Staycations and UK Holiday Ideas
In an age where international travel is so effortless, it can be easy to forget about the comparative ease and simplicity of a domestic holiday. Often known as a ‘staycation’, UK holidays can prove every bit as exotic and exciting as one abroad, often for a fraction of the cost, and with far less associated stress! Staycations traditionally constitute staying at home, and visiting local, often overlooked attractions. So if the thought of long haul flights and having to learn the basics of another language fill you with dread, a staycation here in the UK could be exactly what you’re looking for!
The benefits of holidaying in the UK
It stands to reason that staycations wouldn’t have achieved their current popularity if there weren’t considerable benefits attached to such an undertaking. The concept of a staycation sheds almost all of the complication and excess of a holiday abroad; leading to plentiful advantages.
- Cheaper than travelling abroad – holiday travel, accommodation and living costs are drastically cut-down.
- Drastically less stressful – all you have to do to go on a staycation is book some time off, and wake up in the morning; there’s no packing, no important documents to look after, and no deadlines besides those that you impose upon yourself.
- No language barriers – A staycation means it’s English all the way.
- No acclimatisation necessary – you’re home after all, you know what to expect from local conditions
- No additional medical requirements – no unpleasant inoculations, dangerous animals, or questionable food and drink sources; just what you already know and trust.
- Get the most out of the local community – a staycation gives you the opportunity to explore and find the best that your community has to offer.
- Your considerations come first – there’s no need to worry about seasonal changes or availability of accommodation; when you want to embark upon a staycation, the only barrier is when you’re able to take time off work.
Tips for your staycation
Just because you intend to be travelling in more local climes, there’s still a wide range of travel tips that you may find useful to take on board prior to embarking on your trip. Some will save you money, some will preserve your sanity; all are aimed at making your staycation that much more enjoyable!
- Keep an eye on your finances – it’s easy to get lax with your spending when on a staycation; you haven’t been charged for currency exchange, flights, or (in some cases) accommodation, which can make you feel a bit like you can go crazy and excessively splash out. To ensure that you truly receive good value for money from your staycation it’s essential that you remain in close control of your cash reserves!
- Stay away from work – When staying at home, it’s all too easy to fall back into your everyday routine; checking emails and once again becoming a slave to your phone. Never forget that, during your staycation, you are still on holiday! Your boss can wait until you return for that important report; use your time off to properly unwind.
- Ease off the chores – If you’re on a family staycation, ensure that all of the housework that can’t be put off, is shared between everyone. Similarly, cooking duties should either be shared, or avoided completely through the liberal use of takeaways ad eating out; no one said a staycation had to be healthy!
- Get some ‘me’-time – everyone needs a break from those that are dependent on them sometimes; whether this is children, elderly relatives, pets… organise some day-care or babysitter cover, to ensure that you are able to get some time to unwind.
When should you go on your staycation?
One of the central advantages of a staycation is that they can be undertaken whenever you wish; the only real restrictions on when you take such a holiday are those that you impose yourself. For example, whether you take one during Summer or Winter is entirely up to you; your desire to go for brisk winter walks, or visit the beer garden of that pub that you have never previously found the time to enjoy, may inform your choice of ideal season. Alternatively, seasonal sporting needs may rule the day; if you’re a tennis fan, summer is a safe bet in terms of both playing and spectating.
Some considerations in terms of timing your staycation are unavoidable; there may be busier periods in the year for your employer, which will dictate when holiday is broadly available. On the other hand, if you have children, school holidays will have a large determining factor on when you’re able to take your staycation. After all, there are now extensive restrictions on the booking of children’s holidays during term time, and as enjoyable as a staycation may be, it’s not worth the fine that trying to take one during term time is likely to incur.
