So here’s why the foreign foray is overhyped anyway, and staycations can be the saviours of summer…
1. The language barrier
A certain amount of guilt accompanies being an English speaker abroad, because however many phrasebooks you cram into your bag, you will end up speaking your language in their country. You can try the local lingo, but we bet you won’t understand what comes back.
2. The certainty
In this era of ever-changing regulation, it’s quite nice to go on a holiday you know you can come back from – and without the plan-ruining shackles of quarantine. International borders are fickle creatures, and if you don’t play with fire, there’s no chance of getting burned.
3. You understand all the customs
There’s probably a country out there that takes offence to you wearing flip-flops in public, not being fashionably late, or paying for something with your left hand. Often it’s only once you’ve put your foot in it that you’ll know where it was you shouldn’t have put your foot.
4. You can save money
Flights, visas, bank charges, exchange rates, tourist taxes, baggage fees… or the cost of petrol. We’re not saying local operators aren’t just as capable of slipping in some hidden costs, but they certainly have less opportunity.
5. It’s easier for families
It’s never fun having to silently apologise to an entire airliner, while your kids kick up a stink over who gets the middle armrest. Back-of-the-car bickering gets a bad name, but at least when you say, ‘So help me, I will pull over,’ it’s not an entirely empty threat.
6. It makes you appreciate what you’ve got
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the sea, and there’s something strangely appealing about discovering the delights on your doorstep. Distance does not equal interest, and the tourists visiting your country might have a point.
7. It’s easier to organise
Foreign forays have inevitable stresses – insurance, weight limits, leaving your passport in the taxi – but often we don’t make it easy for ourselves. The cheapest available flights are from our fourth-closest airport, and leave at three in the morning. What could possibly go wrong?
8. You can bring the dog
True, you could condemn Fido to a carry-cage in the hold for the duration of your flight to Australia, but he’d probably rather spend a week eating cat food in a thunderstorm. If he can manage a car, he can manage a staycation, assuming your destination has a reasonable supply of walkies.
9. The weather isn’t that bad
It’s summer. It can’t rain all the time.