The Best Reasons to Book a Domestic Holiday Now

A campervan is a great way to explore beauty at home, such as this scenic drive beside Lake Wakatipu, in New Zealand
A campervan is a great way to explore beauty at home, such as this scenic drive beside Lake Wakatipu, in New Zealand | © Robin Weaver / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Cassam Looch
Social Editor11 February 2021

As vaccines begin to roll out, travel could soon be back on the agenda for many of us. But we’re not out of the woods yet, so if you really want to get on the road to recovery, why not keep it local in 2021?

Let’s be honest, the past 12 months have been filled with frustration and gloom. Plans have been thrown into disarray, often without notice. Lockdowns, travel bans and quarantines have prevented so many of us from leaving our own neighbourhood, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Governments around the globe have started the process of vaccinating their people against coronavirus, and with this also comes a healthy dose of optimism.

Our instinct is likely to plan a trip as far away as possible, as we crave that escapism and a complete change of scene. There’s no shame in that – we’ve all thought about it at some point in the past year – but actually a trip closer to home might be the safer bet.

Here are our top reasons why you should opt for a domestic holiday this year.

Domestic tourism has always been popular

We often associate a holiday with the rigmarole of jumping on a plane, landing in a foreign country and lounging on a beach, with a cheap cocktail as the sun sets in the distance. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it doesn’t reflect the reality of what a holiday actually means in most cases.

Domestic tourism made up more than 70% of the global tourism trade in 2018, and that number is set to increase this year. Air travel itself is a relatively modern way of taking a break, and, before mass plane transit boomed in the 1970s, holiday options had a more land-based feel. Open yourself up to the idea of a holiday at home this year, and you’ll be surprised by how many options there really are on your doorstep.

Sustainable travel

Sustainable destinations are on trend in 2021, but green travel is about more than where you end up. Ideally, you want to pick an environmentally friendly way of getting around, and that means avoiding air travel where possible. Rail travel is the best solution, but why not hire an electric car for a feel-good road trip? If you’re lucky enough to live near a coastal area, you can even take to the water and sail to your destination.

The train is by far the greenest way to travel, as seen here on Lake Sävelången in Floda, Sweden. Destination: Copenhagen | © Martin Carlsson / Alamy Stock Photo

Value for money

Compared to a trip abroad, you can save a considerable amount of money by going domestic. There’s obviously no need to buy foreign currency, which makes things a lot easier when it comes to balancing finances – and you won’t need to invest in a language guide, either. If you plan your trip now, you can schedule in multiple short breaks rather than pinning your hopes on one big one. At this stage, wouldn’t you rather look forward to a series of trips away rather than one that might end up having to be postponed?

This year, hotels and properties will be keener than ever to welcome back guests. If you start booking now, you’re going to get the best deals around.

Peace of mind

With emergency rule changes on foreign travel likely to continue throughout 2021, nobody can accurately predict when and where we can safely travel to this year. Of course, we all want to enjoy some time away, but, for ultimate peace of mind, perhaps, we want to pick destinations that are quick to return home from should we have to. International travel will get back to some form of normality soon enough, but, if you want to do something in the short term, then a local break is the solution. With many “book now, travel later” options available, it’s worth considering something you are comfortable doing in the near future.

Hit the road from New York City and head for the Catskill mountains | © Boogich / Getty Images

Supporting local businesses

It’s been a tough few months for everyone, and small businesses have suffered some big losses. There’s an undeniable feel-good factor in knowing that you can enjoy a holiday and help out local business at the same time. Boutique hotels, villas and chalets are a great way of getting to know an area and also serve as a gateway to locally produced goods that might otherwise get overlooked.

Rediscover your own country

You might have heard of a hidden gem that lies just beyond your own backyard but never actually seen it for yourself. This is a great time to explore those destinations everyone else is raving about. You can also visit places beyond the beach or hotel retreat that you might feel uncomfortable doing abroad.

Look for the interesting sights on your doorstep, such as Eilean Donan Castle in the Scottish Highlands | © archipix / Alamy Stock Photo

Getting a better understanding of where you live is an enriching experience. You can still plan for that big holiday abroad to discover new cultures and traditions, but there’s a lot to find at home, too.

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