Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Life | My Top 6 reasons to Take a Long Weekend 'Staycation'

I've spent most of my life down in the digs of Cornwall and I suppose you could say I've not really got out much in terms of seeing the rest of the country and also the world too. When I moved to university I used to joke to people that I'd lived a sheltered life, but it wasn't really sheltered as such, it's just that things were very different down there. We had beach parties and house parties that no one could call the police on for disturbing the peace, because many of us lived in the middle of no where. We partied in fields, woods and camped in places that weren't really suitable for camping in, but we were safe. I didn't travel out of Cornwall often because I never had much reason to. 

When I made the decision to go to university 300 odd miles away from home I guess what helped my decision was that it would give me more opportunities to explore the country. Keele still had that safe yet isolated feel of Cornwall, which I kind of liked, though unlike Cornwall, it was a place that was a bit out of the way but at the same time well connected to plenty of other parts of the country. 

Throughout my time at Keele I got to see a few different places by travelling to the parental homes of friends I met at university and exploring our near by cities. Since graduating, I've only had the chance to visit a small handful more, the most recent being Argyll in Scotland, which you can read about here.
Looking out over Loch Long. Argyll, Scotland
Though it's safe to say, I'm still not getting the amount of exploring done that I'd really like to. A lot of the things listed on my Day Zero Challenge involve visiting new places. And personally, as a graduate, I feel that weekend trips are one of the most brilliant ways to do that. 

As a student you get a hell of a lot more time off in comparison to a graduate. I would often get more or less than 18 weeks of holiday when I was a student per year, not taking into account the fact that at their lowest, my contact hours in the week were 6, and at their highest just above double that. It's safe to say, whilst student life can be really stressful, it definitely tops the 25 days of holiday I get per year in my current job.  

So how on earth do you make the most of 25 days of holiday? So far, Michael and I have worked it quite well. Rather than taking a week at a time off, seeing your contracted holidays fade away quickly, we take a Friday and a Monday off and have about a day and a half to travel and 2 and a bit days to explore. No it's not really enough to go abroad but it's certainly enough for a 'staycation'. 

So, my first reason to go on more UK weekend getaways is:

1. It gives you more chances to go away
You don't really need as many days off to pop to and from various places in the country. With just that Friday and Monday off and including the weekend we've gone all the way to Cornwall, a 326 mile drive and on another occasion as mentioned above, to Argyll, in Scotland, a 327 mile drive. We've also managed to do the same or something similar and get to plenty of other places too. 

You may spend a good part of the Friday and Monday travelling, but if you leave early enough on the Friday you'll still have plenty of time for exploring. If you're happy to arrive late back on the Monday and drive when it's darker, you've still got the chance to get up to something in the morning. It may feel like it flies by but to be honest, you really can pack a lot into to a couple of days. 

By only using 2 days of holiday and the weekend to your advantage, with 25 days of contracted holiday, you could potentially fit in 12 different mini-breaks with a day to spare. 

2. It makes you appreciate the UK
People are often so quick to only consider a holiday abroad a 'real' holiday, but the UK is a very beautiful place that I think we don't often appreciate enough. I've lived in Cornwall most of my life so I'm quite biased when I talk about the beauty of this country, but places like Scotland and Sheffield are also so wonderful to visit, even for a weekend. There's loads of places that I've never been to and really want to visit which eventually I shall get around to.
Summerleaze Beach, Bude
3. It could save you a bit of money
Often going abroad will cost a bit, sure there's cheap deals out there that are sometimes cheaper than even a train journey to the south but there's a lot of extra costs involved. For a 6 day all inclusive holiday in Tunisia we paid over £700 each excluding the costs of excursions and the trinkets we bought for family and friends. To Cornwall for a weekend? Around £80. To Scotland? Around £150. To Cambridge? Around £90.

Obviously these prices most definitely won't be the same for everyone. Our accommodation in Scotland was a beautiful cabin whilst in Cornwall it was a tent and then my bedroom at home. Our petrol is often split between the two of us or potentially more people too. 

Make the most of the adventures your friends or family want to take because travelling in a larger group, if they all pay fair, can save a bit of money. Also, the prices above take into consideration that we not only make the most of travelling with friends, but also the locations of family and long distance friends, which takes me onto my next point...

4. It can be used as a good excuse for a catch up
When I want a weekend away, I can go see any one of my university/home friends and they can show me around their cities and towns. When I want a longer weekend, I can turn to my family in Cornwall, Cambridge, Portsmouth and various other places in the country and save money on my accommodation by asking if we can take up refuge in their home for a couple of nights or if they can recommend cheap places near by. 

If you've been to university you're likely to have met people from all over the country and in some cases you may have even made friends with people who were studying abroad. In which case, your opportunities to travel could take you much further. Not only that, but if you're still close to friends from back home who have also moved around the country, there's yet another opportunity to pay a pal a visit and explore somewhere new!
Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
5. There's not much stress involved
I know some people can go abroad with no stress involved but personally, I can't. I have a real 'trust no b*tch' approach to life so it's always in the back, or often the front, of my mind that someone has stolen all my belongings. I look back at my towel on a beach, concerned, as though it's something worth stealing. Then there's getting around the airport, the hustle and bustle when you arrive in a new country, the strangers offering to carry your suitcase, or practically grabbing it out of your hand and then expecting a tip and various other things that bring me a slight sense of panic.

However, the most stressful thing on a weekend trip if you're going in the car is if that conks out. Or obviously anything worse. But otherwise, I personally find them much less stressful.

Although, if anyone gets injured that can kind of disturb the relaxation of any weekend break! So stay safe guys.

But a well planned weekend trip can truly be a delight.

6. You can catch a glimpse of beautiful places along the way and revisit them
I find when you're abroad you want to explore the surrounding places more thoroughly. But in the UK, it's not like you can't make a pit stop to enjoy the view and then be on your way, because you can always return to that same spot with very little money, time or effort. Of course, you can snap a photo and revisit somewhere abroad with ease too, but it's not like you can drive there for an overnight stay and be on your way again without committing to a good time travelling.

I'm not sure when my next little weekend getaway will be or where I'll go but I certainly look forward  to it.

What do you love most about weekend trips?
MissIsGoode

2 comments :

  1. I really need want to explore the UK more this year - we're so lucky to be able to see so much of the country so easily, I feel like I need to make the most of it more!

    The Life & Times of Belle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I need to go to new and exciting places. I feel exactly the same, let me know if you're ever in my area!

      Thanks for stopping by :) x

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