What is a staycation!? It is a holiday spent in one's own country rather than abroad or one spent at home involving day trips! Mmm when my children were younger we often used to stay at home and have outings and we loved a traditional 'bucket and spade' holiday in the UK - especially to Devon or Dorset. For a while we had a lovely big touring caravan which both children adored and although it was hard work for me, I agree it was a fantastic way to holiday with young children. But I didn't expect in 2020 and 2021 to have no alternative but to 'staycation' .... I wouldn't say I am a big fan of travelling but I like to have the choice and as my children have got older I have enjoyed guaranteed sun and sun-loungers even more! But here we are with the the UK government and governments around the world still restricting our travel (remind me what the vaccine is for if it isn't to save lives, reduce serious illness and open up the world economy and allow travel again)?
But it is what it is and nothing I can do! I am very fortunate to have booked a week in Cornwall at a friends apartment overlooking the sea near Portwrinkle. It was a spontaneous decision months ago, she said she had slots available still and I decided it was best not to hesitate!
I am a bit concerned about how busy Cornwall will be though, my friend sent me a list of restaurants but many weren't yet taking bookings. Another insta-friend said that she had been unable to get any restaurant reservations until late August! I might be cooking or getting takeaways then!
Packing the basics for my UK staycation ...
I am getting better at packing but I still take too much!
I tend to pick a base colour, so navy and white for summer mostly, start with jeans and comfortable trainers and add in t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts and skirts and then a few dresses for hot days or dinners out.
I am very careful to choose fabrics that won't crease too much! Never linen! I favour cotton or a lightweight jersey.
If the weather is excellent I want to be wearing my summer skirts and dresses but shorts are very practical too, as long as I have a floaty top! I hate anything too clingy or restrictive.
I will often wear a bikini under a dress or shirt so that I can easily strip off if we end up on the beach and the weather is warm enough. There is nothing worse than feeling overdressed on a beach.
If I am being practical and want to swim then I always make sure I have a flattering swimsuit.
I take a few lightweight scarves and they have lots of uses - a sarong over swimwear, a wrap around my shoulders in the evening or a scarf for warmth if the weather isn't so great.
I love a hat and my favourites are my men's trilby from Marks & Spencer or the Gilly packable and crushable hat with UPF50 from Creative DeZigns.
Below: my dress is the Natasha Floral Boho Maxi Dress from Mint Velvet with a men's trilby from Marks & Spencer.
These are an absolute essential! Sandals that I can walk in (no thin soles) or strappy straps and I need something more significant than a flip flop. Plus trainers are still my go to with dress, shorts or jeans on holiday! I am loving the selection I was sent from Hotter this year as part of a paid partnership for their #AgeofComfort campaign - especially the Hotter Switch as it is lightweight and ideal for the warmer weather.
You can't do a UK staycation without a waterproof jacket AKA the pac-a-mac! Years ago when we still had our caravan we had a very wet two weeks in Pembrokeshire with the cousins and we had to buy all the kids new wellies and the pac-a-mac jokes from that holiday are still fondly remembered! On my wish list to up the style stakes is the Waterproof City Walker lightweight rain jacket from Protected Species but for now I might still be taking my navy blue pac-a-mac from Millets! I always take my lightweight down jacket from Uniqlo though, it packs up small, it is shower-proof and gives me a bit of warmth if needed.
Sunscreen - Green People
Yes we still need a sun cream in the UK! But I am not the most dedicated at putting it on, I will be taking my facial SPF30 Sunscreen+Primer from ZO Skin Health at ERA Skin & Laser Clinic which has a 12 hour time release complex so I don't need to top up.
And I was very kindly sent the Scent Free Facial Sun Cream and the Scent Free Sun Cream from the award winning organic natural sun range at Green People. The facial sun cream is an SPF30 and is suitable for sensitive skin. The sun cream is also an SPF30 and suitable for the whole family and especially good for sensitive skin. It is 'reef safe water repellent' and has a non-greasy formula. I am delighted to have this sun cream to try as my husband has very sensitive skin, prone to burning and many sun creams can aggravate him.
Green People remind us to apply liberally an hour before sun exposure, reapply frequently and always after swimming. Avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm.
Did you know that an SPF only indicates the level of protection against UVB rays? SPF means Sun Protection Factor and you need a 'broad spectrum SPF for UVA and UVB protection. It is the UVB rays that cause you to burn. But it is the UVA rays that affect ageing and can cause skin cancer. So for example an SPF15 means you can sit in the sun for 15 x longer without burning but you must sill make sure the sun cream is protecting you from UVA rays as well - so always look for a 'broad spectrum' and the best SPF to buy is an SPF30 which will filter approx 97% of UVB rays but you need to reapply every 2 hours.
Sunscreen - Escentual #SunPoverty Campaign
I was also sent a sample of the Escentual Sunscreen SPF50, Escentual are launching a campaign to end sun poverty #sunpoverty and they asked if I would share the details on my blog and instagram. Did you know that 80% of sun damage happens before the age of 18? And that 86% of melanoma cases are preventable?
Escentual is calling on the government to abolish VAT on children's sunscreen because it is not discretionary, it is essential.
As part of their #sunpoverty campaign they are educating school age children about the importance of sunscreen.
And for every one sunscreen sold, they will donate one sunscreen to a child in need. This includes buying the Escentual Sunscreen SPF50, Clarins, Bioderma or Eucerin from Escentual.
The Escentual Sunscreen SPF50 is water resistent for 4 hours, it has a handy clip to attach the sunscreen to school bags and it has a space to write your child's name. It is suitable for sensitive skin and dermalogically tested.
Swimsuit for pool, beach or swimming
I love a bikini but I also love a good fitting, flattering swimsuit too and they are more practical for a UK staycation and a bit more flattering in the absence of a golden tan and the more liberal confidence we have on foreign beaches!
I don't swim in the sea but I might have a paddle and a swimsuit can feel a bit warmer by the waters edge!
My swimsuit this year is the Burano Deep Plunge Swimsuit from Fantasie and I love their extensive range of cup fitting swimwear and mix n match bikinis. You can read more about swimwear for women over 50 and embrace your inner confidence by reading my post here
Anything I've missed? Wellies, umbrella maybe? Make sure you have warm layers too! This is a UK holiday after all!
I'm not going until mid-July but thought I'd start planning, excited me?
Disclaimer: this post contains gifted items from Green People, Escentual and Fantasie, I was under no obligation to share on my blog and all words and opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Subscribe below to receive regular updates by email:
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
Join my mailing list (above) for regular updates and don’t forget to look at my social media pages too..
Online Personal Training
60 Day Online Challenge