Words by Mia Stuckey
Caravanning and cruising, Bournemouth and Barcelona, and ‘Sea, Sand, Sun’ compared to … well … whatever this is. Whilst going away may seem more alluring abroad, despite the lift in travel restrictions across the UK, persistent perils of safety and unpredictability ensured only 19% of Brits would travel abroad after covid constraints were craned this year. As we attempt to escape from the unwanted ‘new normal’ , the public have jumped on the trend of the staycation to satisfy their desire to steer from sameness enforced by the last couple of years. It is no secret escapes will redefine themselves whilst the virus lingers in memory because rising from its ashes, reigns the staycation as the new (not so devastating) infectious outbreak. 71% of us planned a UK holiday this summer and the domestic travel industry is certain demand will remain sky high. The volume in enquiries for cottages alone, according to ‘Independent Cottages’, has rocketed reaching a 300% increase from February 2020 alone. The cosy retreats are competing against the cargo convey belts as travel changes pose the risk of isolating, infection and impediments to keep covid at bay around the globe. The journey seems perilous as lists change like traffic lights from green to red , inconveniently when you’re trying to reach the other side of the road , the pond … the world. It appears we’ve taken the easy route by staying in our lanes and domestic travel gives us the easy passage to freedom without fear.
Through rediscovering the country, the public have adapted their escapes to within the borders, redefining what we’ve known to be travel throughout the 21st Century. As the public came to terms that they would perhaps not Jet2 their holidays this year, many may have felt a greater understanding of the stories and destinations their parents or grandparents reminisce about over cups of tea in the living room. Barclay’s have further encouraged people to get to ‘Know Your Nation’ and explore the British Isles, with the bank finding that the average UK resident has visited more places abroad than domestically and encourage a restoration of the domestic holiday scene. The pandemic has encouraged many of us to be content with our surroundings and appreciate the resourcefulness of our own areas. Whilst the pandemic is coming to a halt and you can do a fair amount more than one hour of exercise a day , the resourcefulness of the nation is encouraged to persist , on the chance of holidaying we have been granted. In many cases holidaying within the UK has brought back peoples childhood nostalgia, battling with the local seagulls for your well-deserved ice cream after a long day of construction work with your bucket and spade. A study conducted by Heathrow in 2019 found that 79% of Brits has more fun holidaying as a child than they do now, so the as we recover from the pandemic, we have the perfect excuse to revisit these beloved times and destinations.
The British seaside holiday was an extraordinary revolution in the post-war era, as were holiday camps in the 1950s and 60s and ‘Thomas Cook’ only began promoting foreign package holidays around 60 years ago. Whilst the concept of the staycation, in its origins from the US, was introduced and popularised in 2008 during The Market Crisis as a cheaper alternative to travel, this was the only option not too long ago. Whilst taking the risk with the Society and affluence redefined the holiday or the vacation to mean going abroad. The benefit of the staycation unravels, as your carbon footprint may go down a few shoe sizes by rejecting any foreign festivities for the foreseeable future. The public can find many manageable means to practice responsible tourism and travel in a more sustainable way, by opting for the home not too far from home technique.
The global fuel consumption by commercial airlines have rapidly risen each year and reached an all-time high of 95 billion gallons in 2019. However, due to the pandemic the fuel consumption dropped to only 52 billion gallons in 2020. Making up such a drastic amount of CO2 emissions from our exotic escapades should be a cause for concern but we perhaps care little when clear blue waters and blistering sun is involved.
The Guardian released a statement that taking a long-haul flight generates more carbon emissions than a lot of countries around the world produce in a whole year. This shocking statistic may unravel numerous attempts to combat climate change as keeping the power on or pork on the plate seems insignificant to the drastic actions needed to be taken in the tourist and travel industry. Flying 4 people to Paris from London return in economy class emits 440kg CO2 for the family and traveling by a medium sized petrol car from London to Paris via a ferry from Dover to Calais emits 173kg CO2 per car. What if we switched Paris to Portsmouth? the Co2 would reach a much milder 41. 65kg. Now we all know the Seine is not a stony beach and the Eiffel tower is not like exploring Eastbourne but switching up your holiday hunger from the all-out escapade to the all-inclusive bed and breakfast, may in the long run, be a lot healthier for us all (though we might not see it during that bottomless breakfast buffet.) Grab your beach towels and the factor 30 ; we’re building stone castles!