Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Why staycations are an easy alternative to going abroad

 To me holidays are a special time, a time to relax and enjoy being with your family. A time to really connect  with each other and spend valuable time together. So many parents work these days and life is often hectic and they don’t always have time to interact with their children on a day to day basis a much as they would like too.  Holidays are not cheap these days and you need to get the best family time available for your money.

When my own family were young we tended to stay in Britain where as my sister always went abroad. I never really understood the need to do this.To me  UK family breaks are convenient. There is so so much to consider when travelling abroad, especially if you have very young children. Does everybody have an up to date passport? Have you taken out sufficient travel insurance?  Have you enough time between connecting flights/ferries?  If one is delayed then you may miss a connection messing up the whole holiday. Have you had the correct injections? For me all this would create too much stress beforehand and defeat the purpose of a relaxing enjoyable family time. 

But one alternative that I think is great is a staycation. 
staycation is a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night. 

a windmill at the free windfarm. 
I love this idea. There is usually so much to see and do in your own area. We all see tourists in our area and if the area you live in can  attract people from other countries then it must hold some interest for ourselves. I have done various posts on my blog of free days out we have enjoyed. 

the autumnal colours at a local free park 

I think the secret to a successful staycation is the same as with any holiday - planning. You also need to make sure you are appealing to everybody that is going to be involved.  

You could maybe alternating an art gallery for older children with an interactive museum for the younger children. 

Planning takes many forms to include
  • transport, make the most of public transport and take advantage of day tripper tickets to minimise costs. This gives the driver a holiday as well and it saves the "are we there yet" cries from the back of the car and means you can all enjoy the trip. Much easier to play games like I Spy if nobody is concentrating on driving.
  • opening hours of places of interest, no point in turning up at a place of interest if it only opens part time.
  • look for free places to visit, most museums and country parks in my area are free, as is the wind  farm and the beach. This is a great way to make the budget stretch allowing you to visit other  places of interest with higher entrance fees. 
  • take snacks with you for during the trip but plan where to eat out just as you would with any other holiday
  • would you benefit from a membership to organisations like National Trust or Historic Scotland? When we went on holiday a few years back we took out memberships that could be paid over twelve months by direct debit so it did not come out of the actual budget. This gives access to places of interest that you can then visit again throughout the year for free. 
  • Plan some indoor days as the weather can be unpredictable, but leave these for the wet days, and if you have none fit them in nearer the end of the holidays anyway. 
  • Do you have relatives that live within your travelling area? Then you could stay away for a night for free and explore slightly further afield. 

 So next time you are planning a holiday, why not plan a staycation? Enjoy the attractions in your own area and maybe find some interesting places that you fancy revisiting in the future. 

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