Travel specialists in Dubai reported an upsurge in demand for bookings at holiday properties within the UAE, as many residents opted for a domestic break during Eid Al Adha.
Hospitality markets in the UAE also witnessed an increase in occupancy and revenue levels in July, a usually quiet period for hotels and resorts. Occupancy rates in Dubai went up by 6.2 percent, while those in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah posted significant jumps of 11.5 per cent and 36.3 per cent, respectively.
“All in all, short breaks like these are always advantageous for the hospitality sector in the Middle East as it boosts inbound travel to and within the region.”
As residents find more things to see and do in the UAE, so-called staycations are becoming popular here, travel agents and analysts say. Staycations are likely to grow by 15-20 per cent in the UAE this year over 2015, predict analysts. (-Gulf News)
The Question Arises, What Is a Staycation?
An immaculate diminutive neologism is ‘staycation’, isn’t it? Instead of flying to a faraway destination, a staycation means taking a break (or a vacation) in your city, you call home. In the last decade or so with economies tightening up, staycations have become a very popular method of your general summer break or your weekend getaways.
For the uninitiated, the term might be a tad bit confusing, but in essence, it means having a holiday outside of your house, but still within Home (taking your family to a resort or stay in a hotel for the weekend). A staycation is a stay at a lovely hotel, and it is one that is undisturbed and pampering all the same. Staying home during staycation (or at least close to home in a hotel) can be less expensive, hassle -free, and immensely comforting.
Changing Trends of Vacation?
In 2014, Google Trends reported a 10 percent increase in online searches for staycations, or getaways that are close to home. But can a staycation really replace a vacation?
“I think staycations are a great idea,” says Caroline Trefler, senior editor at Fodor’s Travel. “With the cost of airfares and gasoline, plane travel and road trips can get expensive. So a staycation is a fabulous alternative. The key to truly unwinding is to take a few days off so that you can really get into vacation mode, she adds.
The Brits and French have made the concept their very own: a 2008 report showed that respectively 59% and 60% would probably be staying chez soi (at home) that summer! Certain sayings such as Warum in die Ferne schweifen, wenn das Gute liegt so nah? (Why go far when you can find all the great things here?) or Ob Norden, Süden, Osten oder Westen, zu Hause ist es doch am Besten (north, south, east or west being home is best) prove that the Germans are quite pro-staycation, too.
Benefits of Staycation
Aside from the obvious cost savings, staycations also offer less stress; time saved and absolutely no fear of your vacation being cancelled altogether due to some unforeseen issues.
Staycation offers amazing opportunity to visit the places around you (within your city!) that you may have ignored earlier. Taking a few days off and booking a room in a hotel with your family can be a great idea for a staycation. Visiting a museum, maybe a coffee shop or checking out the latest ala-carte restaurant can have a different meaning altogether.
Katie Lara, a popular blogger, feels being a tourist in your own city will open your eyes to places you may have never tried otherwise, “then at the end of your ‘trip’, you won’t have to deal with any of the hassles of getting home. You’ll be back in a snap, restored and renewed.”
Staycation is simply bringing the vacation to you, rather the other way around
So, when planning your next weekend break or even a short vacation, take a break, literally! It’s nice to visit all the sites in other states and countries, but there’s something more magical when you discover surprises in your own backyard, treasures that we so easily take for granted. Even the most exotic and exciting destinations are just “home” to locals.
Let’s get it very clear: Vacations by travelling abroad to a different place is a must! But, for that weekend breaks, staycations are here for you …
How to make the most of your staycation?
- Staycation removes most of the budgeting issues related to a vacation. You actually get to relax and know your local area better at a much low cost. Staycations can be the perfect solution to cool your wanderlust on a budget.
- Visiting a local exhibit, find a hitherto unknown side of your city or its adjoining regions, take time off to relax and sit back to take in the sights and sounds of your surroundings.
- Enlist the help of a local travel agent to find out what they would tell tourists to see while visiting. You will be surprised what you’ve left unexplored in your own backyard!
- Try that new restaurant in town, spend a night with your beloved, unwind by the pool of your hotel or resort or take a walk on the beach. Something you always wished you had the time to do!
- The reduced travel time of a staycation gives you more time to relax and enjoy the vacation.
None of this is to suggest that travelling abroad and discovering the many facets of this world isn’t a fulfilling and enlightening experience. “Travel,” as novelist Michel Houellebecq so rightly put it, “is that most dreamlike of commodities”. And, most certainly, vacations will always be in vogue and they should be.