Golden Tickets

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By Gemma Blundell-Doyle, first year English Student

The Croft Magazine // The aviation industry has been one of the worst hit by the pandemic. This is bad news for student travellers taking trips on a budget as in a post-virus world, it is likely the demand for plane tickets will outstrip supply and prices will soar. If you were forced to fork out £500 for a fare to France, would the financial damage turn holiday bliss into blues?

Initially, I thought yes. In an economic downturn where job opportunities are scarce, extravagant spending will be reserved for those with the means to do so. Without cheap easyJet flights in and out of Europe, last minute and low-cost holidays abroad will not be as tangible as they used to be; it’s sobering to think that the days of sinking €3 pints in a Czech bar that’s 20 minutes away from your Airbnb may be a thing of the past.

Budapest has long been considered a budget friendly destination - but at what cost? | Epigram / Gemma Blundell-Doyle

But Coronavirus has led us to question many of our lifestyle choices; perhaps, it is time for us to reconsider what makes a worthwhile holiday. In the immediate future, the risk of air travel combined with the restrictive anti-virus precautions that will have to be taken upon arrival threaten to make our experience more burdensome than enjoyable. This surely makes a staycation seem more appealing and thankfully for those without a second home in Salcombe, this doesn’t necessarily mean traipsing around a caravan park (a viable option, but not everyone’s idea of bliss).

Perhaps it is time for us to reconsider what makes a worthwhile holiday

The UK offers many opportunities for domestic travel. The South West is home to the Jurassic Coast, the UK’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this scenic spot is easily accessible once you have found yourself a willing driver. Further afield, the Lake District, Yorkshire, and Scotland have much to offer.

Another thing to consider is that locals in popular tourist spots may not welcome back student ravers and stag-dos with open arms. Unusually, the UK has been graced with record-breaking good weather throughout the lockdown period. As national responsibility dwindled by the end of June, an influx of day-trippers to Bournemouth’s beaches re-emphasised that the characterisation of ‘Brits Abroad’ having no regard for others often remains true.

An 'influx of day trippers' at Bournemouth | The Telegraph 

The Guardian reported that in some of Europe’s most popular cities, the cutback in travel has allowed locals to enjoy some peace and this has opened up debate about how to deal with the over-tourism that previously blighted their homes and reduced their quality of life.

An influx of day-trippers to Bournemouth’s beaches re-emphasised that the characterisation of ‘Brits Abroad’ having no regard for others often remains true

If a larger financial sacrifice is required in order to embark on a foreign holiday in the future, holidaymakers who have no interest in absorbing the local culture and whose only ambitions are to get drunk by night and tanned by day may think twice about ravaging their destination of choice. In turn, this will limit the market for 'trashy' tours geared towards travellers with no respect for the locals who have accommodated their raving for too long.

busy streets in Budapest | Epigram / Gemma Blundell-Doyle 

This doesn’t mean students should abandon all hope of enjoying a drink somewhere far, far away. In fact, if a larger proportion of their budget is spent on travel, previously overlooked forms of accommodation may become more attractive. Students could invest in homestays: living with a local family for a nominal nightly or weekly fee, allowing them to experience the local culture and cuisine with more authenticity.

If a greater financial cost is placed on us students, we should embrace the chance to contribute to the communities that welcome us rather than mourning the cheap journeys of our past. The pandemic has left many feeling starved of human connection - so when the opportunity to travel abroad returns, we should aim to take trips with this in mind.


Featured Image : Lulworth Cove - another victim of overcrowding | Epigram / Gemma Blundell-Doyle

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