Many families have opted for a staycation this year due to the pandemic (Covid-19, if you are reading this many years later than 2020). We have decided to join the happy band of campers and stay closer to home or at home and to include some days out in the plans.
The overriding factor that caused us to decide on this was mostly dealing with the travel restrictions because of the pandemic and then there were government guidelines about what countries would be on a ‘banned for travel’ list and also some which necessitated being in 14 days mandatory quarantine upon returning to the UK.
Compounded with that was our preference to be home rather than abroad if any of us in the immediate family were to become ill.
We were blessed with some glorious weather too, so the prospect of doing a staycation was not frowned upon by anyone in the family.
Doing it Frugally
So normally if we are going away on holiday, we would usually buy some new clothes for each of us. This year, we didn’t have to! So that was a big saving!
We had gone on holiday to Morocco the previous Christmas and since we had those clothes suitable for the tropical climate of Morocco, they were perfect for the sunny weather we are now having in the UK.
We were able to upcycle an old rusty piece of metal to go with a backsplash that we did not need to make a lovely outdoor table on which to place our drinks and food in our back garden staycation spot. See the pics and you must agree with me that it is stunning.
Our garden needed sprucing up. This did not cost much as we are lucky enough to have free seeds from Kews almost every year now for the past couple of years. In addition, we save seeds from the mature plants to sow again for the following year. This year we wanted a few more colours that we did not already have in the garden and so we were able to pick out some absolute beauties from Hall’s Garden Centre and they have complemented what we already have beautifully!
We had a hammock on the lawn that was a real frugal find from Aldi. It was many years old and was beginning to look tattered and it certainly was not the look we were after for the staycation spot, so we scoured the internet looking for a large parasol, deck chairs, and loungers. The price had to be right and so we did not jump to buy the first things we saw. We checked the reviews particularly about the quality of the items. We were able to find the parasol and loungers at Studio and the deck chairs on Amazon. We love them! What do you think?
In the afternoons when the sun goes down we like to sit outside with a muffin or slice of cake and a refreshing drink. As the days were getting really hot, we decided to weigh out ingredients on a Thursday night and then bake first thing on Friday mornings before the sun was up. That way, the house would cool down earlier and we would be relieved to not be baking in the heat of the day. It is such a pleasure to sit out in the garden with our cake and drink.
We got to liking mochas too and so we started to make them and they were a huge hit and requests were made quite often for us to make them. But something was missing! We wanted to have the café’ feel with the right glassware. Well, when we started going back out to the shops, we were able to find some in a charity shop for £0.50 each! They were a real steal.
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Some of life’s little pleasures are often the best. Asyou may know this year we are doing a staycation. Mocha and a little muffin will do today as our little at home treat. Every one enjoyed it and I’m so pleased. Also I am glad that we are not a complaining lot so no one is moaning about having to stay home. We are happy to be in each others company. We will get some day trips in and will make it as fun as possible. Oh the glassware cost us 50p each! Are you having a staycation this year? #frugal #instafood #staycation2020 #staycation #joleisacreed #joleisatwins #jamaicansbelike🇯🇲🇯🇲🇯🇲🇯🇲 #jamaicansabroad #stayathomelife
Day trip as part of our staycation
For our first day trip, we took the opportunity to visit Stratford Upon Avon. Stratford-upon-Avon, a medieval market town in England’s West Midlands, is the 16th-century birthplace of the noted playwright William Shakespeare.
It is a quaint place with lovely shops and outdoor diners and lot of interesting places of historical significance.
Using the Train
The train was our first choice of mode of transportation. Individual tickets would have cost us a total of almost £60 but we bought the family saver ticket and it cost us under £40. We were happy with that save! It meant that we could pay for the scenic boat tour which we had not taken before! And it was truly delightful.
There is a really sought after fish and chips eatery in Stratford and even before Coronavirus days, there would be a queue for the place. Well, it did not disappoint (it did really). But what I mean is that there was a really long queue to eat there and so we had to give it a miss on this occasion. Instead, we ate at Zizi’s.
We order pizza with various toppings, calzone and creamy pasta with red pesto. They were served beautifully and in addition, we ordered sweet potato fries, regular fries, and drinks. Our bill was just under £90. It might seem a lot but it was not an everyday thing, and to be fair the food was worth it. We were not able to eat it all (there was a lot), and as much as we do not like to see food waste, on this occasion we had to leave some behind as no one wanted to walk with the ‘doggy bag’.
After lunch, we took in the sights and then went to book our scenic boat ride. To be perfectly honest, I’m not a fan of boat rides but everybody else wanted to do it so I was not going to put a damper on things for them so I ‘endured’ it; and to be fair, it was not too bad although I would not want to do it again! Anyway, the scenery was beautiful and I am glad I endured it long enough to get some beautiful shots.
I don’t think I have ever been to Stratford and not have ice cream from ‘Hoorays. If you ever get to go to Stratford, you must try one of their many flavours. In addition to ice cream, they do gelatos, crepes, muffins, cakes, hot and cold drinks, and lots more. Again, try it if you do get to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon. And no, I don’t personally know the owners but it is a lovely place to eat at!
Enjoy looking at the pics of our staycation and our first day-trip so far!
Can you guess where we will be going to next? Your guess is as good as mine. Usually, we use Co-op Travel and others like that to help us plan our day trips. Well when we checked this year, they have said they are not doing those now due to the pandemic! So we are on our own with this one. We will keep on checking and will be sure to let you see the pics.
Here’s a great guide to planning your trips cheaply at this time.
Until then, take care of yourself and those around you and stay safe.
Jo and Leisa
For us, this summer, even a trip to the shops is going to be an exciting part of our staycation. What about you? If you enjoyed this post, please click the image below to save it to Pinterest.