After months of coronavirus-related news and restrictions, the summer holidays are shaping up to look a lot different this year. With most international travel off the books, holiday lets up and down the country have seen a massive surge in their annual bookings.
Whether you fancy yourself a quick weekend getaway, want to get off-grid or stay in a quirky cottage, there’s something for the whole family to get excited about.
From sleepovers to reconnecting with your loved ones and more, making sure you pack everything you need can be overwhelming. Fear not, we’ve rounded up the 6 staycation essentials so you can sit back and relax ahead of your holiday.
Pack for all seasons
Anyone who has ever spent time on the UK shores knows that you can experience all the weather extremes, from icy temperatures to hot sun, worthy of the Med during the summer months.
Whether you plan on spending time in the Highlands, the Welsh mountains or taking on the waves at the Cornish coast, packing for all types of weather will ensure you get the most out of your holiday. When you have children in tow, making sure you have all the basics from sunscreen to extra fluffy socks at bedtime all come with the territory.
To help you out, here’s a roundup of the basics:
- A variety of T-shirts, jumpers and extra layers if you are camping
- A fluffy blanket for comfort
- Extra toys and games to keep the whole family entertained
- Shorts, trousers, a couple of summer dresses
- Floppy hats, sunscreen, sunglasses and some floaty cotton layers
- Enough underwear plus extras for the entirety of your stay
- Swimming gear
- Spare towels – especially if you are staying in accommodation that doesn’t provide this service
- Waterproofs and practical footwear
Sourcing lightweight suitcases and bags will ensure you can take everything you need without weighing down your car.
Family trip? No problem
Travelling anywhere with children regardless of their ages comes with its own unique set of challenges. From negotiating with a toddler to settling an argument between your hormonal teen, holidaying with the whole family can get stressful.
So think ahead. What keeps your children entertained when they are at home?
If it means bringing your iPad, creating a road trip playlist, stashing a bunch of snacks and drinks in the back or bringing along a bunch of games, do it. You know your children better than anybody, and making sure that they are happy throughout the journey will add to the fun.
Don’t neglect normal routines
Time moves differently when you are away from home. Whether you’re filling your holiday with new experiences, visiting loved ones or travelling to new places, its easy to get caught up in the moment. As soon as you begin to rest and relax, tiredness can throw a spanner in the works, especially if you have overtired children with you.
So keep it simple. Although you may be getting back from your days out later, or eating different food, the fundamental basics of your family routine can still be achieved. Try and include:
- Wind downtime: if you settle your children down for bed with a good book, have a bath or set aside time to talk as a family, do it on holiday too!
- Don’t neglect basic hygiene: if buying an electric kids toothbrush makes your time away easier, go for it. Making sure you all maintain good oral hygiene is just as important no matter where you are
- Leave no bunny behind: if your child can’t sleep without their favourite stuffed toy, make sure you bring it along. No one wants to miss out on shut-eye!
- Last-minute toilet stops: whether you need to change a nappy, encourage your toddler to use the potty or remind your child to use the loo before bed, nothing changes on holiday
Remember your needs
As a caregiver, its easy to forget your needs in the packing process. But, you need to enjoy yourself as much as the rest of the family! Try and remember to pack:
- Skincare and hygiene products
- Everything you need for a shower, such as shampoo and conditioner
- Extra towels
- Your holiday wardrobe
- Chargers and spare batteries
- Any electrical products you may need such as a camera or your laptop
- A good book for the moments you can steal for yourself
Getting to your ultimate staycation location is all part of the fun. But there are a few essentials that can get forgotten in the lead up to you finally setting off:
- Travelling by car? Make sure you know where all the service stations are on route for toilet stops, charging stations and when you simply need a break
- Know exactly where you’re going so you don’t waste time getting lost or held up in traffic: your satnav or maps app will do all the rest
- Do some research: having a vague idea of what attractions and must-see places are around will keep all the family entertained
- What will you eat? If you are planning on cooking for yourselves, make sure you have all the kit you need such as cooking utensils, gas and coolboxes, especially if the site you are staying at has limited facilities. Plus, having a few restaurants and cafes as a plan B never hurts
- Bring snacks and drinks along for the journey
- Don’t forget in-car entertainment: I spy will only get you so far
- If you are travelling through London don’t forget to check ULEZ.
Ever since coronavirus first hit our shores in 2019, everything has changed. For instance, you can no longer just rock up at your favourite restaurant without pre-booking, walk around a supermarket at your own leisure or attend a gym in the same way as before.
Social distancing is not only part of normal life, but it carries on regardless of where you plan on having your staycation. So be prepared. Bring all the usual suspects from facemasks to hand gel, and make sure you book to visit any must-see places before you leave home to avoid any disappointment.
Are you already counting down the days for the summer to arrive? If this is your first staycation or your a seasoned pro, make sure you don’t leave home without all the essentials. After all, holidays aren’t supposed to be a stressful affair.