Whilst life may have opened up for us all in the past few weeks, taking a holiday abroad is still at the bottom of many of our wish lists. Even in a “normal” year, the queues to check in at UK airports, the security procedures and ever changing rules and regulations about what you can (or can’t) carry in your luggage, make the start of a holiday something to be endured rather than enjoyed. With COVID added to the mix, the need to prove vaccination status, provide (expensive) PCR test results, wear a mask on the plane, and risk having to self-isolate upon return when the government changes its mind yet again about the safety of a country, is it any wonder that so many of us are just not bothering with foreign travel this year?
Many people are switching to so called “staycations”, but availability, particularly over the school holidays is tight, and the cost of renting a holiday home in the UK is definitely not cheap! Caravans, holiday parks, and leisure complexes are another option, but again, the prices can be prohibitive, especially for families.
Perhaps we need to consider other ways to holiday this summer - ways that don’t necessarily involve staying away from home. Now to some, that may not feel like a holiday at all, but with a little imagination, and a bit of work, you could still have fun this summer - and it won’t break the bank!
How about having country themed weeks (or days)?
For a week you focus on one part of the world - let’s pick Greece for this example - you cook Greek style foods, moussaka, gyros (spit roasted meats served in pitta breads), Greek salad, keftethes (meatballs), souvlaki (meats in a soft wrap/pitta with tzatziki). If you don’t feel like cooking, see if there’s a Greek restaurant in the area that you can visit. Dress up in your usual holiday gear, if it’s warm sit outside and enjoy a drink whilst pretending you’re in a Taverna. If it’s wet watch Mamma Mia or Shirley Valentine on repeat… Use your imagination!
If that idea doesn’t float your boat, what about some day trips by car, bus, or train? Search online for “things to do near me this summer”, you may be surprised by what comes up. Visit parks you’ve not been to since you were a child, eat ice creams, drink pop, take a picnic. Or how about discovering some local woodlands, or countryside walks - but please remember to follow the Countryside Code.
SCCCC is based in Sheffield, a city blessed with a “green frame” and within easy reach of the Peak District, where you’ll find any number of pretty small villages to explore, some of which can be reached relatively easily by public transport.
And what about museums, heritage houses, and stately homes? Chatsworth House for example is much more than “just a posh house”, there’s stunning gardens, shops, cafes, a farmyard, and adventure playground for the kids. If funds are tight, access to the grounds surrounding the house is free and there’s plenty of room to picnic and even to paddle in the river Derwent.
Staying at home this summer doesn’t mean you won’t have fun, yes - you may have to work a little harder and be rather more inventive than if you were spending two weeks lying on a sun lounger in Benidorm, but see it as a challenge! Have a competition with friends and relatives to see who can come up with the wackiest idea. What about a fancy dress “beach” party where everyone has to pick a style icon and dress like them - Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Bianca Jagger, Madonna etc for the ladies: James Dean, Gene Kelly, Daniel Craig for the fellas. Or ask people to turn up in their actual beach attire if you (and they) are brave enough!
Whatever the weather, whatever the funds, if you put your mind to it there’s no reason you can’t have a holiday to remember without travelling too far away from your home.