Enjoy a great staycation
Anyone who had been hoping to travel for their holidays in 2020 is currently doing some rethinking. Even if we are able to travel for some of the year, doing so is likely to be a lot more complicated than in the past. If we’re not, we’re in need of plenty more ways to entertain ourselves at home. Therefore, we’re declaring 2020 the year of the staycation. Scratch that, the year of the excellent staycation.
In an effort to help you have a truly wonderful time on yours, we’ve cooked up a handy guide to ensure you don’t spend all your time on a Netflix binge or glued to your mobile. This is a holiday, remember, so treat it like one.
Discover a destination on your own doorstep
If we are lucky enough to be able to travel within the country this year, it’s time to fully appreciate where we are. In 2018, over 36 million people visited the UK. For the moment, we have its precious peaks, lakes, forests and beaches all to ourselves. Why not take this opportunity to relax on the beach in Cornwall or the Norfolk coast, explore the Channel Islands, or go walking in the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales?
If travel is too complicated, pick your favourite spot from our list above and recreate it in your own home. A coastal cottage look is easy to achieve with the help of our Inspirations.
Preparation is key
It’s been said that most of the pleasure of a holiday comes from anticipating and planning it. If you’re going to be enjoying a quintessential staycation at home, there are a few things you can do beforehand to ensure your holiday is actually relaxing.
First, consider having your house professionally cleaned, if government advice and safety allow. Since you won’t be spending money on a hotel, the pleasure of a spotless home will be worth every penny. However, if having someone come to clean isn’t a wise idea at the time, tidy and organise your home as best you can, so clutter doesn’t cause any undue stress during your holiday.
Second, unplug. Leave an ‘out of office’ message, hide your phone and switch off your WiFi, at least while you’re not watching movies or streaming music. Having full access to your devices will prevent you from disconnecting and getting into a holiday mindset.
Third, plan your activities and gather the necessary supplies. This could mean stocking your bar, ordering face masks (the spa treatment kind) or getting ahold of anything else you’ll need. Just make sure you receive them in time for your staycation.
Explore your own neighbourhood
We often stick to routines in the places we live, following familiar routes from A to B. Here’s your chance to be a tourist in your own city. Take long walks or bike rides, linger to take photos or to sketch interesting buildings you’ve never looked closely at before. You can even create a “road trip” playlist to listen to as you go. Take the time to appreciate your normal surroundings as an unfamiliar observer would.
Have a DIY spa day
If you can’t book a day at a local spa, turn your home into one. Indulge in some luxury face masks, or have fun mixing up your own using natural ingredients like honey, oats and avocado. Give yourself a mani-pedi, or swap one with a family member or flatmate. If you need something more active to ease you into relaxation mode, practice yoga with one of the many courses available online, and have a soak in the tub afterwards, treating yourself to aromatherapy with essential oils and a new candle or diffuser. For the cherry on top, have some ice water infused with citrus or cucumber. Small touches like this go a long way in taking your staycation beyond the everyday.
Take a break from cooking
As you won’t be spending money on travel or expensive hotels, here’s an area where you can really indulge: ordering in. Think of your favourite restaurants – the regular spots you miss and those special occasion places – and order from one each night. Think of it as room service, or a foodie tour of your own city.
If you’ve been looking forward to spending more time cooking, be indulgent on your grocery shop, picking up things you’d normally pass in the aisle with a wistful glance. Prepare an elaborate meal, light candles, and use your best tableware.
Sleep under the stars
Limited access to the sprawling vistas of the great outdoors has left many of us with cabin fever. If you’re lucky enough to have your own outdoor space, make the most of it by pitching a tent, filling it with cosy blankets and cushions, and spending a night or two outside. Start the evening off with a picnic or barbeque, then toast marshmallows and tell ghost stories around the fire pit. Finally, let the balmy night serenade you to sleep. As a bonus, the next morning, fresh coffee and a clean shower are just steps away, unlike on a real camping trip.
Enjoy some culture
There’s never been so much variety in online course options, teaching you anything from novel writing to the culinary arts. Why not take one purely for fun? Choose something you’ve always been interested in but have never been able to prioritise. Masterclass is a great place to start, but there is an enormous number of choices available for free, too. If you’d like something more interactive, participate in a virtual storytelling event with Natural Born Storytellers or gather a team for a virtual pub quiz. For something that demands less commitment, attempt an art project and don’t worry about the result, or have an at-home film festival.
Turn your bedroom into a peaceful haven
What could be more important for your staycation than getting some high-quality rest? Set yourself up for success by using your best linens, or treat yourself to some new ones with a sky-high thread count. Fluff your pillows (we love the karate chop method), adorn your bedroom with flowers, and fill the room with your favourite home fragrance. Read about how to create a five-star bedroom with tips from top boutique hoteliers. You can even dispatch a willing family member to leave a chocolate on your pillow before your afternoon nap. That’s right – a good staycation includes naps, and these will be guilt-free. Where else do you have to be?