In late 2019, I booked a holiday to visit the seaside city of Split in Croatia for August this year. With my accommodation booked, I was counting down the weeks until we could explore the city and its surrounding area and had even planned a day trip to visit the nearby Bosnian town of Mostar.
However, in March the FCO’s travel restrictions changed due to Covid-19 and after several weeks of holiday uncertainty we made the tough decision to postpone our trip to Croatia and instead plan a staycation to visit the UK’s picturesque Lake District and Yorkshire Dales.
As an avid traveller and lover of trips abroad, I was initially nervous about swapping the warm temperatures of Croatia for the temperamental weather conditions of the UK, but we found a staycation holiday also has it’s surprising benefits too:
- The UK countryside is beautiful
Due to lockdown regulations, I had spent the vast majority of the last five months in my London flat. Unsurprisingly I was ready for a change of scenery and some fresh air, which was in abundance ‘up North’. Even though we were still in our home country, the incredible landscapes, lakes, beaches (and accents) in the North of England made it feel like we were somewhere completely different, meaning we could truly switch off from our day to day life back in London.
- It’s easier to travel during a pandemic when you already know the required safety protocols
Our holiday within England meant we already knew the required health and safety protocols we needed to adhere to. This reduced a great deal of travel uncertainty as we knew exactly what to expect: I was already well prepared with my face coverings packed and social distancing protocols practised. Staying in the UK during our break also meant we could take advantage of the Eat Out To Help Out deal during our meals out, which allowed us to enjoy guilt-free feasts at locally-owned restaurants.
- Staycations are easy to pack for!
Goodbye miniature toiletries and wakeful nights due to jet lag! Firstly, travelling to a holiday destination by car meant I could pack as much as I wanted, even my favourite board games for potential rainy nights inside. Secondly, the relatively short five-hour travel time by car (compared to a whole day of travelling abroad) also meant we had more time to enjoy our break overall.
- The money saved on flights and ‘travel admin’ can be put towards other experiences
Since the only expenses for our UK trip were for accommodation and petrol, we managed to save a large amount of money on ‘hidden’ travel admin costs such as transfers to and from the airports, meals at the airport, and flight extras such as an additional luggage allowance. This meant we could spend more money on activities and experiences, including a day exploring White Scar Cave, which is the longest show cave in England.
Although we didn’t get the chance to explore the ancient Roman ruins in Croatia or bask in Europe’s summertime heat, I realised during my staycation that the people you’re with and the memories you make are what you ultimately remember about a holiday in the years to come. Even though it rained for two days straight, we still shared plenty of laughs and managed to make the most of our time together. And the trip to Croatia will still happen, just at a later stage when FCO travel advice allows.