With everything that’s happened over the last few months many of us have seen our original holiday plans postponed or cancelled altogether. And with loads of flights cancelled and some hotels remaining shut or operating at reduced capacity, our traditional idea of the summer getaway has all but disappeared.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t get away. Far from it. Step forward the staycation.
We usually look to holidays to give us a break from routine, time off work and the chance to relax or explore somewhere new. These are things that can all be done with a staycation. And if the weather’s anything like it has been in parts of the UK recently then it could feel like you’re abroad too.
What are the benefits of a staycation?
Our home nations across the UK are often some of the most desirable to visit by tourists and they regularly score highly in travel guides of must-visit destinations. As well as giving you the opportunity to be a tourist and explore your own town, city, or country with fresh eyes, there are loads of other benefits staycations have over traditional foreign holidays.
Staycations are traditionally a bit closer to home than your usual long-haul trips abroad. This means as well as being able to speak the language, you also have a bit more flexibility in terms of when you come and go. Travelling by public transport will give you more options than flying, and the majority of bus and train tickets can be bought on the day. Although cheap deals can usually be found if you plan ahead and book in advance.
If you’re travelling by car you’ll have even more flexibility to come and go as you please. No rushing to the airport for delayed flights, you can take your time and even stop off for lunch wherever you want. There are no luggage limits either, so you can pack that extra pair of jeans or shoes. And depending on where you’re staying, you can even take your pets with you too.
For those of you who love the great outdoors and don’t mind a bit of adventure, then camping gives you even more freedom. And that’s not to mention the health benefits spending time in nature provides too. But if you are wild camping make sure you take all your rubbish with you and leave only footprints.
Reduces your carbon footprint
Air travel is a huge contributor to global emissions, with a one-way flight from London to New York emitting one ton of carbon dioxide per passenger! Travelling locally, or even cross-country, by public transport can be much better for the environment, and in turn your health with less air pollution being produced.
Staycations also give us the opportunity to rediscover the joy of the journey. When flying over countries by plane we miss out on the experiences we can have when travelling through quiet towns, peaceful villages and vibrant cities. It also gives you the opportunity to connect with a place and the people, and there’s no substitute for local knowledge, so you might just end up discovering another hidden gem.
The rise of this slow travel and responsible backpacking in recent years is primarily in response to rising carbon emissions and over-tourism. By opting for staycations and travelling through places you might find you have even more great experiences.
And for the cycling enthusiasts among you, why not give bikepacking a go – packing your bike with everything you need and pedalling to a new place or to explore some beautiful scenery.
Supports the local economy
Depending on how you travel and where you stay, staycations can offer a cheaper alternative to going abroad. The rise of bikepacking and wild camping can drastically reduce your travel and accommodation costs. But the money you do spend in the local economy stays there. Research shows that £10 spent with a local independent shop can result in up to an additional £50 going back into the local economy through circulation and re-spending in the local community.
We’ve embraced the staycation in our team with people holidaying a little closer to home in the Northwest Highlands in Scotland, Malham Cove in the Lake District, Truro in Cornwall, and Woolacombe in Devon. Let us know if you’ve been on a staycation and share your hints and tips in the comments.