Those of you feeling the hit from the credit crunch this year might be deciding to opt for a Staycation as thoughts turn to minding our pennies over our travel fantasies this year. Personally I have been struggling with my own personal recession for several years before the global one happened, but one thing that has always made my 'home stay holidays' bearable has been my wonderful garden companion, the Mexican hammock. I kid you not, these are the most comfortable hammocks in the WORLD! I first fell in love with Mexican hammocks about 10 years ago when, on the tail end of an amazing but at times totally grueling three month trip through Central America, I arrived in South Mexico. Eventually destined for a flight out of Cancun back to the UK, but still with two weeks in hand, I headed to Don Armando's lovely, cheap and cheerful clutch of sand floored, thatched huts gloriously close to the turquoise waters of Tulum.
Shortly after booking in I spied the man I had been most looking forward to meet. A hammock seller, sashaying down the beach with a rainbow of cotton draped over his shoulders. A lengthy haggle and a quick hammock rope knotting demonstration later, I was stretched out in the simplest form of luxury a tired out homeward bound girl could ever want.
My first real Mexican hammock! (yes I had been sold various uncomfortable stringy ones as I travelled through Central America, pathetic excuses for a hammock they were!) and for the remaining duration of my stay I rarely ventured further than a quick dip in the sea or the few minutes trundle up the sand to the local Margarita stand in the evenings. So in love with them am I, that when my original hammock died a couple of years ago, and I couldn't find a reasonably priced replacement in Europe, I decided to start importing them myself. One of the small pleasures in my life now are the happy emails that come my way from some of my hammock buyers.
And so, my contribution to any staycation-er's checklist goes like this...
1. A Mexican hammock, and get serious, while the smaller ones are great for general chilling, for your staycation, it has to be either a Family or Jumbo size. Check out my guide to Mexican hammocks, find out who makes them, how and all sorts of other stuff you didn't know you needed to know about hammocks.
2. Two trees positioned a minimum of 13ft+ apart (although strictly speaking, trees are optional, remember, where there's a will, there's a way.) Those of you stuck on the I don't have trees in the right position, listen up, don't be defeated, there WILL be a solution! And not having a garden is NO excuse. hang one in your lounge/somewhere else or if all else fails go to the local park and hang it!
3. Ingredients for Margarita making. Ice, lots of it. It will be HOT and SUNNY for the week/s you are on home holidays! Portable container/chill box if taking it to the park/wherever with you.
4. A willing partner/child/neighbour/other family member to fetch, carry and keep you swaying at the perfect gentle rhythm as you really don't want to be getting in and out of the hammock too much now do you. That's right, you are on staycation!
Lovely, lovely, beautiful things, these colourful bundles of joy just waiting to be strung up! Oh and by the way, you don't have to be planning a stay at home holiday to treat yourself to one, just get one anyway!