Most people look forward to their annual holiday as a time to spoil themselves and get away from it all. However, it’s a long time to wait once this year’s holiday is over until the next year. That’s why it’s a good idea to take a short break or weekend away in between times, to give you a change of scenery and a chance to recharge your batteries. Thankfully there are a whole host of possibilities when it comes to taking a short break; you just need to have a clear idea of the kind of trip you want to take and how to get the most from your time away.
Travelling to your destination
The less time you have to spend travelling, the better, as it means you are spending less of your limited break on the logistical part of your trip and more on the having a good time part. That doesn’t mean you can’t go a fair distance, as long as there is a train or flight that doesn’t take too long to get you where you’re going. It only takes an hour or two if you want to fly to the continent for instance, or the rest of the UK and the Channel Islands. If you opt for a train ride, you can make it a part of your holiday, as you will be able to sit back and relax without the hassle of driving, and train travel can be a very pleasant mode of transport. When you’re thinking about how long it will take you to get there and back, don’t forget to factor in the time it takes waiting to board, and any transfers from the airport or station to your accommodation.
The big city break
The capital cities in the UK and Europe offer abundant forms of entertainment and interest for everyone in your family, and you’ll easily find plenty to do and see in any large city. For a short break, there is also the option of visiting one of the smaller cities or towns, giving you the chance to explore a bit of the countryside if you want to. This kind of trip can be a whirlwind of tourist attractions and shopping, but if you want to take some time to relax, you’ll find a range of spa facilities, gardens and quiet tea rooms where you can wind down and watch the world go by.
The theme park break
Theme parks are great fun for kids and make ideal short break destinations. You don’t have to have children to have a good time, though! There are plenty of attractions and activities for adults too. As well as adventure parks with rides and rollercoasters, you can go to places like Longleat Safari Park and stay at the Centerparcs resort. That gives you access to the activities in the resort, the park, gardens, and stately home, as well as the surrounding countryside. There are many different kinds of theme parks around the country and in Europe, such as water parks, forest parks, and extreme sports parks, so there’s plenty of choices.
The country break
If you spend most of your time in the city, or work in a busy environment, spending a weekend in a rural location away from the hustle and bustle can be heavenly. Many holiday cottages are available for weekend bookings, or you could try glamping, a country hotel, or bed and breakfast; or just a back-to-nature camping trip. The UK has some of the best countryside in the world and is ideal for walking, cycling or riding holidays. When you select your accommodation, bear in mind how close you will be to amenities and places to visit. If you want to kick back and relax and don’t intend to stray far from your lodgings, then an isolated cottage down a remote track could be perfect. However, if you want to get out and about, you’ll waste a lot of time travelling to and from your little outpost to reach civilisation.
The continental break
France and Spain are within close proximity to the UK, so make ideal destinations for a short break. You’ll find there are many short stay packages available, such as a trip to Monet’s garden or a luxury weekend in Barcelona. You can also arrange your own tours of places of interest, such as the war graves or D-Day beaches. You could also book a guided trip to leading visitor attractions, like the Louvre museum or a Versailles Palace tour. It can be frustrating to have a limited amount of time to spend somewhere when there is so much to do, so planning where you want to go in advance will make the experience less stressful. Say you’re going for a weekend in Rome; it’s better to plan a tour of the Vatican and a trip to the Forum with time for an evening walk than to arrive without having a plan and spend hours deciding where to go.
It might sound a bit daft suggesting a staycation when the idea of a short break is to get away from it all. However, it can be a sensible and enjoyable option providing you can resist the temptation to fiddle about with your chores for the duration. The advantages are that you will have your own bed and familiar surroundings, and you’ll save the expense of travel and accommodation. Staycations work best when you have a clear plan of where to go each day, and you eat out as well, so you’re not stuck with the cooking. A variation on this theme is the house swap, where you change places with another family and stay in each other’s homes. That will give you a flavour of somewhere new, while still being an economical option.
The key to making the most of your short break is to plan ahead so that you don’t waste too much time on the travelling and deciding what to do. If you get your planning right, you should have a wonderful time and give yourself a boost in between your annual holidays.