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Everyone wants more rest and relaxation, yet it’s tough to do at home when the kids are having tantrums. What you need is a getaway from the rigours of life to help you forget about everyday stresses. Life seems ten times easier when you’re sat by a pool in a nice hotel reading a book and watching the kids frolic in the pool. Of course, there isn’t the time or the money to jet set abroad on a whim. Some responsibilities won’t go away, not to mention bosses who don’t see the world in the same way.
At first glance, it appears impossible to indulge your wanderlust. You’ll have to stick to the standard two-weeks away in the summer or one-week during any half-term. But, you’re not thinking creatively enough. Yes, it may not be the longest break in the world, yet it’s still time away to recharge your batteries. And, that’s the most important thing as well as seeing the sights and bonding as a family.
With that in mind, below are the tactical travel tips you can use to get away more often. Plus, they’re not expensive or inaccessible so there is no excuse not to vacation as much as possible!
Book Around Public Holidays
Public holidays aren’t great for going away because of the time of year or duration. Easter is pretty short – only Good Friday and Easter Monday for adults – and Christmas is too out of season. Also, there’s the fact that flights and hotels are at their most expensive at these instances, so it doesn’t seem worth the energy or the money.
Thankfully, there is a simple solution – book around the public holidays. That way, you get an extended break without having to take extra time off work and take the kids out of school. Take Easter as an example. By asking for the Thursday before Easter and the Tuesday after, you can get up to a week to go on holiday. The same goes for Christmas too. All you need to do is plan your allocation strategically and book it in advance. Not only will you ensure you don’t have to stay at home on the big holidays, but you’ll also save money.
It may not be a massive chunk of time, yet it’s enough to enjoy a break and unwind. Just choose a destination which is close by – a couple of hours by plane – to maximise the experience and milk the trip for everything it’s worth.
Go At Weekends
You need to be back by Sunday and will only be able to fly on late Friday afternoon or in the evening. Looking at it that way, going away for the weekend never seems like a good idea. There isn’t enough time to enjoy yourself and the hassle of getting everything ready in time will overpower the fun. You’re better off staying at home watching TV, or that is the consensus at least.
With a change of attitude, you can use your weekends to be very productive. First of all, don’t see it as your main holiday. Instead, view it as a bonus, a sneaky getaway you’ve organised to keep you going until you can book a longer trip. That way, it’s easier to accept the experience for what it is and not to feel short-changed. Next, plan a tight schedule. By flying as soon as possible on Friday and returning late on Sunday, there will be plenty of time to explore and see the sights. Sure, everyone may be tired the morning after but it’s not as if it will throw you off for the whole week. Anyway, it’s only once every couple of months so it’s a small price to pay.
Again, pick a destination which is near such as Paris or Dublin and cut the travelling time in half. While visiting America is a dream, it’s not viable when you only have two days at your disposal.
Take A Staycation
As soon as someone mentions a holiday, the brain starts to wander. Images of golden beaches with crystal clear waters spring to mind and you get itchy feet. Suddenly, only an exotic destination will do and you’ll try everything to find a cheap and practical beach package. While it’s doable, it takes a lot of effort and energy to plan and get right.
Although the UK isn’t mainland Europe, it’s still an excellent place to explore. Let’s face it; the majority of Brits haven’t seen a quarter of the country’s cities and attractions. And, there are plenty of them to add to the to-do list. From the metropolises of London, Manchester, and Edinburgh to the nature reserves, Britain has it all. By booking a caravan in a new hot spot for the weekend, you can enjoy the delights it has to offer without hopping from flight to flight.
A fantastic tip is to make a list and start with the number one destination. Then, steadily work your way through it throughout a year. If you do one-weekend staycation a month, you’ll have twelve extra holidays a year. On top of a fortnight in the summer, it’s a lot of travelling.
Do It On A Shoestring
Time isn’t the only restricting factor. For the most part, families struggle to find the money to go on holidays because they are by no means cheap. Even a staycation in a local caravan park will cost hundreds of pounds for an average family. When money is tight, there is no way you can afford to splash that sort of cash as you have pressing responsibilities. If only there were another way…
The good news is there is more than one option on the table. Although it’s pretty obvious, you can back on your indulgences and use the money saved to fund a getaway. Switching from brand products to supermarkets’ own makes will put hundreds of pounds in your pocket a month. Another trick is to make sure you can’t touch the cash to avoid temptation. Set up a direct debit, transfer the capital into a separate bank account and let it accrue for a couple of weeks to build a sizeable budget. Or, there are guarantor loans for bad credit if you need an immediate cash injection.
While these loans have a bad reputation, you can use them to your advantage. To begin with, borrow as little as possible and pay it back as soon as possible. That way, you will avoid interest rates. Secondly, make sure you have the money coming in so that you can play catch up when you get paid.
The kids are off and your other half has time off work too, so it’s only you that needs permission. Unfortunately, your boss is being *ahem* difficult and won’t authorise the time off. They need all hands to the pump even though there is a full quota of workers and it’s not the busiest time of year.
Whatever you do, don’t take no for an answer. Although the person in charge has the power, they may be open to a compromise if it suits both parties. Usually, working remotely is the answer because it means you don’t have to come into the office. For the company, it doesn’t need to fork out for overheads which cost the business a small fortune. As long as you complete the tasks on time and hit your deadlines, there shouldn’t be an issue. Sure, it means taking a working holiday but at least you won’t be in the office surrounded by darkness and coughs and colds. Plus, you can get ahead beforehand so that your workload is light.
If that doesn’t have the desired effect, ask for unpaid leave. As long as you are willing to forego your wage, the boss should be happy to oblige.
It sounds like an overreaction but it’s not when you think about it logically. Yes, your career is important and you want to achieve a lot in your working life. However, there needs to be a balance between the house and office, and if you’re not getting it, it may be time to jump ship.
Now, this is only an option if you don’t get what you deserve from your employer. For example, some of the tips above won’t apply to those who have to work weekends. If you’re sick and tired of clocking in on a Saturday and a Sunday, you should find a nine to five from Monday to Friday. Anyone who wants to take it to the next level can launch a startup. Only when you’re in charge will you get the flexibility to plan your life around the workplace and not the other way around.
As drastic as it seems, it may be the perfect excuse to reach for the stars and find the perfect balance.
What do you think of these tips? Do you have any that you swear by?
This is a collaborative post.