hills – the staycation has something for you.
Support Small Businesses
A crucial economic response to the pandemic has been the widespread drive to support small and local businesses.
Although the pandemic has significantly impacted the tourism and hospitality industry, the benefit of opting for a local holiday is that it boosts the local economy.
According to research by Mastercard, 69% of British consumers intend to spend their money within their local communities post-lockdown.
Hospitality and leisure businesses have reported increased demand from domestic tourists, with many reporting a subsequent increase in revenue.
The staycation is one of the most crucial ways that individuals can stimulate economic growth after lockdown.
While the pervasiveness of the pandemic has catalysed the popularity of the staycation, it has unveiled a wealth of additional benefits.
One of the key motivations of a staycation is its accessibility and affordability. It caters to every individual and budget and its itinerary is there to be personally curated.
The staycation enables one to save money, with holiday expenses decreasing dramatically when one ditches the passport and dons the drive.
However, economic constraints are no longer the main reason for people choosing to vacation at home.
Without the stress of boarding flights, navigating unfamiliar territories, or struggling with foreign languages, the staycation offers a hassle-free alternative, particularly for those who travel with children.
It also allows for one to bring a furry friend along for the ride.
The moral implications of frequent air travel have been highly contested in recent years.
There are tangible positive effects that accompany the reduction of one’s carbon footprint.
As the climate change movement has accelerated, activists such as Greta Thunberg have advocated for decreased international air travel.
Rising awareness surrounding the environmental impacts of mass tourism has caused travellers to re-consider their usual travel practices.
This has resulted in many people exploring their own shores instead.
According to non-profit environmental organisation, the David Suzuki Foundation, the total carbon footprint of a single flight is so high that avoiding one flight is the equivalent of driving a petrol-free car.
A revitalised commitment to sustainability offers a permanent motivation for holidaying domestically, with 48% of people stating that lockdown has inspired them to critically evaluate the impact of their travelling patterns.
The staycation is a reliable way to hit the refresh button after a year that has been universally stressful and unpredictable.
While the pandemic has compelled many to embark on a staycation, this phenomenon pre-dated the coronavirus and is set to become a permanent feature of the post-pandemic travel scene.
With the staycation offering a low-risk, affordable and sustainable option for holidays, this is a perfect way to obtain a break from the world of remote-working in 2021.
Amid the mass vaccine rollout and encouraging government announcements, many are optimistic about the prospect of enjoying a holiday this summer.
However, as people recognise the value of supporting small businesses and exploring their home country, the staycation is likely to continue rising in popularity.
As a valuable alternative to holidaying abroad that is less detrimental to the environment, the staycation has much to offer.
It is therefore worth securing your staycation spot early, whatever corner of the world you may be inhabiting!