How to plan the perfect staycation
A staycation is just as much a holiday as any other – but with a couple of great advantages. There’s no luggage limit, (perfect for you over-packers) and no expensive flights, and as the warmer weather is here to stay now is time to start thinking about this years’ trip. But planning doesn’t have to be stressful – with a little organisation and savvy know-how you can make your getaway the perfect fuss-free escape.
What is a staycation?
The staycation is a relatively new concept within the tourism industry, but nevertheless a term that has exploded since the pandemic becoming Britain’s latest much-loved craze. The clue is in the name and the term simply means a vacation that involves staying in your own country, venturing out from the norm, and participating in tourist-based activities. The world, (or should we say UK) is your oyster, and you can literally go anywhere and do anything! Whether you plot up for the night for some traditional camping or make a cottage retreat your home for the week, there’s no need for a passport or expensive flight, yet you’re still exploring new grounds and soaking up the relaxed feelings a typical holiday would offer.
Choosing a destination
Deciding where to go for your staycation can be a stressful task. Aside from choosing between familiarity and the unknown, there are many factors you will need to consider. It isn’t as simple as opening a map and picking at random (although we’d love to know if anyone has done this successfully), instead, you will need to ask yourself lots of questions to help pinpoint an exact destination that meets all your travel needs. And to help speed up the process, we’ve got a list ready to go to get you started!
City, beach, or countryside?
Summer or winter?
Adventure or relaxation?
Culture or adrenaline?
Family, friends, or partner?
Organised or spontaneous?
Budget or splash the cash?
Train or car?
When it comes to accommodation, safety is key. Using a trustworthy booking site will not only mean you receive the best deals, but if the worst was to happen you would experience the best customer support. A few great sites to get you started include Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia and Trivago. Don’t forget to look at customer reviews too, by doing so you’ll obtain valuable insight into what actual guests thought of their stay, not just the accommodation’s description.
Let’s talk budget
Staycations are meant for rest, relaxation, and recovery from the everyday stress we all endure – worrying about money is a sure way to put an end to this which is why budgeting is so important. We hate to sound boring, but it simply works, and is the perfect tool to turn your dream staycation into a reality. So, where do we begin?
Set a goal: Before we get into the finer details, you’ll want to start with the fun part: putting your vision together! Think destination, dates, and what (ideally but realistically) you’d like to spend. We’re not talking down to the penny, but consider transportation, spending money, accommodation, food, activities, etc to gain a rough idea.
Research, research, research: Now you know what you need to pay for, it’s time to do your research. From travel bloggers to TripAdvisor, there are plenty of platforms out there that will help you make the most of your trip and ensure it is as stress-free as possible!
Don’t forget the travel hacks: There are many ways to make your money go further when planning a staycation and fortunately these hacks are no secret. From being flexible with dates and times to using credit card reward points, a little research can help you cut back on costs no matter the type of staycation you want to book.
Start saving: When it comes to saving, it’s important to be realistic. Start with a small manageable amount each month or week in the lead up to your staycation and put the money into a separate bank account. If you don’t have a separate account, try drawing out cash and popping it into an envelope. The key is to not touch the money, and by ensuring it’s out of sight and out of mind will mean there are no delays to reaching your goal.
Now your accommodation and travel expenses have been perfectly organised, it’s time to create your itinerary which will act as your recipe for a successful trip. With a daily detailed plan of action, you can enjoy your staycation knowing you haven’t missed a thing, avoiding any stressful mishaps along the way. Writing a wish list is a great place to start. Is there an event you want to attend? Perhaps there’s a bar you’d like to try? No matter the places you want to visit, get them all down on paper before allocating each to whichever day/time suits best!
There’s only one rule when it comes to packing for a staycation and that is there are no rules! Forget your typical luggage allowance – travelling within your own country gives you much more flexibility. To get you started we’ve compiled a list of summer must-haves and essentials, but from there you can pretty much pack what you want – a portable coffee machine, those chunky boots everyone tells you not to bring, you name it, you can bring it.
Underwear and socks
Day and evening wear
Books, e-books, magazines
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Soap, shampoo, conditioner
Towels (bath and beach)
Personal hygiene supplies
Glasses or contact lenses
First aid kit
Tickets (train, reservations etc)