Where are you going on holiday this year? Like much of the UK, we’re having a staycation!
What Is A Staycation?
Enjoying a holiday at home relaxing, going on day trips, or taking a break away in your own country, the term “staycation” was coined during the global recession of 2008 when many families tightened their belts and foreign holidays were beyond the household budget.
Staycations, or ‘holistays’, have expanded to include domestic tourism – being a tourist in your own country, rather than abroad.
Their popularity has increased for several reasons, particularly now during the coronavirus pandemic when travel has been restricted in many parts of the world, dramatically changing the face of tourism from global to local.
Not only that, staycations are cheaper, kinder to the environment, good for the local economy and generally less stressful.
The Benefits Of A Staycation
We love to head off to the sun – and it’s so easy thanks to online booking, package holidays, Ryanair and Airbnb.
But is abroad really always better?
Holidays make happy memories, precious quality time together and sharing new experiences – but they come at a cost. Research from Expedia in 2018 showed that families spend an average of £4,800 on a ten-day holiday abroad each year, spending the most on food, drink and entertainment.
Besides the cost, there’s check-in rage, delays, bags stuffed with “just in case”, accommodation not quite how it looked in the brochure, weird food, credit card maxed out, not to mention entertaining 3 excited kids away from home.
How many people have come home from a fortnight away and said they need a holiday? It’s so nice to be in my own bed!
Why Holiday In Britain?
We go abroad for the sun, but who knew that Bognor Regis gets 1902 hours of sunshine per year? Ok so that’s slightly less than the Greek Islands, but did you know that Britain has 15 National Parks, with some of the most breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, some of the best walking, horse riding, cycling and a host of adventure activities?
There are also 1500 castles and 300 zoos, and there’s infinitely more to the spectacular British coast than fish and chips and donkey rides.
Considering the economic, and environmental benefits, as well as the family budget and comfort levels, a staycation in your own country makes perfect sense.
The Best Staycation Destinations In The UK
According to travelsupermarket.com, top UK staycation destinations include:
1. Cornwall – for stunning beaches, vibrant arts and heritage, pretty fishing villages, surfing and hiking.
2. Devon – for the English Riviera, dramatic moors, rock pools and rugged cliffs, more award-winning beaches.
3. Lake District – for sweeping fells, majestic peaks, 16 tranquil lakes and limitless scope for adventure and outdoor activities.
4. London attracted 20.42 million international visitors in 2018, making it one of the world’s most visited in the world. Wonder why? History and wonder on every street and it’s free to stand and stare in wonder. Although London can be expensive, there are cheap and free things to do. Beautiful parks, The Natural History Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern and the British Museum offer free entry and you´ll always find a bargain ticket to a show online.
5. North Wales – for outdoor adventures in spectacular Snowdonia, the longest zipline in Europe, the magical island of Anglesey, vast sandy beaches, traditional holiday resorts, castles and dragons.
6. Scottish Highlands – a fantastic Staycation getaway in the Cairngorms, Britain’s largest national park, Ben Nevis, the highest mountain, Loch Ness, castles, whisky, history with the Scottish Isles and Edinburgh and the rugged coast.
7. Blackpool – for everything you´d expect from a classic British holiday, miles of sandy beach, entertainment and endless fun for all the family.
8. Norfolk Broads – Britain’s “magical waterland,” 25 miles of tranquillity for a fabulous boating holiday, nature reserves and vast sandy beaches.
9. The Isle of Wight – for award winning beaches, walking holidays, pretty villages and harbour towns just 25 minutes from the mainland by ferry.
10. York, Kent, Herefordshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire….
No doubt you can add many more fabulous staycation possibilities to the list!
Check out our posts on excellent value accommodation, caravans, lodges, glamping or camping in top staycation destinations!
Help Our Planet
A staycation at home is great for our beautiful planet too.
According to the EU’s document, tourism is the fourth cause of environmental pollution and CO2 production. A transcontinental long-haul flight leaves a carbon footprint that’s equivalent to a quarter of an average Western person’s annual carbon emissions.
Some of the most popular cities are increasingly overcrowded with people so much so that places such as Barcelona, Venice, or the Seychelles are planning on introducing a tourist cap.
There’s also the devastating impact on heritage sites such as the Himalayas and Machu Picchu and a poignant story about a woman who travelled to the Andes for three months only to realise that she’d never actually seen a mountain in her own country.
A True Staycation – Even Closer To Home!
As well as cutting the cost, a staycation (where you actually stay in your own home), allows time for activities you’d never normally get round to doing such as visiting local museums, playing sports, going swimming or a picnic in nearby parks. You can try something new close to home, a spa, bowling, skating, a nature or history trail or walk in the country.
Check out virtual tourism and tour the pyramids in Egypt, go for a walk in Central Park or visit the Louvre in Paris.
Holidays are good for your physical and mental wellbeing, it’s the time for some hard-earned escapism. Researchers from the Netherlands found that the simple act of planning for a holiday led to a considerable boost in happiness that lasted for eight weeks. Enjoy that luxurious Sunday morning feeling as you wake up in your own comfy bed and remember you’re on holiday.
Help The Local Economy
Staycations are not just good for your wellbeing, they’re also great for the local economy too.
Take the time out to browse local markets, have lunch at the restaurant you pass every day on your way to work, or even spend the night at a local hotel or holiday park.
Research your local area and rediscover the natural beauty that goes unnoticed in the busyness of daily living. Perhaps there’s a workshop at the community centre, an exhibition, or a concert, a puppet show or a craft market.
Scratch the surface of any community and you’ll discover a hive of local activity and there’s sure to be a holiday park nearby for a weekend break or longer.
Act Like You’re On Holiday
Remember that your staycation is not just time off work – you should see it as a proper holiday, a time to plan for and look forward to.
A rule of thumb should be that if you can’t do it on the Costa del Sol, then you can’t do it on your staycation. So unless you take your pile of ironing to Torremolinos, treat your staycation as paid time away from work and the household chores.
It’s easy for the kids to get bored watching TV, or on their phones while their parents landscape the garden, so it’s good to involve everyone in the planning. There are endless possibilities for what is often a lively discussion. The agenda might include your favourite kind of holiday, day of the year, food, films, something you’ve always wanted to do.
Pitch the tent and go camping in the garden, or glamping in the living room with a candlelit spa in the bathroom.
One 8-year-old said that Christmas was his favourite time of year, so up went the tree and decorations and the family sat down to roast turkey in July.
Well, why not? They’re on staycation!