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How to Holiday from Home: 5 Top Tips for your Staycation

It’s holiday season, but with the restrictions on travelling abroad and the consequent difficulty in finding availability in the UK, many people will be spending their summer holiday at home this year.

People vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus may also decide to stay at home to minimise their risk. But how do you make it a real holiday and not just a continuation of Covid-style lockdown?

Holidays are not just a luxury, they are important for your mental health – to take a break from your usual routine and allow yourself time to recharge. It can help you find new motivation and strength, encourages you to be active, and gives your brain new inputs that spark new creativity and personal growth.

“Once a year, go someplace you have never been before”

Dalai Lama

Here are our top tips to make your holiday at home as refreshing as possible.

1.      Preparation for your holiday at home

Plan your trip – for many people, the planning and anticipation of a holiday can be as beneficial as the holiday itself. If you can, give yourself a holiday budget so that you know what you can spend.   

Decide who is part of your holiday.  You could invite a friend or relative to join you for the holiday, to make the dynamic different from normal.

And prepare your home. When you are staying in your own home it can be difficult to get away from reminders of the everyday responsibilities and routines. So tidy away as much as you can of ‘normal life’, and if you have the flexibility think how you could use your space differently. 

If you have a spare room sleep there for a change, or kids (young or old) might like to camp out in the sitting room, or in a tent in the garden if you have one.

2.      Plan holiday food

Get together with the people you are holidaying with and find out what would be their ideal holiday meals. Go and find some unusual products from different shops, or make a plan to eat at restaurants or take-aways that aren’t your usual haunts. You could theme it to a favourite style of cuisine – Mexican, French, or Greek, anyone?

If you are staying in a different country or even at a hotel, there will be different options to eat. Breakfast could become a cooked breakfast, or an unusual array of fruits or cereals. Don’t forget the treats as well. If you normally have ice-cream cones on holiday, then buy some special ice-cream and cones to have as if you were there.

If cooking at home, be aware of how much work it will be for whoever is preparing it. It needs to be a holiday for them too! It could be a good opportunity to involve those who don’t normally cook for a change.

2        Local visits

Having had so much at-home time already in the last year or so, all your usual walks or places to visit can feel repetitive.  For that holiday feeling, find somewhere you have never been before to visit. It could be a new attraction that has opened up, or somewhere you have always wondered about but hadn’t got round to visiting. Alternatively get the map out and find an unknown local town or village to explore.

If you’re worried about going to places where there might be crowds and mixing with people, use that map to find a remote road or countryside area that you haven’t been to, for a different viewpoint.

3.      Beach Holiday at Home

If you love a beach holiday, you may think it’s hard to recreate this from home in the UK – unless you happen to live by the coast!  The British weather may not be as conducive to sunning yourself as popular Mediterranean holiday resorts. But if your holiday happens to coincide with one of the rare hot days in the UK then make the most of it! Lounging in your garden or near a local river may hit the spot.

Otherwise, choose what it is about the beach that you most miss. For swimming, look to your local pool, and for a burst of heat, find out if the gym or pool has a sauna or steam room. If the family enjoy sand-castle creativity, try model-making from things you find around the house or on a local walk.  

4.      Cultural holiday at home

Is going on holiday the time when you get your culture fix?  Do you normally visit the museums of a foreign city, soak up local culture, or simply read books while on the beach? Then create as much of the same cultural experience as you can in your holiday at home.

You could visit a museum or an exhibition you haven’t been to before, if not in your home town then in another city for a day-trip. If there are local concerts or events happening, then book your tickets for during your holiday.  And designate some book time to escape to a quiet spot to read.

5.      Literal Staycation: at home

If you are confined to your home space, you can still try to find something different to do with your holiday time.  Imagine where you would normally holiday, and find reminders of that place. Put up photos, or objects to do with the place around your home.

Then choose activities that aren’t part of your every-day.  They could be holiday-related: perhaps set a challenge to complete a piece of art a day, or learn a new song each day. The important thing is to do something that keeps your mind away from your usual tasks.  You could choose from the ideas on our Making Connections from Home pages, ranging from learning a language to crafts and textiles or online games.

Whatever you decide to do, try to make it fun for all involved. If there are many people in your holiday group, you could designate a day of the week to each person, who gets to choose the activities for that day.

Lastly, make sure you schedule in ‘downtime’ every day for not doing too much. It is meant to be a time to recharge after all!

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