Staycations are the new green holiday that you have when you spend your annual vacation at home. I think that staycations are often overlooked for the preference of the next exciting holiday or overseas trip. Someone asked me the other day why I don’t go away much, so I thought long and hard about the benefits of a travelling holiday vs a staycation.
And do you know what? I personally prefer them for a few reasons. They are much better for the environment and for you as well. Let me list a few for you.
When you have a staycation instead of taking a long trip either by car or plane, you don’t emit any additional GHG in the process. It is an unfortunate fact that if you do take any sort of trip by car, train, or plane either domestic or international you usually blow a whole lot of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. That’s no good for anyone.
Yes, you can carbon offset, but how many people actually take this additional step. Not many I would think.
Whilst you’re home, why not jump on your bike and go for a ride? You may even discover some places around your town or city that you didn’t know existed!
I don’t know about you, but I am stress-less when I am here at home. Pottering around in the veggie patch, pruning fruit trees, or even cleaning out the chooks are pleasurable experiences when on a staycation. But look out when I fire up the backyard clay oven! That’s when the fun really starts and any stress from work just melts away.
Pizza topped with home-grown garlic, with a little sea salt, and lashings of homemade mozzarella. Now that’s a good time! Throw in some home-brew beer and the staycation is completely stress free.
A good staycation is very cheap indeed. You are already paying for rent or a mortgage on your home. So there is no massive budget blowout, no cost for accommodation, no cost for car hire or taxis, none for visiting theme parks, and of course no debt when you return home.
I know of so many people who save a small fortune each year to go on their annual or even six monthly holiday, which could probably be better served paying down debt and helping them to retire much earlier. I also know of people who get into massive debt just to go abroad each year. Crazy stuff.
Do a bit of gardening at home with your own saved seed to get instant gratification with no costs at all. It certainly beats going to the gym or any other holiday distractions.
Sure you can visit the latest fancy pants eco-resort, but you still have to pay for it and travel there and back. Long haul travel is just so tiring and boring.
How many times have you been on holiday only to be relieved to get home again wishing that you never went away in the first place? Save the disappointment and just enjoy the company of your own home. There is nothing quite as nice as sleeping in your own bed!
Other cool things you could do on your staycation is to visit the local library and catch up on a few books that you’ve been meaning to read. Most people read a good book when they are on holiday, so instead of travelling thousands of kilometres, read it at home! Simple really.
Disagree or Agree
So now that I have listed some of the reasons why I think that staycations are the new green holiday, it’s your turn to chime in. Have I convinced you yet?
Let me know about your latest staycation in the comments, and why you prefer them. If you don’t agree, let me know why you think they are better for you and the environment than a staycation.
Free holidays don’t count by the way. I would love to read your thoughts.
gwenda hansford says
and why not schedule something you don’t get a chance to do usually, like going to library, going on picnic – not far away, just somewhere close by that you haven’t had a chance to visit. You’ll end up speaking to some new people and swapping ideas, what a joy!!! And Gavin, what helpful tips YOU can give people!!
Gavin Webber says
Thanks Gwenda. The library is one of my favourite places to visit!
Whilst I definitely agree that staying at home is much better for the environment in the short run, there are some advantages to travel. Seeing new cultures, understanding how different people see and use their world is broadening to the mind which is a truly vital human quality. Knowing the other people we share the planet with and walking a mile in their shoes gives us a much deeper more profound appreciation for why we should redouble our efforts to preserve our planet. It gets us out of our private bubbles! And when we take our children it broadens and rounds their experiences giving them new appreciation.
That said there are definitely certain types of vacation that give you that experience. Travel to broaden the mind vs travel to Bali to sit on a beach with a bunch of people that we could have seen back home are definitely two different things. But even travel to Bali can be enormously educational if you get out of the hotel and the tourist strip.
Gavin Webber says
I do agree with you Lorna. If we all took to sailing ships for long haul travel, not only would we cut our carbon budgets, it would possibly break the Bali type travel. Only those who seek to broaden the mind would take the time to travel overseas. Mind you, I still know of people who have never left my home state, let alone the country, but yet they are well rounded people.
Lynda D says
I want a staycation, at home but ON MY OWN. If im there with the men then its just three meals a day, shopping and cleaning up as usual. Does that sound terribly mean? I do not remember the last time i was in my own house on my own. My two men never leave the house together, without me. I want it to be quiet as a mouse, no military marathon going all day or MUMMMMM can i have. I want to sleep and eat when i want and cleanup and it be the same when i come back 5 min later. I want to light a fire and read a book rugged up in a doona outside when its freezing, because i can and no one is going to tell me im crazy or that the fire smells. This is why the last vacation i had was camping in a Ballarat park on my own. Well, sort of, they visited and called all day but there were moments of isolation, i think. Was that 2 years ago?
