This summer, the most travelling I'll be doing is short trips to the shop for barbecue supplies and cold beer, punctuated with more extensive excursions to Cheltenham Beach. Come nightfall, I'll be resting my head in my own bed.

Many moons ago, I lived in Peckham, south-east London, and had become tired of dashing to the continent for weekend breaks ("Barcelona? Again? Must we?" What a dick I was). So, when I had a heap of holiday time to use up, I took a staycation. I parked up in my Peckham flat for a week, exploring local parks and shops, taking lunch at local pubs.

My girlfriend, who was - and still is - more of the "let's-go-to-Barcelona" persuasion, thought I was mad.

Turns out I was ahead of my time. Staycations boomed during the Global Financial thingamajig. In tough times, home is the place to be.


Boom or bust, Auckland is a golden place during December and January. The crowds have gone; the cicadas sing and the pohutukawa are in bloom. I'm looking forward to seeing more of it.

I've got some great trips to look forward to in 2014 - but for now, the barbecue calls.