four deck chairs at the beach

A Staycation Survival Guide For The Ultimate UK Getaway

Published: 28/06/2021

Oh no! Your sizzling summer destination abroad has been put on the red list, but you’ve already booked the time off work and the kids have been bouncing off the walls for the last few weeks in excitement... What do you do now?! 

Before you break the news to your family (and prepare yourself for the tears and tantrums to come!), why not book a thrilling trip right here in the UK? Yes, from the countryside to the city and beyond, the UK is bursting with exciting destinations for you to explore and enjoy - and you don’t have to spend a wad of cash updating your passports, either! 

With no ridiculously early starts or mad rushes to the airport to worry about, staycations truly are as stress-free as holidays come. But there’s nothing worse than joining the queue of caravans on the motorway, only to get struck with that sudden panic we all know too well – you’ve left the sun cream on the kitchen counter, the cooler box by the back door, and your swimming costume has been left folded up on the bed! 

Tackle the terror of preparation panic with the help of this handy blog! Whether you’re hiking over the Welsh hills, getting bronzed at Brighton beach, or looking around London’s tourist hotspots, we’ve included everything you need to stuff your suitcase and enjoy the most spectacular summer staycation on record. The Great British Adventure awaits…

Avoid the chaos and kick back by the coast

romantic picnic at the beach

We all love a trip to the seaside - munching on fresh fish and chips while watching the waves crash onto the shore, kids pestering parents for an ice cream before heading home - and, although you don’t want to be bogged down by bags full of items for every scenario, there are a few essentials you’ll want to remember to pack to ensure you have the best beach experience.

Sand gets everywhere. Even after a few days, you’ll still be finding it coming out of inexplicable places - and that’s why beach towels are your best friend! Plus, you’ll need something to keep yourself warm after a chilly dip in the sea! (On that note, don’t forget your swimming shorts or costume!). Upgrade your comfort with a padded picnic blanket that rolls up and can be easily carried. They’ll take up little space while maximising your comfort on the beach – essential if your beach is less sand and more stone!

While the weather is not the most reliable in the UK, we’re still counting on a sizzling summer to save the holiday season. That means you’ll want to include some precautions – we all know the agony of spending a little too much time in the sun that even an entire bottle after sun can’t put right! As well as the obvious inclusion of sunscreen and sunglasses, why not try a stylish new sun hat or shady beach tent? They’ll both keep the sun off your face while enjoying the outdoors and prevent embarrassing panda eyes or lobster skin!

For those non-sunbathers out there who like to use the beach as a place to enjoy outdoor activities, why not bring along some exciting beach games that can be enjoyed by the whole family? Limbo and beach volleyball and two classics that are great to play at the beach and require minimal setup, but you can find even more fun-filled ideas and inspiration in our fully-loaded beach games guide! From tots to teens, we’ve got something to keep absolutely everyone entertained on those long summer days. 

Also, with the wide open sea right there, why not bring a paddleboard with you and try your hand at some watersports? Get into your wetsuit and dive straight into the chilly water - surfing and paddleboarding are both a great way to exercise while having fun - as well as learning a new skill to impress your mates with! Not many of us are lucky enough to live close to the sea, so ensure you make the most of it while on your break!

To set the mood and keep the good times rolling, make sure you’ve got a booming Bluetooth speaker to bring to the beach - whether you go for afrobeats during the day to keep the good vibes going or some mellow acoustic beats to unwind as the sun begins to set, a speaker is a must have for any beach holiday.

Sightseeing city break? Walk this way!

city landscape

So you can’t head off to major European cities like Barcelona or Paris this summer, but don’t let that get you down: Britain’s got its own collection of cracking cities to explore! London, Manchester, and Edinburgh all offer so much – with so many things to do, places to eat, and historical landmarks to explore, you’ll never be left wondering what to do while you’re wandering around your chosen destination! 

When exploring new cities, it’s likely you’ll be doing a fair bit of walking, so it’s well worth investing in some comfortable trainers that’ll keep your feet safe and secure all holiday long – after all, it’s meant to feel like a relaxing break, not like you’ve spent a weekend running marathons! From Adidas and Nike to Skechers and Clarks, there’s so many trainer brands to choose from, all of which have unique features that’ll suit different people, so make sure you find a pair that suits you best.

As you’ll be outside a lot of the time, it’s crucial that you always keep your mobile phone charged up – you really don’t want to be on your way to an evening dinner booking, check your phone to see which way to turn, only to realise it’s out of juice and you’ve got no idea where you are! The solution? A power bank! These handy gadgets offer you portable charging, meaning you’ll never get lost or have to miss out on those prime photo ops again!

