1. Never use the word ‘staycation’. The word ‘staycation’ is pretty much the worst thing about staycations. I always find it’s oddly claustrophobic, conjuring up images of people hanging hammocks up between their bookcase and bannister, then trying to use the cat as a cocktail waiter. Also, over the years the word has been hijacked by people who think five days half board in St Ives counts as a ‘staycation’. It does not. It is a holiday.
2. Use the word ‘holibobs’ by all means, but only when around very close friends.
3. Dress inappropriately for the weather. It’ll take some restraint, of course, to forget there’s a whole wardrobe of jumpers/shorts only a few feet away, but without being either a bit shivery or a bit over-warm you’ll just never capture the true spirit of holiday.
4. Be a shameless tourist. Head out into your neighbourhood and take cheery photos of each other in front of the most innocuous buildings you can find. I, for example, have a photo of myself in front of Worthing Borough Council’s Portland House offices hanging on my bedroom wall. Good times.
5. Be sure to compare everything to the way it works at home. This will be difficult because you are still at home, but give it a good bash nonetheless. “Ooh, this street looks a bit like home,” you can say, or “this pie tastes just like the ones we eat at home.” If you get lucky, you might even be able to say that something is NOTHING LIKE it is at home. Although if this is the case, check you haven’t wandered into another county by mistake.
6. Have a lot of sit-downs. If yours are anything like mine, holidays are essentially one long sit-down with refreshments, punctuated by small amounts of standing, walking and looking at things. If you can squeeze in two sit-downs before noon, you’re doing well.
7. The exception to the above rule, of course, is lie-downs. If you can spend a whole week horizontal then even better, but it does make it harder to eat Mr Whippys.
8. Be very slightly drunk, all the time. But only on one of the following: ice-cold beer, sangria, lukewarm beer, mojitos, pink wine, ouzo.
9. Get lost. If you’ve a naturally poor sense of direction then this one is quite easy – just get on a bus you’ve never been on, get off after half an hour and try to walk home (if you’ve a naturally good sense of direction, step eight might need to be implemented first). Once you’re good and lost, try asking for directions using very basic GCSE French.
10. At the designated end of your home holiday, go out of the house, come back in again and express relief at not having been burgled. Then say “ahhh” and put the kettle on.