I’m not usually one for writing opinion pieces on this blog, but the misuse of the term staycation has been bugging me. As a huge fan of the humble (but brilliant!) staycation, I feel that it needs addressing. And, as it turns out, there are more people like me sharing their opinion about it on Twitter.
What is a “staycation” then?
This year has seen increased use of the term “staycation” referring to UK holidays. Taking a week off to pack the family up to go and stay for a week in Cornwall for example, a weekend in Lincolnshire, or an overnight stay in North Wales. Traditionally the term meant holidaying at home. With your own house being the base for your time off. This allowing for day trips to be taken, but no alternative accommodation being required.
While the whole argument around terminology might seem a bit on the petty side, there are some real considerations when it comes to using language.
Today, I’m annoyed when people say “staycation” to mean a holiday in Tenby, Cornwall or Skye instead of Spain. We’d better start getting over the idea that a holiday has to involve schlepping abroad in a great guff of greenhouse gas or it doesn’t count.— Victoria Coren Mitchell (@VictoriaCoren) August 21, 2021
The Good Ol’ UK Holiday
Many of us will have grown up taking UK holidays rather than jetting off to foreign climes. Whether because of financial, familial, work commitments or something else, we will have spent our vacation time on home shores. That didn’t make our break any less of a break, as the same amount of planning had to go into making it happen and you got to stay away from home in a different place.
Of course, as a travel blogger and lover of visiting other places far and wide, those kinds of holidays are great too. But they all fit into the same ‘holiday’ box. You plan a destination, activities and travel, then stay there for the duration. Leaving your humble abode alone while you take on the sights and sound of somewhere new, and possibly the sleeplessness of a hard hotel bed and noisy airconditioning unit.
In comparison to the holiday we have a simple, yet enjoyable, staycation. A staycation is something I became accustomed to when I first started working. A few years of trying to be a freelance artist after finishing uni left my bank account less than desirable. But that didn’t mean that I didn’t want, or indeed need, a holiday. So the staycation became a staple of my yearly planning. It became increasingly helpful as my feline family grew and I would need to be home to care for them.
Staycations can be as rewarding, and refreshing, if not more than a trip away to somewhere in the UK or abroad. It also helps you to budget and takes advantage of free and cheap things to do on your doorstep (think Treasure Trails, local museums, and being a tourist in your own town)
If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you will know that most of my trips are indeed staycations or day holidays. I have five cats, so nipping away for the weekend at a moment’s notice is not something I can even consider. So instead of wishing my life away wanting and whinging about going on far-flung trips, I get to work and find stuff to do close to home. To me, it is a much healthier and happier way to spend my time.
Why does it even matter?
You might still be wondering why it even matters. And while it might seem a bit petty to be arguing or wasting energy on some simple holiday terminology, there is a bit more to it. While it might be a simple throwaway term to someone who is holidaying in Abersoch rather than Marbella this year, for many of us this would be a luxury. When used in this way, it feels as though the writer is sharing a disappointment in having to holiday here. I think we should be able to value all holidays, whether in the UK or abroad. And rather than knocking one over the other, because of our own disappointment or wishes, we can enjoy them for what they are. A holiday! And then, the unpresuming staycation can also enjoy a place in the “taking a break from work and routine” list. It becomes more inclusive, it allows for different breaks to be enjoyed by different people without the assumption that you should be holidaying in a certain way.
Let’s embrace the breaks!
I think where I am going with all this is about appreciating that the kind of break you are taking. Not taking it for granted, and certainly not thinking of it as an inferior replacement for something else. A break is a break and as they say…
Change is as good as a resthttps://literarydevices.net/a-change-is-a-good-as-a-rest/
And remember that not everyone’s idea of a break is the same. Be it a staycation (a proper one), a night away in the UK, or a longer trip abroad, they are all a break. And they all count!
So there we have it, a short but hopefully friendly mini opinion piece on the good ol’ staycation. I am off to start planning mine right now. I have a few days off next week and want to make the most of my time around cat snuggling, pottering in the garden, reading and drinking tea.
How about sharing your favourite staycation activities?
Any fun days out I can do from, or around, Manchester and Cheshire so I can pull together some more recommendations with your tips!
Here’s to 2021 and the breaks we choose for ourselves!