Are you planning a staycation this year? With Google search terms for ‘best places to go on holiday UK’ up by 120% in the past three months, it seems a lot of us are considering it! Related search terms for ‘holiday homes for sale UK’ and ‘summer holiday UK’ are also on the rise by 70% and 60% respectively.
Go Compare’s survey reveals a similar trend, with 18% of participants opting for a staycation due to the travel issues holidaymakers faced in 2022, including constant staff shortages and cancelled flights. It’s clear that the stress and complications COVID-19 brought about are still affecting our holiday planning.
The cost of living is also having an impact, with 56% of Brits claiming they’re considering a staycation because of the crisis.
With over half of us considering a UK-based holiday in 2023, how can we make sure we pack efficiently for our break? Pure Leisure, which offers luxury holiday lodges for sale in the UK, has gathered together the top ten packing tips to help you prep for your holiday.
1. Remember the changeable British weather
Even though you’re not going abroad, it’s still likely to be hot – especially if the weather we’ve had recently is anything to go by! It’s essential to protect yourself from the sun. Pack plenty of sunscreen, at least factor 30, plus a wide-brimmed sunhat or cap and sunglasses. You don’t want sunburn ruining your holiday!
Layers are also important in the UK. It’s no good to just bring t-shirts, shorts and dresses – as we know all too well, the weather can change in an instant in Britain. Remember to pack a lightweight raincoat and an umbrella as well. If you’re going somewhere that could get muddy, like a festival or walking holiday, wellies are essential!
You can always pack a couple of plastic bags to pop your muddy, wet clothes or items in, so they don’t ruin the rest of your things.
2. Pack light
We all know that feeling of packing absolutely everything and the kitchen sink when preparing for a long trip. The uncertainty of being away from the familiar and not knowing if you’ll be able to access the things you need means you end up packing loads of unnecessary items!
When holidaying in the UK, you can be sure to find a local shop or chain supermarket that’ll have everything you might need. This means you can pack light and buy items like hand sanitiser, books or magazines and snacks only if you need them.
You can also exchange heavy books for an e-reader and kids’ games for a lightweight device. If you pre-load films, games, books and music onto your devices, you won’t even need access to Wi-Fi, meaning you can keep the kids (and yourself!) entertained on the journey.
3. Pack a power bank
A charger is likely already on your list of things to pack for your break and with no need for an adapter, this is an easy step! But you might also want to pack a power bank.
These portable banks allow you to charge your phone or device, even if you don’t have access to a socket. They’re slim and lightweight, meaning they don’t take up much space in your suitcase and fit neatly into most bags.
Look for power banks that have a capacity of over 5,000mAh (milliampere hour) – anything below this is unlikely to be able to fully recharge your smartphone. Anything over 20,000mAh will provide you with plenty of power, but they may be much heavier and bulky to fit into your bag.
If you’re planning to go to a festival or on a camping holiday, a power bank is essential. No one wants to be stuck without their phone on holiday – just remember to charge the power bank up before you set off!
4. Shorter trips = smaller bags
If you’re only planning to be away for a few days, swap your suitcase for a weekend bag or backpack. With plenty of pockets for easy storage, they’re not as bulky as suitcases and you can keep them with you on public transport, rather than having to put them in a luggage rack.
A smaller bag also won’t take up as much space if you’re taking the car, giving you extra room for other items. This means you can bring your fold-up bike if you’re planning on cycling through the beautiful British countryside, or your tent if you’re heading to a festival for the weekend.
5. Spacious suitcases
If you’re planning a longer trip and do need the extra space of a suitcase, look for one with 360° wheels. This allows for easy manoeuvrability on public transport and/or down the country lanes to your holiday cottage. No one wants to experience the same struggle as Cameron Diaz in The Holiday when she arrives at her holiday cottage and has to drag her suitcase down a muddy, winding path!
A suitcase with a built-in laundry bag is also a good idea, giving you somewhere to put your used clothes, keeping them away from your fresh, clean ones.
Feel free to choose whichever suitcase catches your eye, as you don’t need to worry about luggage size or weight if you’re not travelling by plane!
6. Coffee fix
If you’re a coffee addict and staying in a remote caravan park without easy access to cafés, invest in a portable mini coffee machine!
These machines brew your favourite coffee perfectly every time and their small size means they don’t take up too much space in your bag.
Some hotels do provide coffee machines and pods, so always check what facilities are available before you travel. However, you might still want to bring your own if you’ve seen the viral TikTok video from former hotel manager Melissa Hanks, aka @melly_creations, which reveals just how dirty hotel coffee machines can be!
If you’re heading to a festival or camping holiday, bringing one of these machines is a stroke of genius! Trust us, everyone will thank you for the brilliantly brewed coffee after a night spent in a tent.
7. Stack your storage
Instead of bringing your entire collection of make-up and jewellery, try selecting a few choice pieces and placing them in stackable storage pots. These pots fit together neatly to take up less space in your bag. They also minimise the risk of make-up breakage and the dreaded necklace tangle!
As you’re unlikely to be travelling on a plane, you can bring more liquids with you, so feel free to pack cleansers, moisturisers and toners galore!
8. The ‘burrito method’
Still can’t fit all the clothes you want to bring in your bag? Try using the ‘burrito method’! Roll your clothes up like you’re rolling a burrito and tuck the edges in. This will turn your items into neat, little packages, easily packable and stackable within your luggage.
If you’re really organised, plan out your outfits for each day and roll each one into a separate ‘burrito’. This will make getting ready on a morning extra easy and save you from searching endlessly through your luggage for a particular matching item.
This method means you can fit far more of your wardrobe into your luggage and, as you’re unlikely to be flying, you don’t have to worry about weight restrictions! For step-by-step instructions on how to master the ‘burrito method’, check out @pikanab’s great video.
9. Pack backwards
If you’re able to plan out which items you’re likely to need and when you’ll need them, try packing backwards.
Pack the things you’ll need on the final days of your break first and the things you’ll need the minute you get there, last. This means you won’t have to empty your entire suitcase on the first day because your pyjamas are at the bottom!
This is also a great way to get older kids to work out which things they actually need to bring and which they can leave behind. Get them to write down which things they’re planning to wear and when to help them visualise what they actually need to pack.
10. Keep the kids happy
If you’ve got young kids, let them bring one toy each and try to limit their clothes to easy separates that can all be mixed and matched with each other. This will save you from wasting your holiday searching for that one matching hat or top.
Don’t bring anything your kids are really attached to in case it gets lost. If they don’t want to leave their favourite toy or teddy behind, encourage them to write a letter or make a video for their teddy back home about what they’ve been doing on their holiday!
Let older children bring their headphones and a couple of devices to keep them entertained once family time is over. Let them pack their own bags and if they (or you!) are anxious about forgetting something important, remind them that the beauty of holidaying in the UK is they’re likely to be within easy reach of familiar shops which will have what they need.
Try these tips when planning your next staycation and spend less time packing and more time enjoying your holiday!