Growing up, staycations were all we knew. My family would plan these epic day outings in and around Durban. We would get up at the crack of dawn, dress comfortably and walk to the bus station down the road from our house. The bus usually travelled to most parts of Durban, offering us many pitstop options.
As going to restaurants was quite a luxury back then, my mom and aunts would prepare some sumptuous treats, from triangle cut sandwiches, granola bars and homemade lemonade, which we would eat at a nearby park.
Now older, I tend to plan staycations once a week-usually over the weekend. My friends, or family, usually pick a cool spot to visit, whether it’s a funky new restaurant, an activity, or to see a local attraction. It not only makes a fun weekend activity, but it also helps broaden our minds on the city’s culture, history and people.
Chief Executive Officer, Onomo Hotels, Cedric Guilleminot, shares four reasons why you should take a staycation:
It allows you a chance to explore your city
When was the last time you visited an art gallery, tried one of those amazing new restaurants you’ve heard everyone talking about or stopped to consider the history of the place you call home? “A staycation can help you explore your city with fresh eyes and tick off items from your bucket list,” he said.
You do not have to travel for extended periods
For those of you who do not like travelling for hours, a staycation is perfect. You do not have to worry about missing your connecting flight, airport delays or long hours on the road, everything is quick and effortless.
“Taking a staycation in your town cuts out all the travel drama and maximises the limited time you have to explore and relax.
“International, and even some local or regional travel, can be expensive. A staycation cuts out the cost of visas and flights. It also removes the double-digit mental multiplication required before committing to something as simple as buying a cup of coffee in a different hemisphere,” said Guilleminot.
Staycations support local
In a country full of tourism experiences, taking a staycation, rather than exploring some country in Europe and Asia, is beneficial to the local economy.
“It’s easy to get hung up on designer brands and the ancient architecture of European destinations – but South Africa is also home to some of the continent’s biggest brands and incredible artisans,” he said.
You learn about local history
South Africa is known for its wealth of history, culture and national heritage sites. Guilleminot said: “The Cape Town CBD is rich in history.
“At over 260 million years old, Table Mountain is older than the Andes, the Alps, the Rocky Mountains and the Himalayas. A network of canals dating back to the days of the Dutch East India Company runs below the streets of the city, directing fresh water down from the rivers and streams flowing from the mountain. The city is also home to the oldest churches and mosques in the country,” he said.