Why We Should Embrace The 'Staycation'

I won't be needing this!

I didn't get a summer break last year. The Algarve in Portugal was booked, but plans were soon obliterated by Coronavirus. I felt cheated, because I was deserving of a break and it was cruelly snatched.

In the UK, foreign trips are illegal (at present). That's correct, you can be jailed for taking a package holiday. Imagine it, "Sir, I am arresting you on suspicion of sunning yourself in Spain, you do not have to say anything but,..........nice tan". I get it, I understand it, I just don't like it!

Realistically, foreign travel won't return for a while. Summer breaks are important, because people need something to look forward to. It has been a tedious year of lockdowns and chaos. If you stayed sane and didn't lose your mind, you did well.

Faced with fewer options, what is the answer? Staycation obviously!

Deciding Where To Go

My wife is meticulous when it comes to researching summer breaks. She'll scour the review sites and leave no stone unturned. A hotel can have 5-star reviews, but if she sees one comment about dirty bed sheets or turd marks in the toilet, then it's a "no" from us.

It can be a long and arduous process, as she finally presents her findings to me. Like all good husbands, I nod enthusiastically with the occasional: "Yes darling, that looks wonderful!". Eventually we get there, and out comes my credit card.

To be fair, I get some influence, perhaps 5 percent? When you have young children, you need a place with facilities, activities and entertainment. I have two sons, with energy to burn and that needs catering for. Decent wi-fi is important and not a given in more remote places.

Recent events have left me feeling more cynical than Richard Dawkins at a bible event.

I was insistent on a water-tight cancellation policy this year. Recent events have left me feeling more cynical than Richard Dawkins at a bible event. The signs are promising (god-willing, sorry Richard!), but if history repeats, then I want my money back. Fortunately most places are offering free cancellation, under the current climate.

Our Staycation Plan

Saltash, Cornwall.
After a bit of groundwork, we booked a summer trip to Cornwall for July. Cornwall is the south-westerly part of England and famous for pies, pasties, ice cream, Poldark and Andrew Ridgeley (Wham!).

The picturesque beaches and scenery, make it a staycationers favourite. I am looking forward to Cornwall, and getting away from the grind. We'll be based in the Saltash area (see pic), which is often referred to as the gateway to Cornwall (see 'The Cornwall Guide').

Actually, our last staycation was to neighbouring Devon. It was summer 2018 and my wife was pregnant with our youngest son. We didn't fly abroad, because I wouldn't risk it in the third-trimester. RyanAir probably charge a "baby-delivery" premium anyway, or fine new-borns for arriving early without their boarding-pass. Either way, it sounded like hell.

Sometimes you are best keeping your feet on the ground. Devon was fabulous and we stayed in a lovely cottage in the Totnes area. After a few years away, I am pining for more west country action. It's a long drive from Essex (264 miles), but bring it on!

Stay Domestic, It Makes Sense

Global economies have suffered badly in the pandemic, especially across leisure and tourism industries. Charity begins at home, so I'll be doing my bit for British tourism. The UK is a beautiful country, full of things to do and explore. It isn't such a sacrifice, in the grand scheme of things.

Even if we could travel abroad, nobody would enjoy it the same way. They'd still be restrictions, with longer waits at airports and many "cans" and "cants" the other end.

I haven't ruled out a foreign break, but it seems inconceivable with Covid around. We are lucky in the UK, that our vaccine programme has stabilised the situation. Life in the UK is recovering to normality, but that isn't true elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

I say support your domestic tourism in 2021. They'll be time for International breaks, but that time is not now. Keep it domestic and get the world ticking again. 

Embrace the staycation and visit places closer to home. I am frustrated, but any kind of break, is better than no break at all.

Spare a thought for those that are losing more than holiday plans and those who can't afford a break. Be grateful, be humble, always. 😉👍

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