So how do you make a trip on home turf feel like a real holiday? I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while because, up until quite recently, I’d very much subscribed to the idea that a holiday meant going abroad. Jetting off to someplace nice with blue seas, siestas, and menus you had to Google Translate. Course, those places will always appeal and I’m such a sucker for culture shock that I’ll never not love far-flung travel, but what I’m saying is a holiday doesn’t have to mean jetting off and, yes, that is kind of new to me. As kids we were extremely lucky to go on adventurous holidays all over. 4 weeks in Australia, 7 weeks in New Zealand, 3 weeks camping in Czech Republic to list but a few memories were definitely what gave me my sense of adventure, but proper UK holidays were ever really something we did so much. Now, I’m keen for more of a mix. I crave landing in exotic cities and feeling completely out of my depth, but at the same time, I love the idea of slow UK adventures — driving round and taking in all that it has to offer, its temperamental weather too.
I think there are lots of us who have a little cog in our brain telling us that a UK holiday doesn’t offer quite the same switch off or escapism that an overseas trip does but there’s no doubt it can. To help with that, I thought I’d share some ideas and things that I do to really try and help even the most modest of UK adventures really feel like a holiday…
SWITCH YOUR PHONE OFF (OR AT LEAST USE AIRPLANE MODE)
One of the easiest ways to switch off on hols is by cutting your connection to your usual world. It’s kind of changed now that data roaming is pretty much free everywhere you go, but I used to love that imposed switch off when receiving a text would cost you £7. It does wonders to try and recreate it. If you can, keep your phone in airplane mode on hols, or switch it off completely and leave it in the car. Seriously, the sense of disconnect is totally freeing and that’s what holidays are about, right?
GET A GUIDE BOOK
I’m a sucker for a guidebook. I wouldn’t get one for short trips but anything where you’re doing proper exploring, or maybe visiting some historical sights and want some context, I always think guidebooks are good. And that goes for the UK. Nothing says holiday to me like scrabbling around in the rucksack for the guidebook to read about something I’ll never remember… If you like long walks, there are loads of great walking books that will guide you round all different parts of the UK which I’d definitely recommend. I love the Ordnance Survey Pathfinder guides.
DRINK THE LOCAL PLONK
One of the best things about going abroad to me is getting stuck into the local food and drink. I love a €2 cava in Barcelona, or a €7 bottle of Vinho Verde to drink on the beaches in Comporta. And don’t get me started on cartons of Don Simon. But that’s something you can do in the UK too — easily. Make an effort on your UK hols to drink the local plonk. Maybe that’s a locally brewed cider, an English wine, or a gin that was distilled just a few miles away.
An oldie but a goodie. I refuse to let the art of sending postcards die out. And you know what, it’s easier than ever to do so on a UK holiday because you don’t have to traipse around finding a local post office for foregin stamps!
TAKE HOLIDAY PHOTOS
I’m tentatively adding this one as I know, obviously, you all take photos already, but what I’m saying is, make the most of a UK holiday by taking proper holiday photos. As soon as we leave the country, we all get this desire to take photos of the smallest, most insignificant things that feel different because we’re ‘on holiday’, right? “Look! A tiny kitten! Snap!” So next time you’re on hols in the UK, don’t forget to snap up the views, the food, the local quirks and what not so you can relive the memories when you’re home.
LEAVE YOUR LAPTOP AT HOME
If you wanna make a holiday really feel like a holiday, you should absolutely leave your laptop at home. I’m the worst offender here and do religiously travel with my laptop BUT I’m gonna try to be better. I really do think it’s important. More than ever on UK holidays where it can be a little harder to find that ‘holidayish’ feeling. Whether you’re in Brazil or Bournemouth, an out-of-office on is an out-of-office.
WRITE A HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST
Whilst I’m not suggesting you to-do list your holiday, I always think it’s nice to go places with a purpose and feel like you’re really making the most of a place. Before going anywhere, I’ll always jot down a bit of a bucket list or at least some local highlights on my Notes app so I can make sure we’re seeing the very best of a place. Just as important for UK trips — so many hidden coves and what not you’d kick yourself for missing.
BUY SOUVENIRS (YOU ACTUALLY WANT)
I’m not one for suggesting you ever buy crap but meaningful souvenirs are always lovely to have from holidays. It doesn’t have to be a tacky fridge magnet from Bournemouth Beach (not that there’s anything wrong with those) but think about souvenirs that aren’t just surplus but stuff you actually want — be it a bottle of local gin, artisan homewares from that cute market near the sea or Bakewell tarts from Bakewell…