Staycation Vs Vacation: Which is Best For You?
During the past two years, we would often see many hotels offering staycation packages. That would be the first time most people would have heard of this thing called a staycation, but what exactly is it? According to Wikipedia, there are several ways it can be interpreted: first of all, a staycation can be as simple as staying at home and leaving to partake in leisure activities within distance so one does not have to stay overnight outside of one’s home; the alternative meaning that is gaining popularity in recent times, especially due to recent circumstances, is a reference to domestic tourism, where one would travel around one’s own country—or state—rather than going overseas. For the sake of this discussion, we’re going with the domestic tourism definition in line with what the hotels were offering. With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the ways staycations are different from vacations and decide from there what’s best for whom.
Costs, Currency Conversion, Calculations
Of course, one of the major differences between a staycation and vacation for Malaysians is the cost, due to stark differences in currency and economy. One way to compare is using the Big Mac Index to gauge the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), and one can see from the index that both Thailand and Singapore, Malaysia’s neighbours, are significantly more expensive. Of course, this is not meant as an accurate comparison, but a rough estimate to give one an idea of how much things can cost in those countries. Still, unless you’re travelling to a country with a more favourable currency exchange rate, you’ll need to be prepared to spend significantly more than how much it would cost to do the same within Malaysia itself, and that’s the budgetary advantage for staycations.
You also don’t have to hunt around for money changers with the best exchange rates which could save you up to a few hundred ringgit, depending on how much cash you are planning to convert. This also reduces the headache of trying to calculate your budget based on price and forex fluctuations, leading to less stress from all that extra planning. Of course, if you still want to travel overseas for your vacation, this could all be mitigated if you plan ahead and take all of that into account by allocating several hundred ringgit, so the pros and cons in terms of money for a staycation versus a vacation really depend on how much you are willing to spend.
Location, Location, Location
The phrase “location, location, location” is a cliche used by property experts to describe the three most important factors that matter for a property. This of course holds just as true for those who plan to enjoy their holidays. Imagine if you travelled to a smog-filled city with no views or experiences to justify the trip there; you’d definitely lament the time and money wasted, wouldn’t you?
One of the greatest things about Malaysia is the relative safety from natural disasters; we don’t have to worry about earthquakes or typhoons, for example, thanks to our location outside the Ring of Fire. Malaysia is also a land of abundance, which means we have no lack of resources such as easy access to clean water and affordable food. Staying within Malaysia also eliminates the language barrier, given that most Malaysians could communicate in either Bahasa Malaysia or English, whereas if you go to countries like Japan or Europe, the English fluency levels there can fluctuate between 44% and less than 8%. Thus, if you were to run into any trouble, like getting sick, for example, you could face quite the struggle in countries where you would have communication problems. If you do want to travel to countries where they don’t speak your language, you will need to learn their language, and we have some tips for those of you who want to learn.
One of the biggest reasons why Malaysians want to travel to other countries, however, is to escape the year-round hot and humid equatorial climate, while the opposite is true for those living in colder climates who wish to enjoy their stay in a warmer environment like Malaysia. Is vacationing overseas the only way for Malaysians to beat the heat then? The good news is no, as Malaysia has several locations of our own with cool climates, such as Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands, and Frasers Hill. So if your goal is simply to stay cool, you can do so without having to leave the country.
Activities, Amusements, Appreciation
If you want to play with snow and go skiing, then Malaysia is obviously not the country for any winter activities. Still, all throughout Malaysia, there is a myriad of exciting activities. Apart from all the fantastic food that differs between regions and all the superb sights to see and enjoy, one could go and be surrounded by hundreds of cats at the Cat Beach in Penang, soak in La Hot Spring in Terengganu, be mesmerised by Funtasy House Trick Art in Perak, enjoy extreme sports in Bilut Extreme Park in Pahang, play in the paddy fields of Perlis, or observe the dark night sky from the Kota Bharu Observatory in Kelantan. While it is good to learn about other cultures from overseas, it is also important that we learn to appreciate our local cultures as well.
So those are some of the differences between a staycation and a vacation. Each offers a different set of experiences, and each has its own perks to consider. What do you think? Has this changed your mind and made you reconsider a staycation as an option? Or do you think vacations are still viable? Let us know in the comments!
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