Right now, anyone taking holiday is experiencing the ultimate staycation – a break within their own four walls.
The reality, however, is that most people who had booked holidays this spring, have cancelled them. When the lockdown ends the average available holiday allowances for those heading back to work, will be as high as they have ever been. So where will people go? Even when local travel is permitted borders may stay closed. In France for the last two months people have had to fill in a form even to go food shopping or for exercise within a maximum 1km of their homes. A significant easing of restrictions expected next week will allow travel in the country up to a maximum of 100km, but that still means no trips to the Mediterranean for Parisians for a while.
There is also a very big question mark as to whether Brits will be welcome on the continent this summer. Global air travel has dropped by more than 50%. With several airlines on the brink of administration, the era of low-cost flights may be about to end.
The result is that for the foreseeable future more and more people will take their holidays closer to home.
There could be huge benefits. The traditional seaside towns that have faced tough economic times in recent years may see a boom in bookings. Kids may discover for the first time the simpler joys that their parents and grandparents experienced on their annual summer break. Prior to the lockdown there were record numbers of visits to the countryside, that will doubtless continue. We should also expect big cities to have more spaces where the local population can enjoy their leisure time in a safe environment without having to travel.
No-one really knows what will happen this year or even next, but surely staycations will form a major part of the new normal.