Why you should avoid a stay-cation this Christmas and New Year’s holiday

Local tourists on a160m walk on the Canopy in Nyungwe National Park during TemberuRwanda campaign last year in 2016. File.

The long holiday season is less than three months away and the hype that goes with it is just about to start, this is one of the best times of the year and what better way to enjoy it than to go for a vacation with your loved ones. 

To some people, travelling to a different destination during this season may be a tradition, but to others travelling may be a new habit to adopt.


We cannot exhaust the benefits of travelling in this article because there are a number of pre-conceived ideas about travelling that we may need to first un-learn before we appreciate its benefits to us.


One of the ways people duck a travelling experience is by fronting a “stay-cation”, which is simply the opposite of a vacation, where you stay at home and look for ways to have a good time because, well, travelling seems to be an expensive way to relax.


However I encourage you to use the upcoming season to unwind in a different location other than the safety of your own home, why? If you plan early, starting today you may have an experience of a lifetime.

A wise person once said that if you don’t plan early, things will plan themselves for you and you may not like it. I will therefore share a number of tips in this article to help you start.

Planning a trip as the dates draw towards the end of the year may cost you an arm and a leg because usually the holiday season marks the epitome of the high season both internationally and locally.

I once had a discussion with the managing director of a global tourism management agency in Rwanda about how to travel cost-effectively and she mentioned that there is a policy in place, that if you book for a trip at least 52 days earlier you stand a higher chance of enjoying a cheaper rate than a traveler who books for the same trip a few dates in advance.

If you haven’t already, it is time to enjoy the gains of a good travel and tour agency. It does not have to be an international trip for you to book with a travel agency, there are also many domestic oriented travel operators who are willing to help you plan a trip.

Usually these tour operators have an edge in knowing destinations or airlines offering an attractive discount that you can take advantage of. Travel agencies may also give you the privilege of paying in installments which is like your saving skills and money management skills rolled up into one.

Technology has made travelling easier and the use of apps such as Airbnb can help you find cheaper accommodation. You can also use Google Maps while on vacation to identify restaurants and interesting places to hang out or tour around.

You can also google a bit about your destination before travelling, whether local or international and seek advice from the hotel or friends residing in the area about activities you can do and if there are any additional costs involved. 

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