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How to plan the perfect staycation

A woman makes notes in a notebook over her suitcase, planning for a trip away.

A holiday can be an excellent way to catch a break from your everyday routine and inject a touch of variety into your life - and a staycation is no different. Whether you’re jetting off to a sun-soaked island or travelling around the country instead, the best way to have a great holiday is to take the time to plan for it beforehand. But what exactly should you consider when planning your next staycation?

How to plan a staycation

A staycation can mean different things to different people. For some, it refers to a holiday taken in the UK rather than travelling abroad. For others, it means staying at home and being a tourist in your local area. If you’re planning to do the latter, it can be tempting to forego the planning stage. After all, if you’ve no public transport to catch and no check-in times to adhere to, there’s no real need to plan your holiday, right?

Wrong. Whether you’re going away or staying at home, making a plan of what you’re going to be doing each day can help you to make the most of your holiday time. This is especially true if you’re staying at home, as it can be easy to get distracted by things that need doing around the house instead of getting out and having a good time. Your plan doesn’t have to be a regimented timetable of where you’ll be at any given moment, but a loose idea of what you’ll be doing in the morning, afternoon and evening of each day can help to add structure to your holiday.

If you are travelling away from home, it’s a good idea to book tickets, accommodation and even meals in advance. This helps to avoid disappointment – and it’s one less thing to worry about while you’re away. It’s also a good idea to reserve your spot for any activities such as aquariums, boat trips, guided tours or museum visits.

Finally, plan your budget. Just because you’re not straying far from home doesn’t mean it’s easier to refrain from spending all your hard-earned money. In fact, a staycation is supposed to be an exercise in saving money by not paying for plane tickets and expensive accommodation – so try not to neutralise the benefits by going overboard. It can be helpful to take out an amount of cash for the duration of your holiday and make that last, just as you might for a holiday abroad.

How to make a staycation special

  • Treat yourself to a new outfit

A little bit of retail therapy can work wonders, and there’s nothing better than going to an event or dinner in a brand new dress. Pick yourself out a new outfit and you’ll not only look great whatever you decide to do, but you’ll also have something to look forward to. Plus, whether you choose a dress or a two-piece matching set, you’ll have something to remind you of your staycation in the years to come. Just don’t forget to factor this into your budget!

  • Try something – or somewhere – new

Whether you’re heading for the seaside or opting for a holiday in your hometown, chances are you’ll be able to find at least one thing you’ve never done before. It could be an activity you’ve never attempted, a restaurant you’ve never eaten at, or even just a local beauty spot you’ve yet to visit. Whatever it is, now is a great opportunity to do it – and don’t forget to take lots of photos to help the memories last.

  • Splurge on a luxury experience

Part of the luxury of a holiday abroad is spending time in another country. If you’re not spending on flights and accommodation, you’re saving a good amount of money, so don’t feel bad about spending a little extra than you normally would on experiences at home. Always wanted to go for a spa day, but could never justify the cost? Now you have a pot of savings you can dip into. Remember, so long as you don’t use it all, you’re still making savings versus a traditional holiday abroad.

  • Book at least one night away – even if you're staying in your hometown

There’s something so special about checking into a hotel or B&B and sleeping in an unfamiliar bed. Even if you’re staying close to your home, taking a night to enjoy that holiday feeling can really help you to feel like you’ve taken a break from your everyday routine. Plus, you can take advantage of all the facilities your chosen accommodation has to offer – and who doesn’t like waking up to a ready-prepared breakfast?

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