Gavin Webber says
Sounds peaceful. I hope your wish comes true soon Lynda!
Oh, I love to travel. I love it so much I’m not sure I could ever give it up for good. But I do agree that it can be hard on the environment.
One of my most pleasant memories was using part of my long service leave to have a staycation. It was so peaceful- because everyone else was at work and school- and I got to soak up the richness of being at home, walking and exercising every day, eating well, reading and so on.
I also think there’s a lot to be said for experiencing the local area/region/community more than what we do, whether it’s weekend outings or holiday time. I live in the western suburbs of Melbourne but I actually think it could be quite exciting if local people started enjoying our local region more (beyond the shops and cinemas).
However I also agree with the above comments about the gains to be made by seeing the world and knowing its richness firsthand. The world is a pretty incredible place, after all.
I do think that travelling can also be cheap, simple and enjoyable. It does not have to be glitz and glamour.
There are some gorgeous youth hostels out there, some of which are very green and relatively cheap. There are also some great things to do that support local communities and ensure that you are travelling responsibly. I think one of the worst things is to go to a place and think that it’s just a matter of seeing listed attraction A, B and C. One of my favourite spots in Australia is only 22 kms outside of Sydney. Quaint hostel which has revegetation weekends as part of its program. Relatively cheap. Simple. Immersed in its natural environment. Lots of beautiful bushwalks for free. It’s definitely not one of the top ten places to visit when you go to Sydney. Thank goodness!
So I will travel because I love it so much… but I do wonder about the plane/car travel aspect.
Gavin Webber says
Hi RG, I do agree that travel broadens one’s outlook and horizons, however it should be far less carbon intensive. The day we have a fast train (powered by renewable energy) between Australian capital cities is the day I will take another trip.
I absolutely hate to go on vacation. Of course I’m retired so every day is a vacation, but even when I worked traveling was too much work. I’m happy to say my husband agrees with me.
We have had our share or holidays but probably much less than most folk.
I do fly to British Columbia from Ontario every year to visit my sister…and then it takes me 2 weeks to recover 🙂
I agree with you Gavin….everything I need is at home
We save our money as a deposit on a house and take out a big mortgage to pay a fortune for it over the next 25 years. We spend loads of money buying nice furniture, painting and fixing the place as we like it, spend hours getting the yard and garden just right. Then…. we have some time off work and we go somewhere else!! It is crazy.
Some people make the staycation different by packing a suitcase, sleeping on the other side of the bed, and just using what you have in the suitcase. Change the he/she roles around and definitely no house cleaning during the time: leave that to room service or when you get back home.
Gavin Webber says
Great tips, thanks David
This is a tricky one. Whilst I agree that travel can be a wonderful, educational experience, we have to ask ourselves ‘if everyone on the planet did this would it be sustainable’? Of course it wouldn’t. As for offsetting your travel, I don’t really think that justifies it. It’s a bit like damaging your leg by cutting it, putting on a bandaid to heal it, damaging it again, putting on a bandaid ad infinitum. Eventually the leg is going to be not as good as it was when you started. And the pollution travel creates is not good for any of us – we are poisoning ourselves every time we get into the car or onto a plane…
I know this sounds really tough, but I think it’s just the hard reality of life on an already damaged planet. I live in a large country town and have put off buying a bicycle because I know people who have been knocked off – the roads here are not designed for bikes. But yesterday as I was running kids to and from rehearsals and doing the shopping, I looked at all the other cars no doubt doing similar things and I thought ‘ is it really ok that we are doing this’? I think the answer is no, and I feel really guilty about it.
I recently read about how a new, big contributor to global warming is that the Chinese have moved from their traditional way of food shopping where they rely on daily, fresh food markets, to mass refrigeration so that they can have the same convenience as us. It made me realise how much damage WE have already done with our ‘convenient’ lives, and that the guiding question when we want to do something should always be ‘ if everyone on the planet did this would it be okay ?’ In a shockingly large number of cases the answer will be no.
For the educational experience of travel, there is an abundance of material available on DVD and online – they call it armchair travel! And I think jumping on a train to see more of your own country is one of the less damaging ways to go.
We’ve never travelled and we are married for 25 years now.
Not even for our wedding.
We are still amazed what beautiful nature is just around the corner.
I have to admit, everything is green here.
Emma @ Emma's Garden Grows says
Oh Gav you’ve made me feel a bit guilty here! Like most young people of my generation I love to travel and have been overseas quite few times. In short, I love it. That said, I have been thinking more and more of a staycation at home as i love the idea of having a solid 3 or 4 weeks at home to work in my patch, get some DIY projects done etc. How about once I go on my honeymoon in December thats the end of it for me? 😀
Love your work as usual 🙂