According to recent statistics in The Telegraph, millions of us are changing our travel plans as a direct consequence of the EU referendum. With a slump in the pound well and truly felt, it’s said that 8 million travellers in the UK are now planning on saving their pounds and planning a ‘staycation’ instead of going abroad.
What is a staycation?
The word came into use in 2009 when the recession was having a huge economic impact on the world, meaning many travellers couldn’t afford their annual trip. So instead, these same people had a staycation, defined as ‘a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions‘.
Why take one?
Before I advise on why you should take one, full disclosure, I’ve always been a fan. When planning my holidays each year, there will always be a couple of UK-based breaks to look forward to, whether that be a weekend jolly or a week-long road trip.
I embarked on these trips for 5 main reasons:
- They’re stress-free. As someone who now suffers from anxiety, staying in the same country immediately alleviates any worries that I have. I can drive, take the train or bus anywhere across the UK with little concern. Not only that, I don’t have to worry about exchanging currency, ordering visas or last-minute airline cancellations. Everything is within my control.
- They’re cheaper. Holidays are getting more expensive, whether that’s due to political or economical reasons, they just are. This causes stress in itself, especially if you’re like me, and dream of owning a house one day. Staying in the UK has often cuts my costs by just under half, compared to a European city break or slightly longer haul beach holiday.
- They’re interesting. If anyone ever says to you that the UK is dull, then they’re lying. They simply haven’t explored the beauty of this country. Not only can you find beaches that rival those of the Caribbean (no joke), you can find magnificent mountains to climb and uncover the many hidden gems in the UK’s varied cityscapes. In fact, all these little experiences can often be more exciting than one big one in a far-flung destination.
- They’re never disappointing. As soon as you jet off on a plane or jump on a ferry, you’re expectations are already sky-high. This holiday will be the best. When that’s not the case, it’s very easy to get down-hearted and negate the whole reason you went abroad in the first place. With a staycation in the UK, you know what you’re getting, there’s no uncertainty.
- They’re purposeful. If I want a holiday, it’s because I need a break. I want to be able to switch off my phone/laptop, take time away from daily stresses and rejuvenate. Having a staycation makes me feel exactly the same as going anywhere beyond the UK – it fulfils the same purpose. So why would I pay more and increase my stress levels for the same effect?
Staycation ideas for the UK
Here’s a few of the places I’ve had my favourite staycations in:
- Manchester – Not too far from the Lake District is one of the country’s most exciting cities. In a couple of days, you can explore everything this city has to offer. Don’t miss a visit to the Lowry, Affleck’s, Museum of Science and Industry, John Ryland’s Library or the People’s History Museum, coupled with cake and a brew in North Tea Power or Teacup Kitchen.
- Cornwall – One of the original British staycation destinations, the endless beaches, harbours and rolling countryside of Cornwall will take your stress away in an instant. Rent a VW camper van or pitch up in one of the region’s many campsites, then plan a road-trip taking in Newquay’s surf culture, the Eden Project, Padstow, St. Michael’s Mount and Tintagel Castle.
- Edinburgh – Best visited during its Fringe Festival or Hogmanay, this cultural icon has more than enough to fill at least a weekend. Hike up to Arthur’s Seat for some fresh air, explore historic Edinburgh Castle, spend an afternoon shopping along the Royal Mile or spot a Panda or two in the world-renowned zoo. Just make sure you try a deep-fried Mars bar!
- Margate – You can’t get much more trendy than Margate right now, perhaps not even in Brighton. Large swatches of Shoreditch’s creative community have moved out to this traditional seaside town, opening vintage stores and quirky cafes – making this an exciting weekend trip. Just don’t forget to book your tickets ahead for your trip to Dreamland.
- London – From award-winning museums to world-class dining, the country’s capital has it all. Ideal for a long weekend, you can be a tourist and check out the sights you wouldn’t normally see on a double-decker bus or attend one of London’s many annual celebrations, for example, New Years Eve, the Lord Mayor’s show or the Oxford vs. Cambridge boat race.
Let the adventures begin!
If you want to read more, take a look at our UK travel section for inspiration. And if you’re looking for some inspiration for the upcoming 2018 Easter break, why not have a look at Go Europe’s interactive Easter staycation map? Use it to plan a unique staycation itinerary departing from Manchester, Glasgow or London all for £100 or less.