How to take a “holiday” in your own home

After a difficult year, many people have been looking forward to getting away somewhere new to relax. But with holiday destinations facing Covid-19 challenges and new restrictions, summer holidays could be at risk again.

Despite the vaccination programme rolling out and social distancing restrictions beginning to ease across the UK, prime minister Boris Johnson has poured doubt on foreign holiday plans. In March, he said it was “too early” to set out new foreign travel rules for the summer. The comments were made as a new £5,000 fine was brought in for anyone in England trying to travel abroad without good reason.

At the moment, the earliest date people in England can go abroad for a holiday is 17 May. However, this will be reviewed and, with continental Europe facing another wave of Covid-19, it could be extended.

Staycations may still be an option when travelling beyond your local area becomes permitted. However, demand for holiday lets in the UK is set to soar. Even before the travel fine was introduced, Which? predicted the cost of accommodation in the UK would be up 35% in July and August compared to last year. Some hotspots are set to soar even higher, with Brighton’s prices expected to increase by 140%.

So, if foreign holidays are out of the question and staycations are in high demand, making the most of a break at home is important. These seven tips can help you get the most out of a holiday when you’re staying home.

1. Prepare with some indulgences

The change of scenery is part of what makes a trip away so refreshing. While you’re staying at home, it is still possible to give your usual rooms an indulgent feel that a hotel or holiday let might offer. Investing in some fresh flowers to brighten up rooms, scented candles or a fluffy robe can help get you in the holiday mindset without having to step out the front door. A few carefully chosen items can make it easier to relax.

2. Switch off work technology

Getting away from work and day-to-day life is one of the things we look forward to when booking a holiday. If you’ve taken some time off work, make sure you treat it like a holiday even if you’re not going anywhere. Set an “out of office” on your emails and turn off your work phone. While it’s tempting to check-in so you don’t feel out of the loop, you risk returning to work still in need of a break.

3. Embrace what you enjoy on holiday

What do you enjoy doing when you’re on holiday? Whether it’s having a lie-in and relaxing or being out and about exploring a new location, embrace that while you’re at home. Don’t feel bad for spending all day reading a book in the garden if that what you enjoy and helps you relax – it’s what a break is for!

4. View your local area like a tourist

When we live somewhere, we often overlook what makes it a great place to visit. The demands of day-to-day life can mean you forget to appreciate what makes where you live special, or you’ve been meaning to explore more but haven’t got around to it. Check out the “top things to do” in your town or city – you could find a little-known museum, an independent restaurant, or historical monuments you’ve never visited.

5. Plan a day trip

As well as looking at your immediate area, why not plan a day trip, restrictions permitting? When you’re on holiday, you might book a trip to explore historic sites, visit the coast or take in a town or city. Heading out for the day, even when you’re at home, can give you a chance to take in something new that captures your interest or gives you some downtime.

6. Sample a new cuisine

If you like sampling new dishes when you’re on holiday, why not seize the opportunity to try something new at home? One option is to order food from a takeaway or restaurant that you haven’t tried before. The pandemic restrictions have led to more places than ever delivering straight to your home. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, meal kits and even online cooking classes are a great option for learning to cook something new – it could even become a family favourite!

7. Don’t forget the snaps

A break at home might not be your usual holiday, but it’s still a great opportunity to create memories. Don’t forget to take pictures and document what you’re doing – it can help add to the holiday feel and gives you something to look back on in the years to come.

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