There is nothing I love more than relaxing by a pool, sunshine beaming down on me, with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other. Our holidays abroad were the highlights of my year; our chance to switch off and relax. Fast forward a few years and my pasty skin has not seen Greek, Cypriot or Spanish sun in too long, thanks to our tiny tornado who now rules the roost.
We haven’t been abroad since I was pregnant. Every now and then we consider booking a last minute beach holiday, but then we come to our senses. We’ve realised that the peace and quiet that we used to enjoy on holiday would be replaced by constantly having to entertain a child who is far too keen on water and would have our stress levels shooting off the scale, as she edged ever closer to the pool; probably throwing away her arm bands, rubber ring and float as she went, just to add that extra bit of drama and danger! So we needed an alternative holiday that catered for all of our needs, but that we could all still enjoy. And this is where we fell in love with staycations.
A staycation is simply a holiday spent in your home country, or even just in your home town and venturing out on day trips. Having grown up in a seaside town, I could never understand why people would want to holiday within Britain. Why weren’t they racing to the travel agents to book themselves on the next flight to Corfu?! But since becoming parents we have realised that staycations are actually a great idea. If you are still yearning for the sun, sand and sea of international shores, but don’t think you are ready to face it all with kids, then read on as I share with you the reasons why a staycation is a great alternative.
It’s cheaper than holidaying abroad
Obviously if you decide to spend your break at The Ritz for a fortnight, then that will be much more expensive than a package deal to Spain. However, staycations can be done on a tight budget if you shop around and are flexible with your dates. There are lots of budget friendly hotels in Britain, and a huge number of holiday camps and caravan parks that cater specifically for families with young children. And as much as I enjoy holidays abroad as an adult, some of my best childhood memories come from holidays to a Butlins that was 25 minutes away from my house, or from trips to British seaside towns. I didn’t need a huge complex with an on site water park and spa: all I wanted was a face painter, a decent disco and Slush Puppies on tap. Holiday camps and parks have also come a long way since we were kids and are now providing much more for families, but still at relatively low prices. So get booking and make some memories!
We try to pick destinations that are far enough away from home so that we actually feel like we are away; but then we try not to travel too far so we can avoid having to spend too much time in the car. We have found that breaking a long road journey up into shorter parts makes it much more enjoyable for everyone. For example, on our way to Scotland we usually stop off in Leeds for a night or two to visit friends before setting off on the next leg of our journey. This also gives added bonus of making it feel like another mini holiday.
Less travel time
I hate flying. I’m always convinced that something bad is going to happen to the plane, to the point that I have to sit by the window just so I can keep make sure that everything looks ok and no bits have fallen off the plane. Thankfully so far no wings have dropped off on my watch, so I’m here to tell the tale. Flying is quite a stressful experience for me, so if I was to add a toddler into the flight equation, the anxiety levels would be through the roof. Trying to keep myself calm whilst dealing with a toddler confined to their seat for hours on end, after having spent a good few hours in the airport terminal, and so is understandably bored, is not the calm and peaceful start I’d like to my holiday. By staying in Britain we have managed to avoid most of the issues that can come from traveling with small children, and that has made our holidays all the more enjoyable. We try to pick destinations that are far enough away from home so that we actually feel like we are away; but then we try not to travel too far so we can avoid having to spend too much time in the car. We have found that breaking a long road journey up into shorter parts makes it much more enjoyable for everyone. For example, on our way to Scotland we usually stop off in Leeds for a night or two to visit friends before setting off on the next leg of our journey. This also gives the added bonus of making it feel like another mini holiday.
You’ll have everything you need nearby
Accidentally left behind the only nappy cream that your child’s sensitive skin doesn’t react horrendously too? Pop to the local Boots and pick up some more. Have they decided that the only thing they want to eat that week are some very particular own brand yoghurts/cake/chicken nuggets? Get yourself down the supermarket and stock up. The beauty of a staycation is that all the familiar shops that you use on a day to day basis at home will still be just a short drive away, perfect for when a toddler tantrum demanding is close to ending the holiday before it even starts.
Discovering hidden gems
Millions of people from across the world flock to Britain every year to visit our world famous tourist attractions. We are a nation steeped in history, culture and beauty, but so many of us choose to jet off to other countries to explore when we actually have so much left to discover on our own doorsteps.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start enjoying your staycation!
Mama of a Cool Kid