We can all agree that lockdown has made us think differently about how we spend our time each day, and we've all probably had to make changes to our holiday plans. Whatever the ‘new normal’ looks like for you, these ideas including some of the best ways to spend a staycation this year are a great place to start.
The rules of lockdown have started to become more relaxed, but if you’re out of ideas and looking for some inspiration or maybe want a few more outing options that won’t break the bank, check out the following ways to spend your summer holiday.
Garden camp out
If you’re a fan of sleeping out under the stars and becoming one with nature, the opportunity is closer than you may think. Why not create your own camp out garden adventure?
Pitch a tent, light the BBQ and toast some marshmallows – you can even get some ghost stories or a campfire sing along on the go.
If you want the feel of a camping experience with less of the outdoors, why not recreate the experience indoors. Add some fairy lights for the stars and if you don’t have a tent, you can always lean on your den building skills - the kids will love getting involved too!
If you were planning on getting ready for Reading or counting down to Chilled in a Field, why not recreate your very own festival fun at home?
Perhaps you could make a music theme in each room, blasting out your favourite bands, or even take it outside for a true festival feel (with the bonus of Wi-Fi and an indoor toilet with no shortage of loo roll!)
To make it feel like a real festival, why not create your own festival setlist - you can relive a vintage year, or create a brand new one for your home experience. You never know - it might even become an annual event.
It’s more important than ever to look after your wellbeing, and what was once a luxury treat can now be part of your everyday routine – it’s time to create your very own spa day at home.
We’re not talking renovation, simply work with what you have to create that zen atmosphere in your living room.
Switch off your phone, turn the lights down, light up the candles and get the face packs out ready for some much-needed R&R.
On your bike
You can’t beat getting out for a bike ride.
You can plan out your route including a picnic pit stop or just go where your wheels take you – just try to remember where that is! Go with the family, friends or make it a solo adventure if you like.
If you’re looking for somewhere to start, The National Trust has some fantastic cycle routes for you to enjoy.
Whilst some children went back to school before the summer holiday started, they may have missed out on their school sports day (and of course mums and dads missed the chance to give it their all in the parents’ race!)
Why not host your own family sports day in the garden or the local park? Swap the sack for a pillowcase, create your own obstacle course with household objects, and of course it wouldn’t be complete without an egg and spoon race.
There’s nothing better than some healthy competition and a fun way to keep you and the kids active.
Virtual quiz night
Quiz nights have grown to become a huge hit over recent months and whilst it might not be as necessary any more, there’s no reason why this online trend can’t continue to add a little bit of fun to an otherwise quiet weekend.
Most of us have become video call whizzes by now and so having used them for work conference calls and virtual lessons for the kids, now’s the time to put some fun back into your laptop.
Be sure to give people enough notice, text your friends with the advance date, or even create a Facebook event to recruit teams and pick a fun theme to really make your quiz evening memorable.
Take in the theatre (literally)
If you’re a theatre fan and looking for a way to enjoy the boards once more, there have been some fantastic performances televised with more to come, and so you don’t have to miss those musicals or pine for plays. Take a look at how to find your theatre fix online or search your streaming services.
The great thing about this is, you get the best seat in the house; you can sing to your hearts content without disturbing the other theatre-goers, and not forgetting you can hit the pause button at any time for an interval! It’s sure to keep you in the thespian spirit until the curtain rises again.
Right now it’s difficult to explore the delights the world has to offer, so why not bring the world to you? Want to immerse yourself in Mexico? Or tour Tokyo from the comfort of your living room? You can!
You could perhaps search for new food recipes, or why not try following your favourite restaurant chef online – the Independent’s cooking inspiration guide explores the best Instagram live cook-alongs from Nando’s to Wagamama - they’ve got your culinary aspirations covered.
Enjoy your makes while discovering your chosen destination via a 360 degree tour or listen to the country’s authentic music – staying in is the new going out after all.
Drive-in cinema experience
We’ve all arrived at a weekend with high hopes of enjoying the sun, only to be met with a surprise downpour (got to love the British weather!), so usually we’d head for a rainy day activity like a jaunt to the cinema, but as with so many indoor experiences, you may find yourself a little out of luck at the moment.
Well, every cloud has a silver lining and there’s now an amazing selection of cinema drive-in options to enjoy. Book tickets, park up and enjoy the magic of outdoor cinema (you don’t even have to pay extra for the reclining seats!)
Luna Drive in Cinema has lots of venues and cinema delights to choose from, however if they haven’t got you covered, take a look online and search for something in your local area.
Discover canal walks
Being by the water can have an instant calming effect - the rippling vision and the quiet that often accompanies a walk by the water.
You can find your little bit of calm closer than you may think. With lots of canal and river walks available, it’s time to take a walk on the waterside.
Or perhaps you already have the perfect spot in mind that you’ve been meaning to explore – now’s the time!
Sometimes, as they say, ‘a change is as good as a rest’ so why not refresh your living space or makeover your garden so that even if you’re not visiting anywhere new, your home will have a new lease of life.
Upcycling, painting or simply some new lighting - there are some great sites out there that will help with advice on how to DIY on a budget. So maybe it’s time to unleash your creativity!
There’s something special about seeing wildlife in a natural habitat, and the great news is that you don’t need to travel too far or take a chunk of your savings. The UK has some fantastic safari options to enjoy for a memorable family trip.
See the great sights of the animal kingdom through rhino and giraffes grazing, or the chimps monkeying around. You could even enjoy a car picnic - but be sure to keep the windows closed!
Volunteer your time
There are some great resources to help you get started with volunteering activities, regardless of whether you’re looking to join a team or organise your own.
If you haven’t already, take a look at volunteering opportunities in your local area. You could organise a community beach or street clean through Keep Britain Tidy or even visit the Royal Voluntary Service to help vulnerable members of the community.
Not only will it feel great to spend some time out of the house, you’ll feel a sense of pride from helping the environment or someone who may struggle without the kindness of strangers.
Your eyes have probably been opened to what’s immediately around your corner over the last few months and as they say, you tend to take for granted what’s on your doorstep.
So if you haven’t already, why not use this time to explore your own town or city - you never know what hidden gems you might find.
If you don’t know where to start, go online and get some help – there are some great resources to help you make the most of your adventure, like the fantastic treasure hunt app from Geocaching.
Costa del sofa
It’s always a good idea to take a break, even if you weren’t planning a holiday this year. For some, our homes have become an office and a school all in one, so time to shut down, sit back and relax, catch up on that book or TV series – everyone loves a duvet day!
Whether you were planning to go big for 2020 and need alternatives for this alternative summer, or always struggle with ideas to keep yourself or the kids entertained - we hope these staycation ideas help with your plans.