On the subject of photos, for those wanting some premium visuals to take home as a memory of the trip, it’s definitely worth investing in a high-end DSLR camera to get the best quality shots of the city. To take it to the next level, get some variable lenses and even a tripod to stand the camera on. For all fledgling filmmakers and budding photographers, we’ve put together a guide to the best DSLR cameras for beginners - the ideal resource if you don’t know your shutter speeds from your sensors! After reading, you’ll be well on your way to taking show-stopping shots and immortalising those incredible memories in high definition in no time at all. 

Last but not least, you’ll need something to carry all your gear around in. A lightweight rucksack is the ideal city companion, offering easy access to your essentials without putting too much strain on your back. The key for a city break staycation is to pack light, but smart – ensure everything you bring with you is needed!

Enjoy the great outdoors - without having to do it Bear Grylls-style!

man hiking in foggy location

A hiking holiday in the hills can be a great way to unwind and relax while keeping fit and enjoying the incredible views that the UK countryside has to offer. Whether you decide to pitch up a tent and go camping or finish your hike by relaxing in a luxury countryside hotel, a holiday in the country can provide a welcomed change of pace to the hustle and bustle of daily life, and allow you to take a much-needed digital detox. But, while we love watching Bear Grylls voluntarily putting himself through a life of misery on TV, it’s less fun if you’ve got to replicate it! Prepare with OnBuy’s help, and you can enjoy a pleasurable time reconnecting with nature - without any of the weird and (not so) wonderful survival hacks from your favourite TV traveller!

When packing for a hiking holiday, always remember the essentials. A good pair of hiking boots is needed to provide stability while you’re walking, and for the trekking pros, a hiking pole can help you keep going when the terrain gets tough and your body starts to get tired! Along the way, you’ll want to stay hydrated, so a water bottle is a must, and a British staycation wouldn’t be complete without endless cups of tea, so a flask filled to the brim is a no-brainer!

As much as we all like to think that the summer months guarantee nothing but sun, the unpredictable UK weather likes to throw us a few curveballs! If a stiff, chilly breeze rolls in, you’ll want to make sure you’ve packed appropriate clothing to keep you warm. While it may seem a cumbersome and slightly unnecessary extra when you set off in the glorious sunshine, you’ll be grateful for it later - we promise! 

Want to track your hiking routes and monitor your fitness? A fitness tracker is incredibly handy - these are available at a range of prices to suit any budget, and some even come with integrated GPS so wherever you are in the vast British countryside, you’ll never get lost.

Cheap eats wherever you go

picnic

Deciding what you’re going to eat while on holiday can be a little tricky, especially as restaurants and bars in prime tourist locations aren’t always the cheapest! To avoid a dinner-shaped dent in your pocket, why not pack a picnic instead? A fantastic way to feast and ensure you’ve got enough snacks to stave off the kids’ ravenous hunger all day long, picnics are as cost-effective as they are charming, bringing the true al fresco experience to life. 

When it comes to picnics, you have a few options to whet your appetite! The first (and arguably most popular) way to pack a banquet of bite-sized treats is to use a cooler box. Designed to keep your food fresh throughout the day and ensure you’ve always got a refreshing, ice-cold drink to hand, these incredible inventions are ideal for staycations in the sun. The second option, and a slightly more boujee one at that, is to get yourself a picnic hamper filled with all kinds of goodies that’ll provide the most sumptuous of snacks. 

Most outdoor tourist attractions will have some sort of seating area for al fresco dining, but if you’re going slightly more off the beaten track, you may want to pack a picnic blanket or a large bed sheet. The latter is exceptionally lightweight - perfect if your bags are already on the more heavy side - however, they won’t be able to protect any, shall we say, soggy bottoms, after a spell of wet weather. A waterproof picnic blanket, on the other hand, absolutely will, so make sure you check the forecast before you set off!

Ready to set off on your summer staycation?

woman looking at map

So now you’ve got some ideas on exactly what you need to pack to enjoy a memorable summer staycation, it’s time to hit the online shelves of OnBuy. No matter the destination, you’ll need a suitcase to fit in all of your clotheselectronics and toiletries for your break. And while we’re all glued to our phones today, there's a good reason; they’ve become as much of a must-have on holiday as sun cream! They’re great for discovering exciting bars and restaurants in the new location or to act as a satnav when you get lost.

But what about when you get back? Hopefully the summer sun will be making more than one appearance this year, so we’ve put together a handy selection of blogs to give you some seasonal inspiration. From in vogue garden design trends to keeping the kids entertained outdoors, our resources are packed with a wealth of ways to enjoy the summer sun!

We’ve also got an extensive collection of garden and outdoor living guides that will ensure you’re ready to make the most of your green space. They’ll guide you through the best BBQsbird care products, and even garden and patio furniture if you’re looking to upgrade your current setup.

OnBuy’s got you covered when it comes to having a spectacular summer, whether you’re staying at home or exploring the best Britian has to offer. So, what are you waiting for? Explore our extensive selection of supplies and resources and set yourself up for the best summer on record!