TRAVEL IN 2020: ‘Microcations’ on the horizon

The short trip is what the new traveller favours today.

Travel agents and tour operators might not like it but let’s get this straight. The long vacation or that oh-so-exhaustive’ world trip is going down. The numbers of travellers looking for the 20-day world trip is dwindling.

The travelers liking (not to mention profiles) are evolving.

It is the character of the location that lures them on. The textbook propositions of ‘world’s ten best destinations to go before you die’ might be gasping for life. Instead of trying to squeeze the juice out of one location, merely to tick on the atlas, the enthusiast might prefer to sunbathe at one and ski at another in one short vacation. The Ryan Airs, Easy Jets and other regional, no-frills airlines are the good options. The younger traveller today couldn’t be bothered whether they get juice in a crystal glass or a can.

With limited time and sometimes limited budgets for everything on the bucket list, innovation is the way out.

Tiny trips are the trending answer to this problem. Rather than getaway once per year, for 10 days or two weeks, more travellers are getting away for two or three days at a time and taking more frequent trips as a result. 

 Microcations, or shorter trips, to closer destinations are in. It saves time and money on travelling, suffers no jet lag and most important of all, opens themselves to experiencing a destination rather than been there seen it.

Instead of taking a vacation across one nation extensively, the option is to select specific cities or destinations in nearby countries and club them together- thus seeing more in lesser time. In fact, this option is good for those who have a greater paucity of time instead of money.

Using the titrations of the many booking sites and apps alternate modes of travel like trains and cars or coaches or even their combinations can create the bespoke break or holiday.

Train travel offers a better experience at times of the gradually changing geography. It also gives a good feeling of lowering carbon footprint. It doesn’t have to be luxury trains all the time.

Road trips are still better as it offers greater elbow room to manage one’s own time, save and possibly share fuel expenses and significantly cut down on inner-city travel expenses. Parking fees can be a surprise but it’s always better to get that point sorted first.

Hotel and stay are the next big thing. Air BnB and its ilk have revolutionised that part. Homestays are also preferred for the freedom it offers to experience the local culture. Getting laundry and even meals can be done when travelling in a group. It aborts undue indulgence on one hand and savouring companionship and sharing meals together is another element of the charm. For large families, this is a godsend.

According to a survey conducted last year, solo travel was the most popular trip type (22%), followed by ‘slow travel’ (18%), while 16% of travellers loved micronations. Yet in the same survey, when the same respondents were asked about the types of trips they’d likely take in 2020, ‘slow travel’ was the most popular (24%).

These ‘micronations’ or weekender country-hopping trips can get hectic. Many moans of not feeling up for it to start work hours after return from what was supposed to be a rejuvenating trip. Thus locations, where it’s all about just lounging, sunning, strolling in the day and partying at night, create the right mix of adrenalin and relaxed repose that has many takers.

Some call it ‘transformative vacations’. Living in another cultural context, even with one’s own country can bring about a new experience. Cooking local food, farm to fork cuisine, cycling and taking the dirt track for once- with brief vacations, there is enough opportunity, time and affordability to live the varied experiences that inspire and excite.

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