The term staycation, originating from the American word for holiday ‘vacation’ combined with the concept of ‘stay’ing home for the holidays, made its official UK dictionary debut in 2009. This was a reflection of the growing trend to ‘holiday at home’, bought about by the recession and rising travel costs.
The Great British staycation is however, a concept much older than that. Tourism, for most British citizens, meant staycations back in the eighteenth century when only the elite could afford to travel overseas. The domestic tourism market opened up to the middle class as transportation infrastructure improved and became more accessible.
This gave way to the rise of the British seaside resort, where popular spots from Blackpool to Brighton saw hordes of ‘staycationers’ throughout the summer months. This remained a popular trend until recent history when overseas package holidays because an affordable alternative.
There are some factors which appear be turning the tide once more on domestic versus international travel trends. The emergence of the Covid pandemic disrupted many people’s travel plans during 2020 and 2021, and skewed any useful data that we might wish to use to analyse trends. What we clearly see moving out of these restrictions is a move towards more affordable and sustainable travel, which works in favour of the humble staycation.
This has got us thinking… what do we like about staycationing versus overseas travel? And are we becoming a staycation nation? Here are our top ten reasons to consider a local holiday in 2023: -
- Memories are what counts
Ultimately, it's the memories we make when we take a break that count... so our first and foremost reason for loving a staycation is that you can have just as good of a time in the UK as you can abroad!
- Keep things simple
The less complicated your travel plans are, the more relaxing they will be. And for most of us with busy lives, relaxation is pretty high on our holiday hit list! Not only can you reduce the stress of travel by keeping it local, but you’ll probably get to enjoy more time in your final destination too.
- Discover hidden gems close to home
How many of us can really say that we know the areas that surround us? So why travel to another country when there is so much to see on your own doorstep? What’s more, if you have a really good excursion somewhere local, you have the option to revisit it again and again…
A clear travel trend for 2023 is the desire to travel more sustainably. From a staycation point of view, staying in your own country or area is clearly the greener choice and the marketplace is responding with eco villa holidays and glamping representing some of the biggest areas of domestic tourism growth.
- Pack happy
One of my favourite things about a staycation, is packing freely. No need to worry about your liquid sizes, prescriptions or travel plugs when you’re holidaying at home. Better still, that travel pillow, coffee maker and windbreak can come with you too!
- Bring Buster
There are a number of stress points and pitfalls to taking your pet overseas, and leaving them in a boarding situation in the UK is rarely that palatable for pet and owner alike. But for me, the stand out reason for wanting to holiday with my pets is that they are quite simply a member of the family, and it doesn’t feel like a family holiday without them.
- Safety first
At the time of writing, we’re not enjoying a blissfully hot summer in northern Europe, but I can safely say that I’d rather be contending with intermittent rain than furious wildfires. We are lucky to live in a region of the world where extreme conditions are a rarity, wildlife is very unlikely to harm you and health and safety legislation is reliably enforced. If the aim of the game is to relax on holiday, surely knowing that you’re safe is half the battle?
While you get less ‘bang for your buck’ in the UK compared to many holiday destinations, the very nature of not travelling long haul to get there is a real holiday budget booster! Furthermore, when you holiday locally you are supporting a local economy.
- Language barriers
For some, cultural and language barriers are part of the fun of international travel. But for many of us, a language barrier can be a frustrating thing to contend with. Simple things like ordering food and asking for directions can have unexpected consequences when you’re operating outside of a familiar setting!
- Sunbed wars
A topical issue we know. We’re not suggesting that sunbed wars don’t take place in the UK, but we do know how to smugly avoid this 21st century holiday pitfall.
Invest in a deckchair!