It’s no secret that I LOVE a holiday. Whether that be a white sandy beach on the coast of Italy or even a weekend exploring the likes of Madrid. I love to pack my bags and escape, but travel can be a costly hobby and in more cases than not I end up spending way more than I originally had in mind. I’m only to blame for this, I’m drawn to quirky hotels with interesting interiors and generally won’t be checking into any hostels anytime soon.
It struck me only a couple of summers back that whilst I spend a lot of my time researching destinations abroad, I’d actually visited a very tiny amount of my own country. It was then I decided that I needed to make more effort to spend time in the UK, and make the most of my weekends. Since then we’ve spent long weekends in Bath, York, Oxford, Edinburgh and London. There’s still tonnes of destinations on my list including Manchester and the Lake District (quite the contrast there) but it’s actually made me realise you don’t *need* to leave the country in order to explore, zone out and basically just have fun!
My top reasons for taking a Staycation…
1. It’s Cost Effective
Sure, a weekend in New York is ideal but if you’ve got bills to pay and savings to…save then sometimes you just have to be sensible. I sometimes struggle to find a balance between ‘YOLO I’m gonna book these flights as you never know what’s around the corner’ to ‘I really need to be a sensible, responsible adult that has a mortgage to save for’ so yeah…
When we take weekend breaks in the UK we spend about half us much as we do abroad. Whenever we go away I always exchange too much money ‘just in case’ then will usually spend it all anyway as it always feels like Monopoly money! I’m much more conscious of my spending when it’s in my pounds and coming directly out of my current account. f you’re trying to be wise with the dolla then a UK break can be much more affordable.
2. It’s Way More Convenient
I don’t particularly mind sitting around in airports, I’ll usually grab a Pret, magazine and chill out but it can be a faff actually getting to the airport. I personally find the thought of driving to airports way too scary, so it’s usually down to Charlie but it can be a nightmare when you encounter motorway traffic en route to Gatwick which just happens to be the most annoying of them all. Stay in the UK and instead you have yourself a little road trip. No flight to potentially miss, just the open road and a few service station stop offs. Side note – when does the novelty of stopping off at services wear off? Just me?
3. You Can Pack More Clothes
Hand luggage, need I say more? It can really, really put my outfit planning skills to the test and majorly limit any shopping you may way to do when on a city break. Staycations offer a much wider variety of clothing choices and THAT in itself is a big bonus.
There’s been many an occasion where I’ve packed for mild temperatures and instead it’s chucked it down all weekend. Not a fan of hand luggage, not a fan at all.
(having all the fun in York)
4. It’s Extra Relaxing
Whilst I love going away, I am sometimes at the hands of a little travel anxiety. I’m not great with flying, at all actually. I genuinely thank my lucky stars when the plane actually lands AOK at the other end. With a staycation there’s no travel anxiety, and you can enjoy the comfort of your own car to reach your destination, which can result in a much more relaxing and stress-free weekend. It also minimises the ‘are we gonna get to the airport on time’ stress, which I frequently suffer from. Even when we’re leaving with approx five hours until our flight. What can I say?
5. There Are Tonnes Of Amazing Hotels
I’ve discovered SO many amazing hotels in the UK since embarking on my research. Not that I had this down as exclusive to Europe or further afield I just never really looked into hotels here as I guess I just didn’t have a need to. There are so many places I want to stay including the Artist Residence in Brighton, Ace Hotel in Shoreditch and Hotel Gotham in Manchester to name a few.
6. You Can Do It More Often
When I went from student to full-time work I found it quite overwhelming, well who wouldn’t? I’d spent the past 23 years doing what I want when I want pretty much so it felt quite rigid and restricting but HEY c’est la vie. I found that by actually planning out a weekend my two (and a half!) days off would feel way longer and that I’d actually done something with them. You don’t need to book any extra time off, we usually either set off on Friday after work or early Saturday morning and come home Sunday night. It’s the perfect amount of time to explore, eat lots and drink lots.
Whilst I still LOVE trips abroad, I do now appreciate a good staycation every couple of months to feed my urge to book a plane ticket to anywhere. We have a few trips in mind for when we return to the UK from California so hopefully I can get a few of those hotels ticked off the list, and I’d also love to visit the Lake District so if you have any recommendations for that let me know!
Do you ever take mini breaks in the UK? Where are your favourite cities to spend a long weekend?