Staycations – Yay or Nay?

Staycations, which usually means staying in a hotel or resort which is either in your own town or city and does not involving travel. The traditional meaning does not even include overnight accommodation, but today’s definition does include an overnight stay. Most people replicate a traditional vacation, with a defined start and end date, just without getting on a plane or travelling far from their own town or city. The word is a a portmanteau of stay (meaning stay-at-home) and vacation.

Staycations achieved popularity in the US. during the financial crisis of 2007–2010 and in the UK in 2009 as a weak pound sterling made overseas holidays significantly more expensive. Staycations have been popular in Singapore for many years now and especially in the last decade or so. Today, the staycation holiday has become popular worldwide due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The earliest reference to the term staycation came from a 2003 article by Terry Massey in The Sun News. The word became widely used in the United States during May 2008 as the summer travel season began with petrol prices reaching record highs, leading many people to cut back on expenses including travel. Merriam-Webster cites the earliest use in the Cincinnati Enquirer on  July 18, 1944 and the term was added to the 2009 version of the Merriam–Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

So why do people take staycations? Most people take staycations for many reasons.

Staycations are easy. You avoid the hassle of actually going on a holiday by bypassing flights, tickets and the other inconvienances and get straight to enjoying your holiday. There’s also no hassle of packing and unpacking, sometimes multiple times, no jet lag and long drives and endless waiting at airports.

Staycations are also cheaper than a holiday. A hotel accommodation is not just the only cost in a holiday. You have to also factor in transportation costs, food and other living expenses in the destination make any holiday, especially for a family an expensive affair.

Staycations can be quite the experience. You can choose different accommodation, based on your budget and experience life differently, maybe even altering your mood and making you feel you are not in your own city.

Staycations benefit the economy. Staycations benefit local businesses who get customers from locals and boost local economy. Especially in times like this when many cities are in a lockdown and both domestic and international tourism is severely impacted, a staycation can mean a full house for the hotel and the difference between the hotel staying in business and closing down forever.

Staycations are good for the environment. Air travel’s environmental impact is significant. By avoiding travel, a staycation may reduce the carbon emissions associated with travel greatly.

Staycations start earlier and go for longer. Without the hassle of travel, your staycation starts the minute you drive into the hotel which may be less than an hour’s drive from home. Again, since you don’t need to travel back home, you can stay as long as you want, coming home just when you need to.

Staycations allow you to experience affordable luxury. When you travel traditionally, because of budgetary considerations, you may not be able to spend as much on accommodation as you like. But with a staycation, you can afford accommodation at a higher price point than what you would be able to afford at another place and enjoy luxury that otherwise you would not be able to afford.

But contrary to all that I wrote above, I feel a staycation is a waste of your money. Why?

A room in a good hotel in Singapore does not come cheap and is a minimum of $200 per room per night. With this amount, I can easily get a couple of tickets to a southeast Asian destination in say Malaysia, Thailand or even Cambodia.

Here’s what I think I would do with $200 which would be spent in one night in a mid-sized hotel in Singapore. I prefer to sleep in my own bed, so that’s accommodation taken care of. With the money, I don’t have to lift a finger in my own home for a day by ordering food and even a cleaner to come a couple of hours to clean my home. In addition, this money can pay for entertainment like a streaming subscription for year which I can enjoy for a long time. The money will also pay for the entrance fee to local attractions which I have not visited in many years like the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari as well as the Art Science Museum, Singapore Flyer, Gardens By The Bay, Marina Bay Sands and Sentosa with the Universal Studios. I can do atleast a few of these attractions with the money I would spend staying one night in a hotel.

So this is why staycations are a Nay from me and I would probably not do a staycation, but rather spend money on experiences. What about you? Are staycations a Yay or a Nay? I would love to read your opinion.

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