The Year of the Staycation

Are you planning a staycation this year? Alexa, CEO and Co-Founder of travel advice site, tripAbrood, shares their tips on how to staycation well...

I’ve experienced first-hand how long it takes to find the right family holiday with many a war story to tell on missed expectations, cancelled holidays and epic airport fails! What I didn’t know before I started tripAbrood was that I wasn’t alone in finding it a nightmare to book the right family holiday. On average it takes 30 hours for parents to book a holiday and deciding on the ideal family accommodation is by far the most time consuming part.

My family are keen travellers. From a very early age, our kids were out exploring the world with us. Due to the pandemic though, our exploration over the last couple of years has been UK based. My children are now 9, 7 and 5 and so far, in their lifetimes we’ve had quite a few long drives all around the UK. We’ve visited our favourite holiday spots in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall, as well as travelled many times up to see family, both near Bath and in Manchester.

As we look ahead to the summer holidays, and with staycations being the main option for many of us all at the moment, here are our tips on how to staycation well:

1. Find somewhere that is slightly off the beaten track for peak season

As much as we all love Cornwall and Devon, unsurprisingly accommodation options that have availability in the summer months are few and far between. If you can get there for a long weekend break outside peak holiday season, then you’ll have the most likelihood of finding that gorgeous Cornish beachside break. For peak season, especially if you haven’t booked anything already this year, why not try other parts of the UK, like Cumbria or the Scottish Highlands? These fabulous destinations have so much to offer and may well have more availability over peak summer weeks.

2. Make sure your car has its MOT/service up to date

Probably a super obvious one for most people, but we’ve been caught out before with an MOT due in a few days when we are just about to go for a big trip. A bit of forward planning to ensure your car is roadworthy before you go on that long car journey this summer will save you a world of potential break-down pain!

3. Research, as a family, the culture of the place you are going to staycation

There is so much amazing history and culture in the UK. By spending some time researching with your children the incredible past of the destination you are travelling to, will truly unlock the imagination of your kids. We’ve found this a hugely exciting experience for our tripabrooders as they’ve been virtually exploring the world with us from the comfort of their homes over the last few months.

4. Consider booking two rooms rather than one

Stretching the budget that little bit further and splitting your family over two or more rooms will open up many more accommodation options in your ideal location. Whilst there is still good availability in select destinations for those families that want to stay in one room, our research has found that families willing to split themselves over two rooms will increase the chances of finding their ideal UK holiday accommodation. Work with accommodation providers (like us!) who will look to source you interconnecting rooms or rooms next to each other if you are looking to book two (or more) rooms.

5. Road trips are the best!

Some of our best holidays as a family have been road trips around the UK, where we’ve stopped off on the way up to our location and then visited another part of the UK on our way back. We often plan routes around seeing family and friends, and after the time we’ve all had sadly not being able to see loved ones, this summer seems a perfect time to visit them whilst exploring the UK. The best of both worlds!

We hope you all have the most wonderful summers. We’re sad that overseas travel is not as open as we’d all hoped. But looking on the bright side, it will give us all the opportunity to experience the incredible places that the UK has to offer. And my brood, for starters, could not be more excited! Happy staycation time everyone!

For more information join the tripAbrood mailing list and get access to their free country activity packs:

Alexa Barker is the CEO and Co-Founder of tripAbrood, which is designed to take the stress and hassle out of researching & booking a family holiday.

*Please note that this is general signposting and is not a specific endorsement or recommendation by Bright Horizons. Should you utilise or download any of these resources, any exchange of data is solely between you and that provider – please note that these resources may be subject to their own terms and conditions and/or privacy notice. (As Bright Horizons has no control of the contents of the external resources, it can assume no responsibility or liability for these resources or the provider’s use of any data you share with them.)