Last year didn't turn out according to anyone's plans. Travelling and visiting people we care about were among the things that we were deprived of the most. It's a good thing that 2020 is behind us. But what can we expect this year? Is life going back to normal now when the immunisation process has started? Are we going to travel freely across the borders? Or, will staycations still be holidaymakers' best bet? The simple answer is: "nobody knows for sure." Our more in-depth analysis, however, showed that even though international travel is probably going to take off at some point this year, staycations in the UK are a trend that's here to stay for the foreseeable future. Read on to find out why holidaying close to home should be on your next year's bucket list.
Some experts predict that opportunities to travel internationally will begin getting back to normal by Easter. Other predictions are not so optimistic, stating that we should expect things in the industry to really pick up in Fall, 2021.
Even though the vaccination program has rolled out, there are a lot of factors that affect the way we are going to travel next year. First of all, it's all down the pecking order, so for the majority of us under 50, there might be quite a wait before we can get jabbed. Second, we will probably need to provide proof of vaccine - some kind of immunity passport or vaccination certificate. This will be required by the destination countries, so without it, you still might not be able to travel to your desired locations. Finally, the biggest problem may be flight availability. With numerous planes being permanently grounded throughout the previous year, there might not be enough flights to sit all the passengers.
Maybe you got a chance to get away for a week last year or went on day trips more often than usual, but you're still probably longing for a nice two-week holiday abroad this year. Even if you manage to take it, considering the higher travel costs and complex safety procedures, you will likely need more than one break to make up for all the lost travel opportunities in 2020. That is why it's best to throw in some staycation ideas in your travel plans for this year. Domestic travel is just simpler and more affordable. Which brings us to the next point...
Camping is not only for adventurous campers anymore. More and more families and Millennials are choosing to holiday in the beautiful landscapes across the UK. For pickier travellers, who are not particularly excited about sleeping under the canvas, glamping offers the comfort they need while they can still experience the benefits of the outdoors. There is a high demand for bookings at UK glampsites and campsites with many locations already sold out for next season (some places are even receiving booking requests for 2023!). The reason for that is their popularity, so you'd better start your research if you haven't already, and book a place rather sooner than later. That is unless you don't mind ending up with fewer choices and less attractive views. No idea where to start? Check out these stunning waterfront campsites to get inspired.
Whether you decide on visiting the picturesque Cotswolds, soaking in England's beauty from the Peak District or exploring the wild Scottish Highlands, there are so many places just waiting to be (re)discovered and get stuck into. Britain has about 12,500 km of fantastic coastline, 40,000 lakes, breathtaking countryside, charming villages and historical cities. That creates endless travel opportunities. Planning the whole trip can be as equally fun as an international one, and the reward can be even bigger. There's something special about being a tourist in your own country. You get to discover hidden gems that couldn't get your attention before because you were always busy visiting the overseas.
You can leave your passport at home and avoid the busy airports and slow security checks. This was true even before the COVID era, so we can expect it to be far more complicated in the future. Not only does travelling by car or train not require many preparations or waiting times, but it can also expose you to beautiful surroundings and make your trip an experience of its own. You don't have to weigh your luggage before you pop it into your boot and the best thing - you can bring your four-legged friend as well.
Families may find it more convenient to stay close to home so they can easily turn around and go back if anything goes south with the kids.
This one is obvious, but still worth mentioning - you don't have to struggle to try to understand shop keepers and restaurant staff because of a language barrier. Additionally, there's no time difference when travelling in the UK, so coming back home won't leave you jetlagged.
The pandemic has changed our lives in many different ways, but for many, it drastically affected their financial situation. So even though we are all very thirsty for travelling and new experiences, it's necessary to think about affordability before we can go ahead and book a five-star hotel at the Maldives.
According to research conducted by booking.com, there's a new trend where people are becoming more price-focused when it comes to planning their holidays. They are actively looking at discounts and promotional deals and trying to get the best value for their money. This is true for more than half of the Brits who took part in the survey.
If you book a staycation in the UK instead of a holiday abroad, you will cut down on aeroplane tickets, visas and expensive hotels, and you'll be able to invest more in experiences. With this attitude, you might even end up saving some money.
COVID has had a highly negative impact on the travel and hospitality industries. By choosing to book a staycation, you choose to support local businesses in these industries and the whole economy for that matter. Think of all the shops, bars, restaurants and accommodation facilities that had to stay closed down for a very long time. They need us to help them revive their business. Choices seem a bit easier to be made when there's a cause, right?!
We are well aware that a lot of bad has happened due to the coronavirus, but some unexpected good also came out of the pandemic. It made us more mindful about our health. We learned to take care of our minds and bodies, often by utilising the outdoors and enjoying the simple things in life. It has become the new lifestyle that we won't want changing at least until it feels safe enough to do so. Hopefully, even longer.
Staycations support this new way of life. When we travel by car with family or friends, we are avoiding the risk of being exposed to other, possibly infected people. We also don't have to wear masks throughout the whole journey and sanitise our hands vigorously every 5 seconds. Being in our own vehicle is both safer and feels freer.
In addition, with our newfound understanding of safety, we are more inclined towards choosing a type of holiday that naturally allows social distancing (like camping, for instance). At the same time, that means avoiding crowded places, peak seasons and certain destinations that might require to quarantine after the visit. Staying within the borders eliminates the last problem.
Staying close to home doesn't mean that we need to settle for less. The UK is very versatile when it comes to spectacular locations and things do to. Adrenaline junkies can choose coasteering, hiking or doing watersports. Others can fully immerse themselves in historical places such as the Roman Baths or the many castles we have in the country. Whether you need to plan the perfect family holiday packed with lots of activities or you are trying to find the best place for a romantic getaway, Britain has it all.
If there's one thing we realised in the year behind us, is that freedom is not given. We had to learn how to be more spontaneous, and staycations allow us that. They don't require so much planning in advance. In many cases, we can hop in the car and make decisions on the fly.
Being in lockdown also thought us that most people could work from anywhere and don't have to be in the office to do a good job. 'Workcations' are a trend which combines work and travel that more people will be willing to explore in the future. Although distant locations will also be attractive for this type of travel, it seems more doable to have frequent, shorter breaks from everyday life when we are travelling closer to home.
Staycations have been on the up for the past few years, and the pandemic just supported that trend. According to the same research by booking.com, almost half of the people still plan to travel within their own country in the next seven to 12 months, whereas 38% said that that's their intention in the longer term.
Travel used to be a luxury, and now it has become a necessity. We are going to need more experiences and adventures so that we can reinvigorate a new positive outlook on life. Relaxing, spending time with family and friends in the outdoors and immersing ourselves in off-the-beaten-track experiences will be some of the key trends in the following years. We will want to see, do and experience more. We are going to travel more, both internationally and locally. For all the reasons above, we are voting for 'home travel' as the safer, more affordable and less risky option for holidays in 2021.
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