With travel restrictions changing every few days, it’s no surprise that people are searching for last minute break ideas in the UK rather than further afield.
Many couple’s are looking for cheap, romantic getaways closer to home that avoid them having to self isolate, miss work or worry about cancelled planes or travel insurance.
Staying in the UK for a break is great way to be eco-friendly too. flights have a huge carbon footprint and by simply changing your planned trip to a UK destination rather then Europe will help reduce your carbon emissions hugely. (To learn more about aviation emissions and the difference between travelling by plane, train or car check out this BBC article).
What is a Staycation?
A staycation is a brilliant way to fit in a last minute holiday in the UK without breaking the bank and worrying about the soaring accommodation costs of holiday cottages or the wet english weather.
Looking after our mental and psychical wellbeing is more important than ever now. Allowing ourselves time to rest and recharge is vital to looking after our mental health. But we have to remember at the moment the UK is in recession, so looking for ways in which to travel and go on adventures, but on a budget, is the way forward.
A staycation simply means staying at home, while participating in leisure activities within a day trip distance of your home. This means there is no need for overnight accommodation making a huge saving in your holiday budget.
How can I plan a Staycation in the UK?
My first rule of organising your couples break or staycation is to take it seriously. You deserve to have some time off and go on an adventure! Many of us are still at work so planning a staycation for when you are both free is the first step. This could be for an upcoming weekend or perhaps it would feel like more fun to fit something in mid week.
If you are already talking about planning a couples break with your partner now is the time to get that date in your diary and start making plans.
What are the most important elements of a Staycation?
Firstly, Be Prepared.
This is a time you want to make feel special, so that you can enjoy your time with each other, feel connected and most importantly relaxed.
There are four important elements to the ultimate staycation so get yourself ready for the ultimate guide on having the best break every!
1. Make your Home a Hotel
There is nothing like arriving at a lovely hotel and feeling special, a feeling super easy to recreate at home.
In the lead up to your planned staycation start to tackle the rooms in the house that will be the most important during your stay, your bedroom and your bathroom! Here are some ideas to get your home hotel ready!
- Clear your sides of unused toiletries. Regift them to people that will use them and chuck any out of date toiletries.
- Give the bathroom a deep clean. This doesn’t need to cost anything, just a bit of elbow grease!
- Treat yourself to some indulgent toiletries. I’m a fan of Lush bath bombs, epsom salts and Body Shop body yoghurts. If thats outside your budget check out what offers are on at your local supermarket or call out to friends and family if they have anything they aren’t using knocking around!
- Tidy up! Remove any clutter from the sides and the floor, make sure your clothes are put away (neatly) and keep all surfaces clear.
- Give the room a deep clean. There is nothing like the smell of polished wood and fresh sheets. If you have any candles or wax melts knocking around, make sure you get them dotted around the room!
- Think about what you like in a hotel room. Perhaps you can add some fun elements in for the week – fresh flowers, some of your partner’s favourite snacks on the side or even treat yourself to some new slippers or new book for by the bed.
2. Do your Research
I lived in Scarborough for five years and didn’t visit the castle once. I’m still embarrassed by that fact now.
When Phil and I started dating we went to the Tower of London on one of our first dates. Neither of us had been despite living in the capital for years!
You’d be surprised whats on your doorstep that maybe you hadn’t paid attention to in the past.
- Treasure Trails are based all around the UK, an outdoor treasure hunt you can print off for less than a tenner and do outside with your friends. Check out my review of the trails here.
- Cicerone Press: Have a huge library of incredible guidebooks for walkers, bikers and hikers. These are a fantastic way to go off the beaten path in the UK and leave your phone in your pocket with these detailed guidebooks and guided walks.
- Geocaching. There are millions of geocaches hidden around the world—there are probably some near you right now. Just download the app and get searching for treasure all around you.
- With many tourist attractions closed or only offering pre-bookings check out Trip Advisor to see not only what is around you, but also what you need to book in advance to avoid any stresses on the day.
- Set yourself couples challenges. Perhaps give each other a daily budget to see what the other person comes up with. In London I went on an adventure with my best friend for less then £10 and explored areas in London many people never get to enjoy!
- Try a different angle. You’d be surprised what weird and wonderful stuff is hidden around the UK on sites like Atlas Obscura.
- Look further than you think. If you are lucy enough to have access to a car or budget for public transport then you can go far! Even without spending somewhere overnight you can spend two to three hours travelling somewhere new and fit in a full days of activities. For me in Manchester, that means I could even get to Brighton or Newcastle if I loved a road trip!
3. Pack Accordingly
Many people when going on holiday like to treat themselves to new clothes to take away. There is no need to do that, especially on a staycation, but I have some top tips on how you can give your couples break a special feel!
- You know your special occasion favourite outfits? Now is the time to pull them out and put on your glad rags every day.
- What do you usually like to take away? Perhaps a book you’ve been planning to read? Now is the time to treat yourself for those lazy days by the …er… bed! 🙂
- Always travel with a spare face mask, hand sanitiser, reusable water bottle and a spare phone battery for all those photos you will be taking!
4. Act like a Tourist
This is your time to enjoy a couples break together. This is not the time to be on your phone to your Mum, answering work emails or keeping up with your Netflix addiction.
This is the perfect time for you to spend quality time together as a couple, so here are some ideas that will keep your staycation having that holiday feeling.
- When on days out, why don’t you put your phone on airplane mode and just use it to take pictures and videos of your day. Once you are back at the “hometel’ in the evening you can switch on the wifi and check your messages before dinner!
- Make dinners a special occasion. Eat out, order in your favourite food or take the time to cook a meal that you can enjoy together at the table.
- Avoid falling into the trap of crashing out in front of the TV straight after dinner. Try and find something else to do in the evening. If going out to a pub is not for you, what about a walk after dinner, board game night or simply tucking into dessert and chatting away over hot chocolate into the wee small hours.
- If you do sit down in front of the telly, make it an occasion. Make special drinks, have indulgent snacks and watch a movie with the lights off!
A last minute break idea for a couple in the UK doesn’t have to break the bank.
Staycations are a way to do a romantic break on the cheap, while doing the most important thing about a holiday away, spending time together.