The covid-19 pandemic rather did a number on many people’s holiday plans this year. Flights that had been booked months in advance were cancelled, hotel bookings had to be called off, and eventually even leaving the front door was something that had to be done sparingly. Now, even with the worst of the lockdowns being lifted, travel abroad is severely restricted.
So what are holiday-starved Brits to do as the summer rolls on and the desire for a holiday break gets overwhelming? And with a second wave always lurking, many Brits may not want to risk venturing too far either.
Cue the rise of “holidays at home”. Have you ever decided to go camping in the garden, or set up a sand pit and paddling pool there so you could go to the beach without going to the beach? This is essentially that but somewhat scaled up.
A Holiday on Your Doorstep
At first glance it’s perhaps natural to feel incredulous. After all, for many people the whole point of the holiday is to go somewhere new and interesting. But here us out and let us explain in a bit more detail.
Right now, with the pandemic still at large and potentially remaining so for another year yet, international travel is always going to be a risky venture. Even domestic travel may carry extra burdens, risks and restrictions. But what if you can get all the mental benefits of the holiday with none of the stress?
At the end of the day, having a holiday at home is more about capturing the holiday mindset than somehow convincing yourself that your back garden is Waikiki or your living room the lounge of a Monte Carlo casino.
We have to remember that the main purpose of a holiday is not necessarily to go to faraway and exotic places, but simply to break your usual routine. It’s a chance to sit somewhere and be for a moment, without the usual distractions and stresses, and to do things that leave you feeling relaxed and stimulated. These are things that can be done anywhere, including within the home if you’re feeling a little creative and willing to think outside usual norms.
This is crucial for your mental health, as during the current crisis it’s easy to fall into troubling mental habits and mindsets. The point of holidays at home is to break away from that habit, creating a time and space where you can think of things that are pleasing and enjoyable,
While many may struggle with the idea of a holiday at home – worrying about it being a “waste” of holiday time or needing to do things while at home – once you start adopting the mentality of a holiday it becomes easier to grasp.
Getting Ready to Go Nowhere in Particular
First and foremost, always remember this cardinal rule:
You’re on holiday. Your main task every day is to relax and enjoy yourself.
So before you set out to go on holiday within your own home, a crucial step is to throw away any to do lists. Don’t get suckered into doing any DIY, don’t start planning on doing any major chores, don’t think in terms of “I need to do X while I have the time”. Don’t do or think anything along those lines. They’re not thoughts you’d have on any other holiday, so why have them here? Drop any particular role you may have in the household and only adopt the role of someone enjoying their holiday.
Some may find the border between home life and holiday a bit of a challenge and this is understandable. You can find ways to help overcome this mental barrier simply by solidifying and cementing the separation between your home and the start of your holiday.
For example you could consider:
- Packing a suitcase full of clothes you intend to wear as holiday garb.
- Leaving your house for a “flight” in your car, driving around the block to simulate the journey.
- Have a check-in set up in your hallway or living room
- Treat your home from then on as a hotel or a resort, and theme your days accordingly
These little tips and tricks can help get you better used to thinking of yourself as no longer simply at home and not at work, but somewhere where you intend to unwind, relax and enjoy yourself as you would anywhere else.
If you have children this can be an especially good way to help them get more into the idea of holidaying at home. You can print off specially made boarding passes for them to hand in at a pretend airport set up in your front garden, or have them help you decorate the garden to look like a holiday resort.
Find fun holiday activities to do while you’re at home as well. Take the opportunity to play tourist in your home town for the first time, visiting places you never thought to do so as well. If you’d prefer not to leave the house as much as possible, set up a series of vacation-themed activities in the garden. Much fun can be had with something as simple as a limbo pole and a makeshift karaoke area.
Be Ready to Come Back Home Having Never Left At All
The important thing to take away from all this is that you come back to your usual life refreshed and reset, ready to resume things with a clear mind. Your holiday doesn’t need to be glamorous, it just needs to be restful.
Indeed you’ll probably find that holidaying at home carries many perks that are harder to find with more conventional holidays. There’s no need to worry about visas or ESTAs, no jet lag, no fears of missing flights or coaches, and you’re completely at liberty to furnish your holiday as you wish. As such once you get into the swing of things you’ll probably find the whole experience far more relaxing than you may have otherwise.
So this year if you can’t go to your dream holiday, bring your dream holiday home to you. We’ll be here when the world fully opens up again.