As spring rolls into summer the British public are inevitably thinking of their plans for holidays & getaways. Lots of us will already have missed out on travel & events we’ve been looking forward to. Others have had plans for 2020 disrupted & thrown into uncertainty. Travel restrictions across the country are gradually easing. However international travel is going to be difficult for the foreseeable to say the least. But after months of restrictions, isolation & grim news; finally being able to take a holiday is the tonic many of us desperately need.
The rise of the ‘staycation’
We’ve always advocated Brits holidaying in the UK. Air travel is often unavoidable but there are huge environmental consequences of taking several foreign holidays per year. We’re blessed with such rich history, culture & landscapes across the UK so we’ve always encouraged exploring this country before hopping on a plane.
The term ‘staycation’ makes us cringe a bit but it does perfectly describe a break to Alde Garden Campsite. We’re firm believers that you don’t have to travel very far to enjoy a really great holiday. In fact, a huge percentage of our guests live within 100 miles of the campsite. If your primary purpose in taking a holiday is to relax, switch off & recharge your batteries you really don’t have to travel very far to achieve it.
Now the word ‘staycation’ seems to be everywhere as people consider their options for summer holidays in the ‘new normal.’ For us this good news. After grinding to an abrupt halt a few weeks ago we’re now getting bookings again for the summer. As well as this we’re really hoping folks who have shunned a ‘staycation’ in recent years will realise what they’ve been missing!
Experiences, not places
Of course it depends what you’re looking for in a holiday as to whether a staycation will be everything you hope for. If you’re a sun-worshipper who usually spends your holiday on a lounger with a daiquiri in your hand; the UK is going to be hit & miss for you. However we always think a holiday should be about experiencing something you wouldn’t in your day-to-day. This could be as simple as having the time to read a book cover to cover, relax in nature, practise yoga, play board games with the kids or spend a day luxuriously doing nothing (you’re on holiday, why not?). Alternatively this could be exploring a part of the country you’ve never seen before; taking a class, meeting new people, learning about local history. All of this, and much more is open to you at Alde Garden.
While we can’t offer a pool, sun loungers & guaranteed sunshine like a lot of UK families opt for each year; we’ve got a wonderful nature garden (with space for sunbathing) & an on-site pub where we can whip up any number of amazing cocktails. Brits opting for a staycation this year may find that their expectations are surpassed.
Book Direct, support small
With so much talk about ‘the new normal’ but not much detail on what that means we’re being given a lovely opportunity to change our default behaviours for the better. There are so many small businesses who have suffered badly during lockdown with their income dropping off a cliff-edge without warning. Whether these are shops, restaurants, gyms, campsites etc they are all places we would miss if they don’t manage to weather the storm.
It’s been amazing to see the ingenuity & flexibility small companies have shown during the last few months & the next few will be instrumental in deciding their fate long-term. Now, more than ever it’s so important to support small businesses.
When the new normal arrives be sure to make the right choices. Choose to support your local businesses wherever possible. Buy fresh, local, seasonal fruit and veg. Buy your coffee from that lovely café who looked after you so well during lockdown and avoid Costabucks if you have other choices. Meat from a local butcher always tastes better than from a supermarket carton wrapped in plastic.
Finally (and most importantly for us) when it’s time to book that holiday, or weekend break be sure to book your accommodation DIRECT with the business concerned. It makes such a difference to small business owners.
Online Travel Agencies such as bookingdotcom and airbnb have a stranglehold on the travel industry. They feed you lies and mislead blatantly with their “last room available” and “cheapest available price” claims. They charge up to 20% commission to the hotel owners for every booking made which of course gets passed on to YOU through HIGHER prices, not cheaper as they claim. Booking direct is easy and it’s the RIGHT thing to do.
Here’s hoping the next few weeks bring better times for all!!“
With thanks to Paul Jack for the inspiration for some of these words. I was inspired by his Facebook post.