How to plan a summer staycation
Updated 4th November 2020 - We recommend the coronavirus page on the NHS website for more up to date information.
Lockdown restrictions in the UK are now in place in many areas. Which means what you can do and who you can see is limited. It's also not clear when the lockdown will end completely, allowing national and international travel to fully resume.
With the summer months approaching, many of us are facing the sad prospect of cancelled flights and hotel bookings – in other words, a summer holiday without the holiday.
If you’ve had to cancel a trip away, and you’re wondering how to make the most of the coming weeks, why not arrange a staycation? This is where you enjoy holiday activities within or near to your house, without always sleeping away from home. It’s a great way for families to make the most of the summer – and, as an added bonus, it’s a lot more affordable than a regular holiday.
For more inspiration, read on for some tips on planning that perfect staycation.
Please note: guidance is designed for people living in England. If you are living in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you should follow local guidance.
1. Check the local guidelines on outdoor excursions
The first step is to be clear on lockdown restrictions to make sure you won’t be breaking any rules.
In England, you are are allowed to travel a short distance to visit an outdoor space. If you can you should try to avoid using public transport to travel; instead you should drive, cycle or walk to get to your destination.
You’re allowed to visit outdoor tourist sites such as beaches and castles, provided they have been opened to the public.
2. Start planning outdoor excursions
Once you’re clear on the rules, you can start researching some fun outdoor excursions. If you have a car you can visit the seaside or a national park where you can swim, hike, cycle and have a picnic – providing there aren’t too many people around and can maintain social distancing.
3. Use public facilities closer to home
You can also research activities within your hometown. You can visit any open green spaces to walk, exercise or have picnics – just bear in mind lockdown restrictions.
4. Organise activities in your house
Who says you need to leave the house to enjoy your staycation? If you have a garden you can organise all kinds of fun activities. On the hottest days, setting up a paddling pool and a barbecue is a great way to channel those holiday vibes. You can even set up a tent in your garden for some at-home camping.
If you don’t have a garden you can still make your staycation special. Fun family activities to enjoy inside the house include:
- Board game tournaments
- Arts and crafts projects
- Baking competitions
- Talent shows
- Movie nights
5. Have family and friends over to sit in the garden
Having a garden means you can safely invite over friends and family. During the summer, in England, groups of six people from different households could meet up outdoors, provided they practice social distancing.
If you’re having people over, set out a dedicated area where they can sit at a safe distance, and make sure if they do come inside that you can continue to socially distance.
6. Keep healthy on your summer staycation
Summer holidays are often about over-indulging, and while there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, it’s important that you keep your health in mind during your staycation. In short: avoid eating too much junk food, drinking too much alcohol, and staying out in the sun for long periods.
If you’re going to organise a barbecue, throw some veggies and lean protein on the grill (along with the steaks), and make sure you’ve stocked up on indigestion medication if you experience heartburn.
If you’re going to be out in the sun all day – whether you’re on an excursion to the seaside, or simply in your back garden – take the necessary steps to prevent sunburn and sunstroke. Stay hydrated, wear sunglasses, and cover up with hats and long clothing when you’re in direct sunlight for long periods. Most importantly, use a sunscreen that offers UVA and UVB protection, such as the LloydsPharmacy Solero suncare range, which is tailored towards all ages and skincare types.
Summer season is also allergy season, so if you have hay fever or you’re allergic to insect bites, make sure you stock up on any medication you’ll need.
7. Take plenty of photos
Last but not least, make sure you properly document your staycation with lots of photos and videos. It may not be a regular holiday, but it’s definitely a special one.