The brutally realistic guide to what you can do on annual leave right now if you can’t travel aboard
Getty/ JAIME REINA / Contributor

Newton’s third law of motion states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

When Britain bid farewell to the European Union to contract and act as a tiny island, a deadly virus appeared, rendering borders useless and meaning that the UK is forever tied to the international stage, its success in the pandemic dependent on other countries’ successes.

This is, of course, not Newton’s third law of motion but a terrible coincidence. But anyway; abroad holidays are going to be difficult this summer.

Today, transport Secretary Grant Shapps said people can start thinking about booking foreign holidays, BUT, there will be a traffic light system grading countries by risk meaning people will have to at least take expensive tests upon leaving and returning to the UK or pay for a 10-day stay in a quarantined hotel when returning to the UK, like some sort of shamed Big Brother contestant.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps  giving evidence to the Transport Committee on the subject of Responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Transport“You can go on holiday, definitely, maybe, on these conditions, I think” has already extended the suspension of its flights and holidays up to 23 June following the government’s announcement and Heathrow Airport chief executive officer John Holland-Kaye expressed concerns that tests would mean only wealthy people can travel.

This is a crying shame because the majority of countries are a) warmer than England and b) have better food. Nonetheless, now is not the time to stockpile your annual leave for 2022. After all, there’s plenty of fun to be had at home. Here’s how:

Stare at the wall

Stare at it. No, closer now. Can you see it? Yes, there it is – a single fleck of chipped paint. Thank goodness you took time of work. It would have been disastrous to miss it.

Deep clean

To the point that you are too terrified to move a muscle in your own home lest it loses its gleam.


No, do not make a dash through the Channel tunnel, as tempting as it is. OK, yes you can fit in exercise in during the working day, but during annual leave you can structure you whole day around it. A potential routine could be: wake up and not run because you haven’t had breakfast. Have breakfast and then not run because you’ve just eaten. Leave it too late and whoops it's lunch now. And now its dinner. And you haven’t run but you have filled a day through procrastination and that is certainly something.

You won’t be the only one. According to equipment brand Eleiko, home gym sales have spiked by 1,800% since March 2020.

Read all the books you have been meaning to read

Yeah, ok.... binge watch all the TV series you’ve been meaning to read

Displace rural or coastal communities

Through the simple act of booking an Airbnb in either the Lake District or Cornwall – and nowhere else – you can annoy people who live there by cluttering up the beach, littering, and loudly remarking about the difference in air quality.


Sleeping is incredible and if our Fitbit scores are to go by, we are not getting enough of it. Use the opportunity bestowed upon us by our annual leave to slip into a restorative sleep so that when the pubs reopen, you will have enough energy for every all-nighter on offer.

Plan a holiday

The most meta thing you can do on holiday, we suppose, is doing all the admin for when you are eventually allowed to go on holiday. Let’s face it, booking flights, sorting insurance and finding accommodation is not fun. Do it now for 2022, or 2023, or 2024…

Turn your home into “a holiday”

Eat food from the place you wanted to go to. Yes, an oven pizza from the supermarket is probably not quite as satisfying as one from Italy but needs must. While you are at it, stick a picture of the beach on your wall, stare at it, and huff sun cream while listening to a soundtrack of ambient restaurant noise. Turn the radiator on to remember what it’s like to be warm. Stop crying. Stop crying!

It has certainly been a year (and a half). We can only hope 2022 is better. If not, you’ll find us staring at the wall again.

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