And of course, all parents know that it’s more expensive too. You’re limited to school holidays when prices rocket, and of course there are more people to cater for.
So it’s hardly surprising that sometimes, even though you love to explore new horizons, travel can be too overwhelming, too expensive, and too tiring.
Even the most intrepid traveller has to admit that they need a rest sometimes.
So with the holidays on the horizons, why not consider a staycation? With a little creative thinking you can discover, learn and most importantly rest, all while saving money.
Here are our top ten ideas:
1. Act the part: Before you do anything, you have to act like you’re on holiday. Tell people you’re away, change the message on your mobile phone, put an “out of office” message on your email, and ignore the post and news for the length of your holiday. If it helps pack a suitcase (or a symbolic toothbrush and a pair of knickers) and leave the house, locking the door behind you. Go for a walk and come in to the house via the back door. Of course it’s contrived, but this is all about setting your frame of mind and expectations. It goes without saying – picking up the duster, or plugging in the vacuum cleaner, is not allowed – unless perhaps your staycation is more than a week!
2. Choose a destination: Fish out all of the takeaway menus from the bottom of the kitchen drawer and spread them on the floor. Get the children involved and create a world map depending on where different cuisines come from. Each day a member of the family chooses a destination, and within a week you can virtually fly around the world. Eat the cuisine from the chosen country and encourage the children to decorate a small area of the house. I know one friend with a play park in their house complete with loungers and fake grass.
3. Get educated: Add in some research projects for the children. If Italy is the destination of the day ask them to compile a list of facts or claims to fame for that country.
4. Become a tourist where you live: You might not consider it a tourist destination, but there will be tourist organisations based there or somewhere near. Have a look at tours on offer or buy a ticket for a hop on and off bus. It’s a great way to get a different perspective. Click here for a review of the Dubai Big Bus.
5. Get a deal: use Groupon or LastMinute for some inspiration, and you could save a couple of notes too.
6. Remember to relax: Consider getting a day pass to an upmarket hotel, which will allow you to use the pool and kids’ club facilities.
7. Dress the part: Part 1. Forget the hairdryer, go natural. It really does help you get in the right frame of mind. Grab a blanket, a book and a picnic and go to the park, or simply put up a tent in your back garden. If it’s too hot (hello to my Middle East friends) or wet (hello to my British friends) camp under the dining room table. Travel is all about seeing the world from a different perspective, and you’ll certainly get a different view of your house from there.
8. Dress the part: Part 2. Put on your glad rags and tour the museums before taking afternoon tea in the most luxurious surroundings you can find.
9. Feel different: Think about what makes you feel like you’re on holiday. It might be the chance to read your book, so find a corner of the garden, or a room you don’t usually sit in. It might be trying new wines and cheeses, sitting under the stars in the evening. If you feel different about your location you’re less likely to feel guilty about not doing chores, or ticking things off on your to-do list.
10. Think family: holidays are about being together, so plan cycling trip, walks, a trip to the beach to fly a kite or shell-seek. Just because you’re not somewhere exotic, it doesn’t mean you can’t create the memories and photographs for the future.
And if you still feel the need to escape for the weekend check out our UAE and Oman ideas by clicking here.
Have a tip to share? We’d love to hear from you. Like us on www.facebook.com/expatexplorers and drop us a line.