Domestic Bliss

2nd August 2019

Your friends might be jetting off to sunnier, more exotic climes, but there’s no need to feel envious. Here are just a few reasons why staycations can be the best vacations…

We avoid aeroplanes …

We may be able to hop on a plane and arrive in Europe within a couple of hours, but that doesn’t necessarily make flying a more convenient way to travel. The time spent getting to the airport, queuing at customs and waiting for our suitcases to arrive at baggage reclaim (where they’re always the last ones to come out no matter what time you arrive for your flight) are enough to make anyone frazzled when flying. Then there’s the colossal environmental impact of the aviation industry – in an average year, nine billion passengers are flown around the globe and the number is expected to only go up – so be smug about your green credentials on this occasion.

We get to know England better…

England is undeniably beautiful, yet many of us rarely get to explore the whole country properly, meaning that often we’re more familiar with Lake Garda than with The Lake District. But who can fail to be beguiled by the charm of the Cotswolds, the buzz of Brighton, the drama of Durdle Door or the historic heritage of Stonehenge?
Closer to home, moreover, we have so much to see and do right on our doorstep. Take a trip into London for all that the capital has to offer; wing our way to Windsor to see if we can spy a peek of Baby Archie; or pack a picnic and explore the nature trails of the Chilterns.

We savour the season…

Yes, we all know that we’re never far away from the risk of a rain shower in England, but there’s something magical about these few tantalisingly-brief summer months, squeezed in, as they are, between many more months of grey skies, and dark, long evenings. It makes sense, surely, to make metaphorical hay while the sun (oh-so-briefly) shines. Why go away now, when we can escape the winter blues later on in the year instead?

We keep the kids happy…

Children aren’t impressed by cocktails at sunset, sightseeing in Sorrento, or catch-of-the day in Crete; they much prefer homespun fun and familiarity. And anyone who has ever experienced travelling abroad with very young children and all the paraphernalia this entails, will understand that this is far more hell than holiday. There’s even science backing the family-orientated staycation: according to Oliver James, one of Britain’s leading child psychologists, “home-based holidays are what most children really want.” He maintains that “consistency is all when they’re small, in holidays as in every other respect.” In a recent interview, Jools Oliver, wife of tv chef and campaigner, Jamie, admitted that (notwithstanding their multi-million pound bank balance) they take their five children to the same place in Cornwall every year.

We save money…

Okay, so this is a biggie, and the motivating factor behind many families choosing to stay in England for the summer. Holiday prices escalate dramatically once schools break up; in fact it’s a standing joke among parents that hotel and flight websites act as a handy tool to identify school term times. Feeling like you’re missing out is not so funny, however. Saving up for a staycation budget, a fraction of an August holiday abroad, can make all the difference and will mean you can use your home as a base to live-life-in-style for a week: enjoying all those day trips, enrichment opportunities and meals out you’ve ever wanted your family to experience. Living your own life through the eyes of a tourist can be a really validating experience – so get planning!

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