A holiday is a perfect time to forget about your day-to-day worries and enjoy quality time with your family or friends. But with the current Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) restrictions on travel abroad, many of us may have to ditch our foreign summer getaway this year and instead will enjoy a break much closer to home.
However, according to research by ABTA, 48% of Brits admit to holidaying both abroad as well as spending a short break in Briton every year. With nearly half of all Brits opting to ‘vay-cay’ in the UK at least once a year, staycations prove to be a very popular choice, and here’s why:
1) It’s very convenient
Three words. Children on planes. Does the thought of dragging your little ones on a four-hour flight send shudders down your spine? We thought so too. That’s why staycations are a popular choice among many young families. By holidaying in the UK, you have the freedom to travel at your leisure (of course, as long as you’re driving to your destination), and with most UK hotspots only a few hours’ drive away, you have the luxury to come and go as you please.
Staycations also enable you to take as much luggage as you need and provide reassurance that should you run out of essentials during your trip, such as baby formula or nappies, you can easily pick them up at a familiar supermarket.
But trips in the UK aren’t only great for young families, they’re really handy for couples who want a quick escape from reality for a weekend, elderly residents who don’t feel as comfortable travelling too far, people with medical conditions who feel safer staying near home, those who hate flying… you get the picture. There really is no age or criteria for staycations, they’re fun for everyone!
Most people also take great comfort in knowing that should you need to cut your trip short for any reason, you’re not too far from home.
2) It can be extremely affordable
The terms ‘affordable’ and ‘holiday in the UK’ aren’t generally two things that spring to mind. Firstly, some people will assume that an affordable UK holiday means pitching up a tent at a campsite or staying in a caravan. Others simply scoff at the idea that you can stay somewhere nice in the UK for a reasonable price. However, if you do a little research and plan before you book, it is possible to have a great British holiday and save yourself a lot of money.
Firstly, avoiding peak times and booking well in advance can often save on the pennies (opting for breaks towards the end of school holidays can help too!). This includes booking accommodation, train fares, and excursions months before like you would for a holiday abroad.
Being flexible with your accommodation can also limit costs. For example, renting a self-catering cottage instead of staying in a hotel will allow you to reduce the amount you spend on food and also mean you can bring food from home to cook as well!
Vouchers and 2-for-1 deals can also contribute to the costs of eating out, excursions, and experiences. You can often collect these in newspapers, the back of cereal boxes and find loads online. Many museums, galleries, and parks are also often free to explore too!
Lastly, save on fuel or public transport costs and use your legs or bikes to explore the area you’re visiting. Not only is this a great way to see the sights, but it’s good for the environment, your health and kind to your pocket too!
3) It’s better for the environment, economy, and your soul!
We are becoming more aware of the environmental impacts travelling can have, so much so that according to ABTA, 50% of Brits say that the green credentials of a travel company are important to them when booking a holiday.
It goes without saying that by choosing to holiday in the UK you are significantly reducing your carbon footprint. And depending on where your holiday is, you might even be able to further reduce any environmental impact by opting to leave the car behind and jump on a train or bus instead.
Responsible tourism also plays a major factor in holiday choices, and by staying in the UK you help towards being a sustainable tourist. By investing your money into local businesses and communities, you are helping to contribute towards the economy, which 62% of people say is an important factor during their holiday. Investing in our economy is going to become more vital than ever before, now that many businesses have been impacted by the coronavirus.
Building more meaningful connections with local people and having more of a cultural understanding also helps to bring people closer together and embrace diversity.
4) It’s much easier to adjust
There’s something very appealing about not having to adjust to a new time zone. I mean, we’ve all been there – arriving at a tropical destination and then spending the next few days trying to recover from the jetlag is not the greatest way to kick-start your holiday.
There’s also no language barrier (apart from the odd accent you may have to adjust too), making travelling a less stressful experience. And normal routines can stay the same, meaning kids can still go to bed at a reasonable time and mum and dad can still have quality time on holiday together.
5) You’re protected if anything goes wrong (well, as long as you’ve bought travel insurance)
What many people don’t realise is that having travel insurance for a trip in the UK is just as important as buying it for a holiday abroad. This is because you need to protect both yourself and your trip from the unexpected whether you are traveling abroad or staying in the UK.
For example, you may still require cancellation cover if you are unable to go on your trip, personal possessions cover should you damage, lose or have any valuables stolen, and lastly, curtailment cover, should something happen which causes you to return from your holiday early – just because you’re in the UK doesn’t mean these things don’t happen!
Some staycation or UK travel insurance policies even cover you for things like rental damage, should you accidentally break something at the accommodation and lose your deposit. Traffic benefit, should your holiday be delayed due to bad traffic on the way there, and even festivals, should a festival that you’re attending get cancelled before you arrive!
It’s worth having a look around to see what policies are out there and the different scenarios they cover – you’d be surprised how many claims insurers get from seagulls pinching belongings at beaches in the UK!
6) There’s no place like home…
In the immortal words of Dorothy from ‘The Wizard of Oz’, there really is “no place like home!” So, if we can’t leave the UK this year, we’ll do what us Brits do best. We’ll form a socially distanced queue while we place our orders at the ice cream van, we’ll clap the NHS at 8pm on Thursday while we tuck into our fish and chips at the beach, and lastly, we’ll look forward to making a joke about the year we weren’t allowed abroad on holiday and reminisce about memories we made during a UK staycation. And as the Brits say… Keep calm and carry on!