We get it: it’s the tail end of winter, and you’d like nothing better than to get away for a week with your family. While you may be tempted to abandon the cold for somewhere warm and sunny, where the only shovel you have to worry about is attached to a sand pail, we’ve got some really good reasons to stay in the Great White North this March.
Airports during March Break
It’s not that airports don’t try to keep March Break travellers occupied—Pearson International Airport in Toronto has video games, music, and free colouring books for jet-setting kiddies—but once you factor in the traffic around the airport, parking, the hassle of packing, the dreaded early-morning-flight-five-hour-layover schedule, and the inevitable in-air temper tantrums, staying home never looked so appealing.
Ever-shrinking airline seats
Any traveller who’s taller than a toddler will recognize the awkward discomfort of squeezing too-long legs into a too-small space, or the quiet humiliation of having to fold parts of oneself away from a stranger squashed in beside you. Airlines claim that legroom hasn’t decreased, but given that the standard distance between rows, or “pitch,” has shrunk by two to three inches over the past few years, it certainly feels more squished. Seats are also “denser,” which we think is actually airline speak for “hard.”
The dropping dollar
Remember when cross-border shopping meant getting a deal? Although the low dollar is good for some (read: Americans), it makes travelling anywhere outside of Canada very expensive. Stick close to home and revel in how much further your dollar can go. Plus, lots of Canadian destinations are offering deals to encourage people to take a staycation.
Resorts in tropical places are beautiful (and warm) but they get boring fast. There are so many quirky, interesting things to do right here at home—watching the Northern lights in our far north, year-round surfing in Tofino, skating through the woods at Arrowhead Provincial Park in Ontario—that there’s no need to spend yet another week in Florida.
Craziness and chaos
From the planning, to the packing, to the supervising, trips away can be more work than they’re worth—you may end up needing a vacation from your vacation. Stick closer to home, and actually recharge your batteries instead of stressing over every single detail.
When you’re somewhere new, it’s easy to feel guilty for not cramming activities into every single moment (Ziplining! Dolphin swimming! Tours of cigar factories!). A staycation allows you to let go of the crazy stress of having to make the most of every minute. Instead, you can relax and binge-watch Netflix, which is just fine.
Sticking closer to home isn’t just good for your wallet and your peace of mind, it’s good for the environment too. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, travelling by air has a greater impact on the climate per passenger kilometre than other modes of transportation, even over long distances, and accounts for four to nine percent of the total climate change impact of human activity.
Why take up precious vacation time with a long-haul drive or a cramped airline flight? With trips there and back, you could sacrifice up to two days of your time doing nothing more than sitting somewhere, waiting to arrive. What a waste of perfectly usable hours.
No matter how comfy hotel beds are—and some are really quite luxurious—they’re not your bed. And the bathroom isn’t your bathroom. And, let’s face it, it gets a little tiring eating out all the time. The comforts of home are nothing to sneeze at—and you won’t be left with a pile of laundry to do before you go back to work.
Even if you don’t get the dreaded Traveller’s Tummy while you’re away, airplanes are breeding grounds for germs. Combine dry cabin air with a crowd of people and the stress of travelling, and you’ve got a great recipe for a whopper of a virus. Sure, you can get sick when you’re at home, too, but at least you’re not deliberately exposing yourself to a germ soup.