Travel expert Heather Greenwood Davis predicted, in an article with The Loop, that ‘microcations’ would be a huge trend in 2020. Another travel trend, you’d think. But this one seems all too doable, especially with the kind of ‘always working’ lives we lead. Microcations are the opposite of staycations, quite literally. These are mini getaways or mini-vacations based on multiple social and economic factors. While a staycation is more leisurely, a microcation is far more experiential. Statistics show that instead of a long, drawn-out vacation at one place, millennials are taking shorter holidays, which typically last for about three days.
Microcations help cover more places in a year than a staycation would, and for about half the price. How half the price, you ask? Well, travel companies are actually working on plans to make microcations happen. Take Exodus Travels, for instance. This travel company has come up with something called ‘Exodus Edits’, which are a collection of well-crafted and curated trips that last around four to thirteen days, tops. What’s so special about these edits, Greenwood-Davis writes, is that it offers all the outdoor activities, culinary experiences, and cultural exploration, without the usual time commitment.
“With increasing work pressure and clashing schedules, the chances of having long, leisurely vacations with your family and friends have become slim. For example, for someone like us from the travel and hospitality sector, the regular “holiday season” is crucial to our business, and so, planning a vacation at the time is impossible. This is a common scenario, and I’m certain that it’s the general adulting trend. Over time, the travel industry is pivoting to cater to short-term vacationing. From villa rentals to hotels, the industry is understanding the need of the hour — convenience. People are opting for quicker, shorter ‘snackable’ options, which allow them to take a break from their routine, yet come back to it just as effectively,” says Devendra Parulekar, Founder, SaffronStays. “In a survey, we conducted recently, of the 600 respondents, 424 had taken a short domestic holiday within 6 months of the survey, of which 75.7 per cent had taken a break in the last three months itself. Gone are the days when friends and families would pack their bags and go for fortnight-long or even month-long vacations. If there’s a long weekend in sight, you can be sure those are quick getaway opportunities. I believe this trend is here to stay,” he adds
Travel curators say that there are four things that are essential to millennials opting for a microcation. The first is uninterrupted privacy, followed by scenic views and Instagram-worthy spots. Then, of course, there’s a certainty of service. Hence, travel companies have in-home cooks and housekeeping staff who ensure guests have a smooth stay. Instead of a week-long trip to Jaipur, millennials are opting for a three-day vacay to Pondicherry, or Goa or Matheran or Kochi to soak in the Biennale. Microcations are being planned to also include bite-sized experiences that you wouldn’t otherwise plan an itinerary around. A July survey of 1,000 millennial working professionals conducted by Business Insider and LinkedIn found that about one-third of the respondents were facing a burnout right before taking a vacation. A separate LinkedIn study found that even when millennials were on leave, they were still available on email.
This tendency to prioritise work perfectly aligns with the microcations trend. Millennials aren’t earning and saving money to pay off debt or save for retirement, Business Insider’s Liz Knueven found and hence, if they are limiting their vacation time, they need to make the most of it and travel more than their parents and grandparents would. After all, experience is the new luxury.