With so many beautiful areas of the UK available to us right on our doorsteps and the prospect of basking in the sun (fingers crossed) without the stress of queues at airports and delayed flights, a staycation seems to be the way to go for a relaxing holiday. In this article, we give a variety of tips about organising and planning a successful staycation for you and your family.
What Is A Staycation?
A staycation, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is a holiday in one’s home country rather than abroad or at home with day trips to local attractions.
Where Shall We Go?
When considering a staycation, the first decision will be whether to staycation at home or in a different part of our beautiful British Isles. This will depend on many factors such as your budget or if you feel comfortable staying away from home after the lockdown restrictions.
Whilst staying at home to go on holiday might sound a bit strange, it is a really viable, budget-friendly option. Getting into the mindset that once you have cleaned the house, filled the fridge and tidied the garden before your staycation, household chores can wait, technology gets put away (brave if you have children!) your home and garden can then become a perfect staycation destination. No travel costs and no endless cries of ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ to boot. Pay any bills that will become due during your staycation, set work email to ‘out of office’ and set your mind to ‘holiday mode’. Everything can wait – you are on holiday after all.
If you want to explore our beautiful island you will find, with a little online research that lists are published each year of the top places to visit in the UK, like this guide from the Telegraph. The popularity of these areas are likely to see them get very busy and prices due to demand may increase, especially during the school holidays. If peace and tranquillity away from the crowds is what you are seeking, choosing an area to stay, off the beaten track might be just the thing. Research areas close enough to popular spots to be able to take a day trip but far enough away to be able to escape the crowds and come back to your chosen accommodation and relax at the end of a wonderful day.
Plan And Book Activities In Advance
Once you’ve chosen your staycation destination, it is time to plan how you are going to spend your precious time. Take advantage of the fact that many places offer discounts for early booking or simply for booking online – this applies to accommodation, days out and transport too. Bear in mind that activities are likely to get booked up in advance, so it makes sense to try to book in activities as soon as possible. Local social media sites often advertise offers on days trips and viewing reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor www.tripadvisor.co.uk will help to guide you to some great experiences.
Top tip! When booking attractions and travel, take a screenshot of your tickets or QR codes for entry this will help if the area you are visiting has poor reception – no waiting for a ticket to load on your phone whilst a queue forms behind you! Remember, you don’t need to book things for every day – this is your holiday, so balance is everything to keep a relaxed mood.
If you choose to stay at home, you don’t need to travel to have fun. Why not fire up the BBQ and bring the waterparks to you? Fill the paddling pool, hire a hot tub and roll out the Slip n’ Slide.
Food Glorious Food
If choosing to staycation from home, do a big shop and fill the fridge with all the foods, drinks and treats you would normally enjoy abroad or simply feel are too indulgent for day-to-day living. Cold meats and cheeses for breakfast, European style? No problem. Your holiday, your rules. Pre-prepared salads and meats and fish for a barbeque will give a feel of the Mediterranean at home – and no slaving away in the kitchen either. Order your family’s favourite takeaway or pizza or use one of the many local supermarkets ‘Entertain at Home’ options to take away the hassle of preparing meals and simply have it delivered. Of course, all of this applies too if you choose to staycation away from home on a self-catering basis. You’ll still have to wash up though…
If visiting a destination in the UK for your staycation, satisfying rumbling tummy’s will be inevitable. We’ve all been in the position of trawling around our chosen destination to find somewhere to eat that caters for every person in our party, only to be turned away as there are no free tables. Making restaurant bookings in advance for your chosen area will help take away the stress and allow you to see menus in advance and plan meals with ease.
If Staycationing away from home, the same advice applies for accommodation as it does for activities – book well in advance. Decide how you want to your staycation to look – self-catering, camping or full luxury hotel – the choice is yours but book early no matter what you choose. Campsites get booked up very quickly due to their budget-friendly price and the simplicity and relaxation that camping affords (once you’ve remembered how to put the tent up!). Self-catering options can get equally busy and if you are going all out in terms of budget, a luxury hotel or spa break could fit the bill but is also likely to sell out quickly. Being decisive and swift on your choice of staycation accommodation might well pay off in the long run. Top Tip: To help your budget have a look through sites such as Groupon, Wowcher, AirBNB and Booking.com for great Staycation and Day Trip deals.
If Staycationing at home, bring a holiday feel by erecting a tent in the garden to sleep under the stars, cook marshmallows over the fire and enjoy quality time together. No queue for the toilets either. If you’ve no outside space, no problem. Erect a small tent or homemade den in the lounge and put relaxing night-time sounds on Alexa. In using these tips to help with planning the perfect staycation, remember – this is YOUR holiday. Balance expectations, plan a few surprise trips, let go of any stress and relax.