We’ve all found out things about ourselves during these lockdown weeks, namely, that some of us won’t miss having a summer holiday abroad. It might have been nice to get away, but then again, no. On balance a staycation, somewhere by the sea in August sounds quite appealing and we were sort of leaning in that direction anyway. Now is the time to listen to the reassuring whisper of the pro-staycationer, to understand the world will not end if you don’t get to swim in the Med or sip a glass of rose poolside in Provence. You might even find there are upsides to a holiday close to home. For example:
1. No Airports
To state the blindingly obvious. If you could expect an hour to get through security BC then AC you’re talking, what, five hours? Seven? Taking the train somewhere could be fun. But how much fun in a plastic visor, mask and rubber gloves is the question? Hmm. Back on the subject of air travel, it is true that duty free shopping in ‘dwell time’ was heaven. That strip-lit limbo when you shop like Elizabeth Taylor on valium, buying rhinestone encrusted catseye sunglasses, bobble trimmed beach wraps, insanely expensive eyelid sunblock - so fun. But that’s not happening (not unless you want to stand in a queue from the Clinique counter all the way back to Zone A check in).
2. No packing stress
Think about that for just a minute. Consider the packing challenge with the carry on size case and the tiny bottles and your task is to: assemble all the things you will definitely need, and all the things you would just like to take and…urgh…already too many things. Whereas, when heading off on a staycation, you can take all of it! Fill the car up to the roof with everything, including your favourite hard to get chilli sauce, special neck pillow, giant pump dispenser of moisturiser, sunhats the size of satellite dishes (not getting those on any plane) and the sort of cocktail ingredients they only have in twelve bars in the world, eg Punt e Mes. I mean, no contest.
3. No Kindle
Maybe you love a Kindle on holiday; any book you like delivered to your screen at the touch of a button, etc. Or maybe you want to take a ton of actual books? In which case, knock yourself out, just stack them up in the boot alongside the leg of pata negra.
4. No Sightseeing
Love sightseeing. Desperate to see the Pierro della Francesca frescoes, Cathar castles, and so forth. Really. But in 30 degrees, when it’s two hours there and back, and… 30 degrees? Meanwhile at home, in the top staycation spots, there’s nothing to see apart from a famous rock you can jump off. Makes life simpler.
Obviously summer 2020 is likely to be the biggest staycation year since records began and then some. That said it’s been the sunniest May on record which will probably mean a disappointing July and patchy August, so all the people who planned to be on the beach will in fact be on the sofa or queuing up in town for ice cream. Which means Staycation 2020- much less crowded than abroad, though there’s a reason for that.
6. Saving money
No £12 a pop g & t on the waterfront (back garden g & t, approx. 60p). None of that tea glass and hammam towels utterly pointless shopping. No Euro 30 beach club entry ticket or Euro 25 to see the garden of the house where Dali lived. Could go on…Just So Much Cheaper to stay put
7. No application of suncream
Maybe a bit now and then but not that all over body and earlobes routine that, frankly, makes you wonder why you’re putting yourself through all this.
See you on the beach then (at Studland Bay).