Having a break lined up, however small or short is something to focus on, to look forward to. Sometimes that change in scenery, that a moment to relax and breathe freely is all we need. That freedom to explore and get away from it all really does have a big impact on our mental health. Those moments are both important necessary in our lives.
Over the years I have been truly spoilt with adventures and have prided myself on my determination to see the world, to learn and experience. I spent my late teens and early twenties splurging every penny I earned on cheap flights and cheaper hostel rooms in very questionable corners of the world. It didn’t matter to me if I was staying in a £5 dorm room with no air-con and someone shagging on the bunk below. I didn’t care that I ate warm cornflakes from the box for breakfast every day for a month or that I had to take 38 hour flights. I was so desperate to leave the UK, to escape the boring grey nothingness of it all that these minor inconveniences simply faded in to the background in the face of the bigger picture, adventure.
2020 had different ideas for us all as the pandemic hit. New countries are added daily to quarantine lists and travel bans, another lockdown is looming overhead, most of us have stopped booking anything due to uncertainty and fear. While the lack of travel opportunities is a particularly small problem to have during this global tragedy, it is still an additional downside to the years events. The positive is that this has given us not only motivation but no alternative than to explore our own countries.
As soon as the option for travel was taken away from me I started to think about the places that were still possible to visit right here on my doorstep. I am actually ashamed and a little embarrassed to say that despite having lived in the UK for most of my 26 years I have seen very little of it. I don’t know why I had convinced myself that the only things worth seeing or worth exploring were abroad. I have just been somewhat dubious about holiday-ing here, when I think of English summer I imagine sitting on a wet bench next to muddy brown waters, eating fish and chips out of a dirty newspaper. The truth is, this little island has much more than most of us realise, the trick is you just have to look a little harder to find the truly great spots. What better excuse that 2020 to begin finding some of the UK’s hidden treasures.
If you too are thinking about having a staycation over the next few months, I have compiled a list of tips that I think will be useful to you when it comes to planning your escape.
Using Air bnb for your stay is a really great option, there are so many beautiful homes to choose from and you can find them for relatively reasonable prices too. It is a great way to cater your holiday perfectly for you. You can find one suitable for pets, child friendly, sea views, as secluded as you like. The options are endless.
You are covered if travel restrictions do come in to place and you are unable to go on your holiday, Air bnb will refund you which is reassuring during these times.
You are also free to select an entire home for you and your guests so that it is much easier to be safe and avoid seeing too many other people on your holiday.
BOOK PLACES TO EAT/DRINK
This one is really important to remember. It is no longer possible to walk in to any pub, bar or restaurant and find a table waiting for you, especially if you are in a bigger group. Make sure you research places you might like to eat in advance and get them booked in well in advance. This will save you so much time wandering around all venues in the area only to be turned away and end up buying a takeaway pizza from the local Tesco. (been there)
CHECK LOCAL RESTRICTIONS
As the UK goes in to the next stage of the lockdown, each place is a different tier, this means that even if your city is in tier one the holiday destination might not be. The destination you are travelling to might even be split in to different areas, some being safe to travel, some not. Make sure you check prior to setting off and check with the accommodation providers that everything is still going ahead.
RESEARCH WHAT YOU COULD DO IN THE RAIN
We all know that the UK is renowned for its wet weather, especially at this time of year. Did you know that there are an average of 156 days of rain a year?! I don’t mean to put you off your stay-cation, just to remind you to think about things you can do if it is a bit wet during your break.
Go with an open mind and a positive attitude. Try not to consider this holiday as a plan b or an alternative to your usual trip abroad. This stay-cation is a holiday and an adventure in its own right, there is so much to see and do right here outside our front door so, load up the car, pack your umbrella, get out there and have fun.