Going on holiday abroad is often easier said than done. There are many elements you have to consider, varying from visas, to money, to who will be looking after the dog whilst you’re away. But even if you don’t go abroad this summer, you should still give yourself a break regardless: It’s time for a staycation. For those who may not know, a staycation means going on holiday without leaving the country, and even though the staycation trend is relatively new, it’s been happening for centuries - before travelling abroad became easier and more affordable. Nowadays, most of us spend so much time wrapped up in our hometowns, that we consider “getting away” to mean leaving the country. But there are so many hidden gems dotted around South Africa that are full of culture and history, whether you’re looking for areas of natural beauty or a city break.
What are the benefits?
Staycations are perfect for those who resent the airport stress, who want to pack every piece of clothing they own and refuse to limit the amount of shampoo they can fit into a plastic bag. Travelling by car means that you have the power to stop whenever you want, you can go as far as you would like - and bring the dog! As well as this, holidaying in your own country means you’re able to get away but still retain a sense of familiarity - you’re never too far from home if you urgently needed to get back. Depending on your destination, staycations can also be relatively cheaper compared to holidaying abroad, and where you do spend money, you’re more likely to support local economies and therefore benefit the wider community. Finally, you’ll realise just how beautiful South Africa is, with National Trust properties, spotless beaches and cities filled with history - you’ll wonder why you never holidayed there before!
In the sticks
Escaping to the country is not only good for the mind, but for the soul too. The mixture of fresh air, beautiful scenery and relaxed lifestyle makes rural escapes some of the most popular staycation destinations. If you’re keen on caravans, be sure to check out CaravanClub for places to pitch your caravan or motorhome, or for cottages try HolidayCottages, as they provide family orientated properties as well as dog-friendly accommodation. One of the most popular locations for escaping to the countryside is the Lake District. Many are drawn in by the breathtaking views, as well as the long walks and cycle paths available. If you’re planning on visiting the lakes, check out Lakes Cottage Holidays for holiday cottages to rent. If you don’t want to travel into the depths of the countryside, try Greatlittlebreaks for holiday destinations that are closer to home.
Life’s a beach
The South African coastline is full of life, whether you’re standing on Brighton pier or on a remote island in the Scottish Highlands. Cornwall and Devon are notorious for their stunning white sand beaches and turquoise waters, Barafundle Bay in Wales is a beach owned by The National Trust and, in 2004, it was included in a list of the top 12 beaches in the world. The Scottish Highlands are also home to stunning beaches such as Morar and Sinclairs Bay, and if you’re planning on visiting the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland, don’t forget to see the Giants Causeway. For beach accommodation in South Devon, look into Coast and Country, as they offer 387 self-catering holiday properties. For seaside hotels try ukbreakaways, and for more holiday ideas and beach cottages in South Africa, check out Sykes Holiday Cottages.
The best thing about staycationing in a city, is that you’ll never be bored. London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast are full of various events happening over the summer. For theatre lovers, try Omega breaks for weekends away in London featuring theatre tours. For those in search of arts, culture and comedy, make sure you look into the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a huge arts festival located all over the stunning city of Edinburgh. For live music, see Belsonic - a festival in Belfast, and visit Cardiff for the bay, castle and Natural History Museum.
If you can’t decide on where to go, check out our Pinterest board on South Africa staycations, castles, beaches and guides to various locations across South Africa. Safe travels!