We’re all going on a… Staycation?
The double-dip recession means staycations are still a popular choice. I’m not a fan of the word but I do like the idea. Mainly, I must admit for financial reasons, but also because I like the concept of taking quality holiday time without the hassle and expense of travel.
Without wishing to make you all throw up, I also like the idea of appreciating what I already have (a cosy home in a nice area – yes, I know I’m really lucky) and creating a holiday from my most precious resource; time with my lovely family.
I fired up Google to steal some tips, but the majority of ‘staycation’ articles were about going away for your holiday, but within the UK. If you fancy that kind of holiday but don’t want to pay for a cottage or caravan during peak season, perhaps you could do a house swap? And then let me know how it goes so I can think about it for next year? Thanks.
We’ve got plans to meet up with friends and family at the beginning and end of our holiday week, and I think the key to success for the rest lies in the planning. One of the best things about being away is the removal from everyday environment and routine. For me, home signals both work and domestic tasks, so I need to make sure I don’t slip into my normal schedule of computer-on, Hoover at the ready (I’m joking about the Hoover, naturally).
So, taking my cue from Monica Geller, there will be rules:
The first rule of staycation is that we don’t do housework, gardening or DIY.
The second rule of staycation is that we approach food in the same way we do when we’re away ie. we eat out if we can afford it (even if it’s just fish and chips eaten sitting on a bench) and at other times we do ‘easy’ food like salads with nice bread and cold meat or pasta pesto or pizza.
The third rule of staycation is that the onus on planning/deciding what we do on any given day doesn’t fall entirely with me.
So, with the rules firmly in mind, I’ve been trying to think of some concrete ideas to make a (cheap-ish) week at home seem like a refreshing trip away.
- Pick up leaflets and free local magazines to look for cheap/free events and vouchers.
- Transform your Tesco Clubcard vouchers into day out tokens.
- Borrow a GPS unit and set up a free Geocaching account. Geocaching is basically a treasure hunt for the digital age and it’s a great way of discovering new walks or of adding excitement to places you know well.
- Get the kids to use their cameras (if they don’t own cameras, borrow some or buy cheap disposable ones) . My son and I walked around our village the other evening taking photos of walls and signs and our own feet and it really made us look at the familiar in a new light. And it was funny looking back over them when we got home, too.
- Have a couple of theme evenings planned (and shopped for). So far I’ve come up with: Movie Night (DVDs, homemade popcorn, pick-and-mix sweeties), Games Night, and cooking outdoors/camping-in-the-garden night.
- Write down a load of activities onto pieces of paper and put them into a hat or bowl. If we get stuck for something to do and we get a case of the ‘I don’t knows’, we can take it turns to pull something out.
- Make a run to the library before the holiday to stock up on books and story CDs.
- Have some new stuff to pull out at opportune moments. I’m stockpiling new craft stuff, jigsaws, sticker books, and games.
- Nothing says ‘holiday’ like eating outdoors. Take a picnic (even if it’s just cake and a flask of tea) on all walks and outings and sit outside with a glass of vino in the evenings.
Yes, if it rains solidly for a week I’m going to be gutted, but unfortunate weather and other holiday hiccups can happen on a luxury deal to costa-del-summer, too, and this way we’ll at least be a step closer to getting our bank account into the black.
However, I’m not planning to be hardcore thrifty. Yes, we could spend all day every day making macramé with our shoe laces, but I’m planning to spend some of the money we’re saving on accommodation on fun stuff; the activities that don’t fit into our normal routine and budget. Perhaps this’ll be the time we go pony trekking or ice-skating or learn archery?
I’ll let you know how it goes!