The rise of the staycation

How to provide stellar service even as guests stay close to home



December 19, 2022

As we close out a year full of uncertainty around a global pandemic, rising gas prices, and chaos across airports, many travelers are staying to make a vacation out of places close to home. 

In fact, approximately 67% of travelers surveyed mentioned that they took or are planning to take a staycation in the next year. That’s millions of people across the country finding a newfound appreciation for their home state and wanting to stick to it!

While people seem to be traveling less distance, that doesn’t mean their trips should be less fun. Hotels can implement fun activities and personalize guest messaging to enhance any experience.

What is a staycation?

Simply put, a “staycation” is a vacation spent close to one’s home or even in one’s own home. Defined by the distance to one’s normal dwelling place, staycations gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was no other option when it came to traveling. 

Now, there are definitely other options, but factors like inflation are keeping people close to their families, loved ones, and routines. Examples of staycations include exploring one’s own city or hometown—playing “tourist” if you will—having friends visit you in your home, or planning activities for kids that they might not otherwise get to do (“Can we please go to the McDonald’s play place?”)

Staycations are often cheaper, safer, and overall less stressful. Plus, travelers can fall back in love with the place they’re currently living!

Why are travelers staying close to home?

While everyone has their own reasons for staying in, inflation is a big one. Probably the biggest factor is the price of gas—while it’s now decreasing in price, this fall showed a nearly 20% increase in price for a gallon of gas across the country. Pretty big reason not to go on a road trip…

Plus, flying instead of driving is also proving to be an issue when it comes to travel. Airports experienced—and are still dealing with—a state of chaos in the summer of 2022 when the travel floodgates opened and airlines weren’t prepared. Many main airlines canceled up to 10% of their flights this summer, on top of long security lines, lost luggage, and overbooked flights.

This is also on the up and up, but as winter rolls around, people are remembering our last two winters of shutdowns and decreased travel, and may just be settling in for another. 

Whatever the reason, more travelers are staying home, but that doesn’t mean they’re not leaving the house at all. Whether they’re staying in a nearby hotel or visiting friends closer to home, there are still ways the hospitality industry can make this holiday season stand out.

How can hotels make staycations special? 

There are tons of ways hotels can make any guest feel like their stay is a “home away from home.” Start with letting them know about fun holiday activities in the area they might not know about, like a free light show or a local art museum.

One easy way to do this is through hotel guest messaging—teams can create digital guides to local outings, fun restaurants and bars, and overall recommendations for the area, and send them out to guests via texting. No heavy lift and guests will be thrilled!

Another way hotels can add to the holiday festivities is by hosting some at their own property. Whether it’s having Santa come for photos one night, or just decorating the lobby and creating a homey space for families to connect with each other, make your hotel a destination for staycations.

Guest messaging can also be personalized to make each and every guest feel special, since it’s real humans talking to real humans. Explore more about how hotel texting can accommodate your staycation guests or schedule a conversation with our team today.

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