Holidaying is of so many kinds — the international trips, the within-the-country ones, the road trips, the day trips, the long weekend trips, and even the weekend trips. Over the years, a trend seems to have emerged — the lack of vacation days for long trips, the increased desire to make use even of the smallest weekend, and the desire to not venture too far out for that short break. Enter the staycation!
Travel trend observers say that staycations used to be only for celebratory purposes but, nowadays, couples or families and groups of individuals (largely women) want to pamper themselves on their days off. Another cause for the rise of the staycation is that during the long weekends, nearby getaways are too crowded, due to which locals prefer a relaxing experience within city limits.
“It is an increasing trend because it’s an easy way to take a break without travelling too far,” says Charukesi Ramadurai, a freelance journalist who travels extensively, work and otherwise, and has also given a TedX on her travel experiences and fulfilling one’s travel dreams. “Another aspect is that when you live in a city, you do not really explore it unless you are pushed to do some by those visiting. A staycation then potentially becomes a good way to look at your city with fresh eyes. Not everyone will do it, but potentially staying in a hotel in the city will help you look at your city as a visitor and not as a resident.”
Staycations are small breaks away from the rigmarole of routine, within the city, in a hotel that offers all the amenities that one would look forward to in a vacation. These staycations are usually of one night and two days, sometimes spilling over into two nights.
“A staycation, for me, means a band-aid fix for a holiday craving,” says Sandhya Surendran, lawyer and artiste manager, Bengaluru, who enjoys travelling, and declares that the airport is her happy place. “Ideally, that involves not having to work or answer calls, room service, lots of television, long baths, a comfortable bed, and maybe a spa session/swim in the pool. As much as I’d love to have this within the comfort of my home, there’s bound to be some work that I will remember or want to get done, so I will enjoy this truly only outside my house. But given the constant scarcity of time, travelling out of town isn’t always a feasible option, and that’s why a staycation in a local resort is a great solution.”
The CEO and MD of a manufacturing company in Chennai, R Vivek, says that though he and his journalist wife love to travel and explore, they can’t really do it as often as they would like and that is when they opt for staycations. “We need these breaks to spring back into work mode after a rejuvenated holiday,” says Vivek. “For me, a staycation is the perfect break that I want right now, but can’t travel for it. So, the next best thing is to reach a place of my choice within a decent distance. When there are hotels offering such deals to just unwind and relax, why not?”
“The entire concept of travelling, even if it’s within the city, is never restricted to a particular age group. With easy access to technology and availability of information, the average guest profile varies across millennials, solo travellers, married couples, and even families these days,” explains Vinesh Gupta, general manager, The Den, Bengaluru. “A lot of the guests comprise working parents who don’t have the time to plan a trip. Some others come in for a solo treat to enjoy the weekend. The entire idea of a staycation supports most situations as it requires no planning and is convenient for people with hectic schedules.”
“We look for a plush room that is spacious, and great service,” says Kalyan Karmakar, food and travel writer, Mumbai, who goes on staycations at least three times a year with his wife, an advertising professional. “Having packages with food inclusions helps as the latter often adds a lot to the final spend, and we’d rather splurge on the room than on food. One also likes to be left alone and be away from distractions.”
“We took our first staycation this year to celebrate my husband’s 70th birthday. All we were looking for was some peace and quiet, a luxurious room, good food, and the ability to sit together and have a conversation,” says Marcelline Dsouza, an entrepreneur from Mangaluru. “As working professionals, we travelled the world in our younger days, and a staycation now, for us, is the best way to reminisce some good times that we had.”
Sandhya says that a good deal, an in-house spa and swimming pool, definitely, all of which are far away from bustling traffic sounds is what she looks for. ‘Star ratings’ don’t matter, but a little luxury never hurt anyone!
The kind of facilities looked for depends on the profile of the guest visiting, says Rishabh Bhargava, director of sales, Hilton Bangalore Embassy Golf Links. “If it is a family, the focus is primarily around kids’ activities or elaborate brunches, etc, and the category and view of the room matter. But when it comes to couples and individuals, the focus is on recreational activities — a temperature-controlled pool or a jacuzzi, the kind of spa services, outdoor activities, etc. Also, the way a staycation is packaged has a huge role to play in the choice of customers. Having said that, nothing beats complimentary inclusions, within one’s budget.”
Vivek couldn’t agree more. He says that besides a good resto-bar and great dining options, he and his wife love it when they are fussed over and receive an upgrade or a late check-out on the room.
A staycation ticks off all the right boxes — you don’t travel too far, you are away from the bustle of the city, you relax, eat and drink in a luxurious ambience, and come away rejuvenated. Staycation enthusiasts also enhance such breaks by indulging in an activity or two within the city that they usually do not get time for. All that you want out of a quick vacation without the hassle of extensive planning!