Staying home for the holidays

by Michael Smith

Apparently due to the credit crunch and such like phenomena, that is to say the economy being on a downward trend, people largely stayed at home for this year's Thanksgiving holidays.

Travelers breezed through airport terminals and drivers cruised on open roads. The effects of a sour economy seem to keep people staying closer to home at the start of the annual winter holiday season. One can but wonder whether this is a signs of the times to come.

Staycations already started this summer in the same way as people were making fake aways (as we would call it over int he UK while the US might call it fake outs... the fake versions of take aways and take outs).

Is this a bad thing? I don't think so. First of all we are reducing our environmental footprint for one and secondly it also cuts down on stress.

With the economy having taken an further downturn since summer when the staycations and such started slowly to make inroads it would appear that it might just be possible that there will be more of then to come over the 2008 holiday period of Hanukkah and Christmas. As said, not a bad thing. The planet will breathe a sigh of relief as well to this and so will the pocketbooks of those that stay home.

As to the year 2009 and the vacation period in summer and other times; if the current trend is anything to go buy with people turning the pennies over more than once we may actually see more staycations. It certainly will not be a bad thing. Too many people take who go one vacations far afield do so, often, on the, what we call in the UK the “never never”, that is to say on credit, and in addition to that they seem to need a vacation when they come back from their vacation.

While I must say that I am happiest at home, regardless where home may be, coming from Romani-Gypsy stock – but it has to me my home – I have never been able to understand why anyone would want to go abroad for a vacation – too much like hard work to me – especially those people that have lovely homes and lovely gardens. With prospects like that I'd vacation at home any day.

“Oh”, they say, “we go for the sea and the sun.” So they flock to the Costa del Sol and other such places and do what? They spend all day by the pool, the majority of them at least – not even the sea – under a sun umbrella. If I want to spend my vacation under an umbrella I stay in Britain. Mind you, that's where I stay anyway.

I rather go and travel the local and not so local countryside and enjoy the forests and the hills and, if the weather is warn and sunny, I might even go to the seaside. But that is for the day and not to stay there in some hotel or such. But then, as said, that is me.

However, the way things look we will be seeing a lot more people doing the same and a good thing this will be too.

While I know that this will have an adverse impact on areas and places that depend on (foreign) tourists the planet certainly will thank all those of us why opt for the staycation rather than the vacation abroad. The environmental footprint of our vacation should concern us as much as the environmental footprint of our computers, our TV and our heating, etc. But many people do not seem to see that problem in regards with vacations and such. Whichever way we travel on vacation, unless it be by bicycle or by horse, has a big environmental footprint, regardless of plain, automobile or train. Unless human or animal powered the impact is rather big and costly, and not just for you who pays the financial bill.

As far as I am concerned I can have a much better time with a vacation at home, a staycation, than with one abroad, and I do save big bucks that way, and have a much lower impact on the planet. Both things that I like to consider.

I just wonder how many other people see it that way as well, or in a similar light.

© M Smith (Veshengro), December 2008