Secrets of a great family holiday

How to keep the kids entertained and feel like you’ve all enjoyed a family holiday even if you’re taking a staycation and not travelling abroad this summer.

3 secrets of a great staycation

• Keep it original
–  take part in an activity none of you have done before and you’ll find you get a lot more out of your challenge, maybe camping, climbing or horseriding.

• Be smart about sleeping over – make a list of friends who might either house-swap with you or let you stay with them while visiting an attraction nearby. Getting away for the odd overnight stay turns a family day out into a trip.

• Fill your days – plan activities from morning to evening to really stretch your time and keep the kids busy.


5 ideas for summer minibreaks

• Camping – the Camping and Caravanning Club website lets you search by the kind of holiday you want and you can find places by region (including sites in the London area). Good even for one or two nights away. Or how about a ‘glamping’ staycation (yes, it’s like glammed-up camping) – companies like Canopy & Stars rents out amazing places from yurts in Scotland, to a treehouse in Norfolk and even a Gypsy caravan in Cumbria!


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• Museum sleepovers – many museums, like the Natural History Museum in London, Eureka! in Halifax and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh host sessions where families get busy after the daytime crowds have gone home, and then spend the night camped out in the galleries.

• Surf skills – turn a family day out into a real adventure. Book a half-day or whole-day surf lesson to get expert advice before taking to the water. There are many different surf schools so search for companies at beaches within reach of you.

• Wildlife night trips – make an overnight trip of it. The RSPB have various events like Big Wild Sleep Out (Aug 10 2013) in Dorset. Or try a nighttime bat watching or glow worm walk; there are events in various UK locations through the summer, organised by the Wildlife Trusts.

 • Sleeper train journeys – are a great way to go a long distance around the UK (to Scotland or Cornwall) while you all have a sleepover adventure instead of spending hours on motorways. Travelling becomes as exciting as the time you spend at your holiday destination! Find out more on the National Rail website.

Savvy tip
Check out our savvy tips on How to save money on days out.

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