This week, while Toni is busily embroiled in the phenomenon known as an American High School Graduation, Annabella Forbes--founder of Bed&Fed, a network of home from home guest rooms across the UK and Ireland--and I take a look at the phenomenon known as the "Staycation."
Staycation: a derisive term applied to holidays spent in your own country. I doubt this term is used in America (and if it were, I don’t think it would be derisive) because staying in the US on your vacation is practically a given. That is, if you actually go on vacation at all. (But this is best left for another post.)
In the UK, however, going abroad is what you do on holiday—France, Italy, Spain, Croatia and beyond—and staying at home is looked upon as the last refuge of people who can’t afford a proper holiday. I, however, love staycations; my wife and I usually plan at least two in-country getaways every year. And every year we make wonderful discoveries.
Britain is a beautiful place, with astounding variations of culture and landscape in a comparatively compact country; it would be a shame to spend all our holidays in southern Spain soaking up the sun and miss the atmosphere and grandeur of the Yorkshire moors on a grey and drizzling morning.
No, I honestly mean that. Really.
Staycationing? The beautiful art of holidaying at home – or at least in the same country.
We have a wealth of destinations here in the UK that are fascinating, terrific, exciting, breathtaking and beautiful – sometimes you miss the things that are right in front of you. Staycationing is the new black and here’s why:
Benefit #1 – Save Money, Cut Carbon and Avoid airport taxes and other excruciating fees.
Airlines, while great at getting you from A to B, can really put pressure on your purse strings with their extra charges when it comes to holidaying abroad, not to mention the fact that you will probably have to buy food in the airport which in itself is financially crippling! Holidaying in the UK means you just need a car or train (or even just a bike!).
Additionally you can feel extra smug because, unlike your jet-setting friends, your carbon footprint will be as minuscule as that of an ant wearing stilettos. Holidaying in the UK can also save you a fortune on visas and time – it can all be done last minute and on a whim! Staycationing allows you to be spontaneous: plan your break away on a Friday afternoon and leave that evening!
Benefit #2 – Find Unique and Interesting Places to Stay
Where can you stay on your staycation? Well, there’s always hotels and B&B’s (which admittedly can be quite pricey), but staying in a real homes, like those on the Bed&Fed website, is another great option. This is a lot less restrictive than staying in a hotel and far nicer and more fun – plus you don’t have to check in, queue for a seat in the restaurant or wait at the bar to be served. You are met with a warm welcome instead of a reception desk and the smell of a delicious supper wafting in from the kitchen – it’s just like staying with friends.
Really affordable accommodation CAN be found in the UK – from cottages to castles, farms to city pads, some of the friendliest, loveliest, cheapest, prettiest, nicest, coziest, lovely-jubly home from home guest rooms can be discovered on our very own lovely little island. Plus many of these properties are just perfect if you are a freelance contract worker, going on a course or just traveling for work!
Benefit #3 – Meet and Eat with new people who could actually become your friends
Let’s face it, you’re not going to stay in touch with that lovely waiter from that bar or the lady in the shop who sold you those overpriced sunglasses. Visiting somewhere in the UK however means you have the chance to make friends all over the country – as the saying goes, ‘a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet’.
A home from home experience can make a huge difference to your stay away. It can be really enjoyable and you get to meet great people who want to Host you in their home – it’s something that should be seen as exciting – there is no-one better to stay with than people from the area you are visiting, as this will enrich your experience (and if you’re lazy like me you won’t have to read a guide book as they will tell you all you need to know!). Think about it: you ALWAYS have a better time on your travels if you meet people from the area.
Bed&Fed is here to help you get so much more from your trip - affordable, welcoming homes with home-cooked food and priceless local knowledge.
From me to you, enjoy your stay(cation)!
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