The latest briefing from Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, confirmed that hope remains over the lifting of the ban on foreign holidays just over midway through May.
There was a note of caution, however, the Prime Minister adding that “the state of the pandemic abroad, and the progress of vaccination programmes in other countries” made it too soon to confirm a date, and he advised people not to book summer breaks abroad until the picture is clearer.
Notably, that date in May is also the time when hotels and B&Bs are scheduled to reopen and limited mixing indoors will be allowed, meaning pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, museums, and exhibitions can turn the lights back on and throw open their doors.
In Wales, where a ban on travelling in and out of the country will end on April 12th, the Government will consider allowing indoor hospitality to reopen after May 17th, but before the end of that month.
Around the same time, Wales will consider reopening the remaining visitor accommodation. Self-contained holiday accommodation, including hotels with en-suite facilities and room service, are open to people from the same household or support bubble.
Scotland are planning for tourist accommodation to open with restrictions in place from April 26th, before the likes of cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls reopen from May 17th.
While the possibility of overseas travel is still very much up in the air, this timeline does still provide an opportunity to enjoy a break – albeit within the boundaries of the UK.
Over the past 12 months (don’t mention the ‘L’ word), the phrase staycation has entered the population’s vocabulary.
And in all honesty, the thought of holidaying within the boundaries of your own country, or even staying at your home and heading out on daytrips, isn’t something that instantly excites many of us.
But staycations, like foreign holidays, are often down to what you make of them, and usually, who you are doing them with. They are often a great way to unwind with saving money and reducing stress top of the perks.
Indeed, staycations will be allowed from April 12th, but in a limited form. One household will be allowed to stay overnight somewhere in the UK, just not with another household. ‘Self-contained accommodation’ such as cottages or Airbnb rentals or campsites will be available to rent.
From surfing in Cornwall, climbing Snowdon and enjoying the Roman Baths in Bath, to visiting the vast array of zoos and safari parks, there’s plenty to do and see in the UK – and it doesn’t always rain, does it?
If you are planning to savour the delights of what the UK has to offer, then you might want to consider these suggestions to help make it as enjoyable as an overseas break.
This might come as no surprise, but according to research the average person spends 3 hours and 15 minutes per day on their phone. That doesn’t even take into consideration laptop usage or even how much time is spent watching Netflix! Turning off your phone, or even just limiting usage to certain times of the day, can help you take a break from the cut and thrust over everyday life.
One of the best things about a staycation is surely not having to pack three suitcases worth of clothing only to end up alternating two pairs of shorts. Let’s face it, if you are staying in the UK you probably know what the weather will be like, so there’s less need for the several ‘just in case’ items.
If you were in Paris or Rome, you’d probably have an itinerary as long as your arm and a travel guidebook to help you navigate. Why should it be any different if you are staying in the UK? Immerse yourself in planning adventures and plotting how best to see the landmarks of wherever it is you decide to visit.
If planned and done properly, a staycation from your own home can provide similar benefits to heading for foreign shores.
Some quick and easy tips on how to enjoy the best staycation possible, include getting the house cleaned by someone else, putting something fresh or new in areas you spend the most time in – this can be as simple as flowers, cushions, or pictures – and deleting your work email account from your phone.
Other handy hints are:
If you were abroad heading out for lunch and dinner would be a given, so make sure that you do something different for at least one meal per day. Rather than having the same ham sandwich, an apple, and a Twix as usual, head out to the shops and pick up something different. Plan activities as well as meals and it will quickly feel like you are on foreign shores. Quick tip: Don’t over plan.
This can be food, drink, or activities. Is there something you’ve fancied doing, but haven’t found the time to try it out? Or is there a takeaway or wine that has caught the eye, but you haven’t been able to justify spending money on it before? Quite simply, take the plunge.
Head out and visit local attractions that you’ve taken for granted, buy ‘souvenirs’ and take lots of photographs of your time away from the hustle and bustle of the working week. Setting a budget will help make sure that you don’t go overboard!
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