Current economic realities mean that many people cannot afford to go away for their annual holiday or vacation. The media are highlighting this trend and describe it by use of the horrible word “staycation”. The old English quip that one is “going to stoppertom” (stop at home) may seem a disappointing prospect but it is really an opportunity.
Familiarity certainly breeds contempt when people think about the town where they live. Especially if you have lived in your home town for a long time you may feel that you know everything there is to know about it and its surrounding area.
Preparation and planning is the key to a good time with any vacation. Plan your holiday at home with as much care as if you were going away on vacation. Look at your town and area with a tourist’s eye and do what any tourist would do, either visit the local tourist information office or consult their website. Collect tourist information leaflets and other information on what attractions and activities are available in your town, within the local area or within easy travelling distance either by car or public transport. Another invaluable source of information might be your local public library, also find out from friends and family if they have been anywhere interesting lately. It might also be useful to collect any vouchers giving money off tickets to local attractions.
What are your interests and hobbies? What visitor attractions in your local area coincide with your interests? What local amenities are there? Many area have sports centres, swimming pools, public parks, theatres, cinemas, nature reserves, city farms or wildlife parks. Is your town hosting any festivals or shows during your designated holiday time?
There may be rivers, lakes, hills, moors, mountains or beauty spots near to your home, or perhaps there is a National park within striking distance of your home?
It may not even be necessary to use the car, Public transport may be both a cheaper and greener option for your day trips. It is often possible to buy special tickets which allow you to use various forms of public transport, family, student and pensioner tickets and concessions may also be available.
A summer at home can be just as enjoyable as going away. Look at your local area as if you were visiting it for the very first time. You will be pleasantly surprised you might even find that you have not enough time to fit everything that you want to do into the allotted time. Any vacation, even one spent in your own home, is what you make it.