Try out some alternative accommodation options for a staycation
If you want to do things a bit differently, taking a larger excursion from the norm, it may be an idea to look elsewhere for accommodation during some or all of your staycation. Not only does this help you to get a bit more into the holidays spirit, but puts you in the right mind-set to explore lesser known areas and activities in your local area; it’s very easy to get stuck in the same old routines while staying in your own home.
Staying somewhere other than home during your staycation may add a bit more in terms of incurred cost, but can further your level of relaxation in the process. You’ll no longer need to worry about housework, as all maintenance will be taken care of by the staff or owners of your accommodation. You can also take easy advantage of whatever other facilities the paid for accommodation that you’ve chosen has to offer, whether this is sports facilities or a spa. All of that and you still don’t have to travel too far or break the bank. If you’re feeling really lazy/adventurous, you don’t even need to pack too extensively; simply return home whenever you need to replenish supplies, you’re local after all!
If hotels or bed and breakfasts don’t tickle your fancy, but you’re still determined to have some or all of your staycation staying somewhere other than your home, it may be worth asking family or friends when they intend to go on holiday, and see if they would mind you staying at their place. It’s a change from the norm that’s still not too unfamiliar, but maybe just enough to get you prodded into the holiday spirit. It’s less expensive this way as well!
Staycation ideas that are ideal for families
- Board game nights are always a winner.
- Check out any local tourist hotspots which you’ve always promised to visit, but never had a chance.
- Go for a hike around the local area. It’s good exercise, and shows you just what’s hidden away on your doorstep.
- Try a diverse range of local restaurants/delicacies.
- Have a sports day; utilise local facilities to sample a variety of different sports and activities as a family, and see if you collectively stumble upon any new favourites.
- Family film night; rent some films and enjoy an inexpensive night in.
- Plan a sight-seeing trip around your hometown or city to try and capture elements of it that you’ve never seen before.
- Get the rest of the family involved with the creation of the itinerary; there’s no reason you should bear the burden alone, and this way everyone gets to do some of what they want.
Staycation ideas that are perfect for couples
- Enjoy a romantic meal together in the comfort of your own home
- Use your holiday time to create something for your other half; it’s an entertaining pastime to keep you busy and engaged during your time off, and they’ll most likely be grateful for such a gesture.
- Sample the best nightlife that your area has to offer; this is especially useful on ‘school nights’ or during the offseason, as you’ll be able to get easier access to restaurant and clubs, or better prices therein.
- Go for a night time walk; a very romantic gesture, and something that you may not normally get a chance to do. Not only can you gaze at the stars together, but you can get a different, quieter perspective on your home town or city.
UK locations that are well worth a visit
Of course, you don’t have to completely write off travel during a staycation, there are plenty of domestic destinations that are well worth a visit. After all, if you’ve been able to save money on every other aspect of the holiday, why not splash out on a trip to some local tourist attractions. You’ve been hearing about/driving past it for years, now’s the time to give it a go!
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- The Tower of London – an iconic English landmark, with some dark and gruesome history to keep the more macabre members of your party entertained. If this is a hit, also check out The London Dungeon nearby.
- Stonehenge – another iconic landmark, this site is simultaneously mysterious and beautiful
- The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew – An ideal day trip for those with green fingers, Kew gardens is a great place to go for a stroll.
- Thorpe Park/Alton Towers – Arguably the two most popular theme parks in the UK, these two both provide a heart-stopping day out for thrill seekers.
- Longleat Safari Park – Something you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in the heart of Wiltshire, Longleat Safari park offers a day out that’s both educational and exciting.
- Brighton Pier – a quintessential seaside holiday destination, this pier offers fun activities and breath-taking views.
- The Lake District/Dartmoor – Both are areas rather than specific destinations, and are separated by hundreds of miles. However, both also offer similarly incredible hiking/camping destinations
- The Natural History Museum – Another educational London tourist attraction, the Natural History Museum is great fun for all ages!
- Warwick Castle – One of the best preserved castles in the UK, Warwick Castle is a truly spectacular place to spend a day.