Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Budget breaks

Like many other Brits, Jenny and I decided to have a staycation this year - we're going to Scotland rather than some exotic foreign destination.

The number of trips abroad by British residents plummeted by 15 per cent last year, reversing a lengthy trend upwards in search of ever more unusual and dazzling locations.

The long drawn out recession has led many hard-up folk to think twice about jetting across the world, and they're opting for cheaper alternatives in their own country.

They're braving the rain, the gales, the cold and sullen seaside landladies to appreciate their own heritage and keep a bit more cash in the bank.

Jenny and I have chosen southern Scotland (in September) because we moved house last year and moving-in expenses mean we can't quite run to another Aussie getaway until we're a bit more flush.

The number of British trips to New Zealand is down by a whopping 30 per cent, and Canada by 26 per cent.

But our own cities are increasingly popular. Edinburgh saw an extra 133,000 visitors and Cambridge an extra 18,000. We're seeing the merits of beautiful places we've neglected for years in favour of some tempting tropical paradise thousands of miles away.

And it may be more than the cash factor. It seems that a lot of people are getting sick of the growing hassles of air travel - hidden extra charges, laborious security checks, crowded planes and off-hand cabin crews, unexpected delays and cancellations, strike action, lost luggage, inedible food, volcanic ash.

Suddenly jumping in the car and driving a few hundred miles seems like a much pleasanter option.
.................................................................................

People reading about the Belfast riots have been asking if Jenny and I were affected by them. No need to worry, these skirmishes always occur in the same local hotspots which are well away from our own leafy enclave. The First Minister and Deputy First Minister have rather belatedly condemned the thuggery.

26 comments:

Grannymar said...

A staycation seems to be the in thing right now. No matter whether you go to Bali Ha'i or the bottom of the garden, a holiday in the right company will be memorable, so why go through the purgatory of today's air travel if you can avoid it.

Nick said...

Grannymar - The right company is certainly essential, though I could also enjoy the right company in Sydney....

Macy said...

Sitting in Manchester airport a fortnight ago, I decided that the next holiday I take is going to be in the UK, or atleast one with NO FLYING.
No hassle, no long waits, and I can take the dog.

kylie said...

gah! any mention of holidays gets me frothing at the mouth in envy......

conortje said...

I´ve never been to Scotland - it´s on my list! But in the meantime...the beach is beckoning me back :-) Greetings from Ecuador!

Baino said...

Holidays? What's that. I'm taking my first OS trip since 1995 in September and frankly, the airport wait will be worth it but since then, short breaks have been fine. I don't actually mind being a tourist in my own city, it's cheaper, the weather's good and there's plenty to see. Enjoy Scotland and I hope the weather's kind.

e said...

I hope you and Jenny enjoy Scotland. I have been attempting to plan a trip to France, but life keeps getting in the way!

Wisewebwoman said...

I've been pricing out my trip to Cork and it is now (with kennel fees) working out at over $5,000 AND 24 non-stop hours of airport sitting and hopping.
I bought Cara so I could do a lot more staycations right here.
Marvellous idea.
Though I still think I want to do NZ in the new year.
Good on Jenny and you. I absolutely adored Scotland.
XO
WWW

Terra Shield said...

Nothing like getting to know your own country/region better... you never know what you might find! :)

Scarlet Blue said...

But Scotland is an exotic foreign destination, isn't it?
Sx

Nick said...

Macy - Sitting in airports for long periods gets on my tits, though Jenny rather likes it for some reason. Yes, as you say, if you're going by car you can also take a pet and no petcare problems.

Kylie - I know, don't you just seethe when someone casually mentions their fortnight in the Maldives, as if it cost them a fiver?

Conor - I hope Ecuador is more fun than dreary Cuba. We've been to Scotland several times, well worth a visit provided the weather is favourable.

Nick said...

Baino - Anyone would enjoy staying in Sydney, it's pure magic. But I bet you're looking forward to that long-overdue trip to France.

e - Absolutely, life is always getting in the way. But life often presents us with something even more amazing than a foreign holiday.

www - Jeez, $5000 AND 24 hours of transfers. That's not good. I'm sure you can have some equally fabulous trips round Newfie in Cara the caravan.

Nick said...

Terra - Very true. There can be unexpected wonders and delights just a few miles away. We should explore our own hinterland more often.

Scarlet - Och aye, so it is, d'ye ken? The land of bagpipes, haggis and kilts. The land of tight-fisted Bible-bashers and whisky-smugglers. Or so Hollywood tells us.

Nick said...

WTF is Blogger up to? I had to do the word check five times before it would accept my own comment. Don't they realise how important this blog is?

Scarlet Blue said...

And I thought it was only me having this problem with WV!
It's been happening to me since yesterday... my typing is bad but it's not that bad!
Sx
This time it's greeze - surely I can't get this wrong.

Scarlet Blue said...

I got there with greeze but not before having server error 503.
Sx

Nick said...

Scarlet - Greeze? Sorry, I don't have the figures for British flights to Greeze. Is it anywhere near Sizzly? I think Server error 503 means there's spinach stuck in your teeth.

Rummuser said...

I think that the second reasoning weighs more than the first in people choosing not to travel to foreign locales. Within the country itself it is now quite unpleasant and I prefer to travel by train whenever possible. So do many of my friends.

Nick said...

Ramana - Certainly train travel has many advantages over planes - fewer restrictions and checks, the freedom to move around, and often beautiful scenery to look at.

Kate said...

Oooh Scotland is lovely- if you can get to Skye .... go! It's beautiful!

Nick said...

Kate - I've never been to Skye, but I've been all round the Scottish coast, through the Grampians, to the Orkneys, and to Edinburgh and Glasgow. I'd certainly like to visit Skye.

Eryl Shields said...

Yesterday whilst walking from the poetry library to the national library in Edinburgh (a very short walk), I got so rained on that I had to take my shirt off and wring it out in the loo. By which I mean to say: the weather here in Scotland is favourable if rain is your thing. I have high hopes for September though, it's usually a good month.

How I long for a bit of airport hassle and some plastic food.

Nick said...

Eryl - Jeez, that must have been some downpour. I remember a 10-minute downpour here that was so hard I had to change all my clothes, including my undies, when I got home.

I suppose it's fitting that airlines provide plastic cutlery for the plastic food.

tattytiara said...

The nice thing about staycations is the wonderful perspective they can give you on where you live. Yeah, I've been to Jasper National Park more times than i can count. Spent two different summers living there. Still, when I go there and i see people from Europe, Asia, Australia and other far away places that have saved up money for who knows how long and paid a fortune just to come and stand in my back yard, well, it's hard not to fall in love with the place all over again.

Have a great time in Scotland - somewhere this Canadian wouldn't hesitate to spend a small fortune of hard earned and long saved money to go!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I'm glad you're ok. Your vacation plan sounds lovely. Don't forget, many people from other countries including mine pay lots of money to visit yours, so anyplace can be a wonderful vacation destination.

Nick said...

Tattytiara - Good point about the tourists making you realise how special a place is. That certainly applies to the Antrim coast road in Northern Ireland. Our Canadian cousins actually think it's more spectacular than the California coast road.

Heart - Very true about the foreign fans. Scotland seems to be very appealing to people from elsewhere. Especially those from sunnier climes who love the idea of wild, stormy landscapes!