Explore London

Holidays in 2020: The Perfect Time for a Staycation

Now that lockdown measures are beginning to ease slightly, most of us are thinking longingly of a summer vacation. However, as several countries (including the UK) intend to impose a two-week quarantine period on any foreign arrivals, a domestic holiday or ‘staycation’ may provide the perfect alternative.

When Will I Be Able to Go On Holiday?

A change of scenery may be an option sooner that you think. Speaking at a Downing Street press conference at the end of May, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced that the government had a ‘‘very ambitious plan’ to get the UK tourism industry up and running again by the beginning of July. Though under current guidance general holiday accommodation remains closed, people are now allowed to drive further afield and enjoy different parts of the country; and Oliver Dowden made it clear that government intended to ‘get the tourism sector up as quickly as [they] possibly can.’

Surges in bookings are already being reported, as British holidaymakers move on from their original (and now cancelled) summer holiday bookings and begin to make staycation plans in earnest – but where should you go if you want to travel safely, and where should you stay?

Minnis Bay: a wonderful UK beach ninety minutes from London. (Credit: Garry Knight)

Where to Go

The United Kingdom is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to planning a getaway: from cultural hotspots, like London or Edinburgh, to rolling countryside, like the Cotswolds, or beautiful coastal regions, like Devon or Cornwall, this diverse island has something for everyone. It’s worth bearing in mind that there are likely to be some restrictions still in place for some time, even when it becomes possible to book holiday accommodation, so your criteria for choosing a destination may need to change slightly. Rather than focusing on local eateries, or museums and art galleries, for example, turn your attention to the great outdoors. What parks are nearby? What about beaches? Are there other outdoor activities that might be up and running? Nature trails, playgrounds, etc.? Are there any fantastic attractions that can be seen from the outside: outdoor ruins or stately homes, for example, or simply gorgeous streets to admire (Bath or London would be obvious choices).

The next thing to consider is what to do in the case of any inclement weather. Have you picked a destination that lends itself to some (socially-distanced) indoor activities – somewhere that has fantastic local produce so you can cook at home, or amazing local restaurants that deliver? You may have an action-packed schedule mapped out, but if the weather turns, you’ll want to be able to retreat to surroundings that are both comfortable and well-equipped. Camping sites have been touted as a popular option, as these are seen as more hygienic (and thus safer) than a hotel, but a day trapped inside a tent whilst it pours with rain might not be an ideal solution…

Where to Stay

It’s unclear whether hotels and hostels will open at the same time as homestays and camping sites: but, for many holidaymakers, the typical hotel set-up – which naturally involves high staff turnover, travellers arriving from all over the world, and mixing with strangers in corridors, elevators, and at the breakfast buffet – may feel less secure. Homestays, by contrast, are both safe and appealing. When staying in a home, you can socially distance from people that are not from your household, prepare your own food, spread out around the house (and even choose to remain in separate rooms if a member of your party is feeling unwell), and really relax and unwind indoors – ideal for less-than-sunny days!

In addition, if you choose an established provider like UnderTheDoormat, you can be assured that you will receive the highest standards of service and hygiene. Our homes are cleaned professionally after each and every visit, and linens and towels are professionally laundered; and our independent accreditation, received from STAA and Quality in Tourism, ensures that the property has been recently inspected and possesses all relevant health and safety equipment. With UnderTheDoormat, you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands – and enjoy your holiday in true comfort.

Are you thinking of booking your next holiday? London has everything you need to enjoy a stunning staycation: fantastic scenery, brilliant outdoor spaces, a huge range of top-notch takeaway restaurants, cafes and bars, with beaches, forests, stately homes and more a manageable drive away. If you book an UnderTheDoormat home before the end of August – for any time in the future – we’ll give you £50 off! Simply use the discount code SUMMER50 when making your booking.