The summer holidays might be done and dusted, but that doesn’t mean the fun is over!
There are plenty of ways to make a weekend trip feel like a big family holiday – and for a snip of the price, too!
Try these ideas to keep the kids entertained and enjoy a special staycation, even now it’s back-to-school time.
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 fun weekend trip.
Packing tip: the real beauty of this (along with it being a lot cheaper than staying at a hotel!) is that you barely have to pack. Simply ask to borrow your friends’ toiletries/hairdryer/underwear… okay that’s too far, but you get our drift!
The Camping and Caravanning Club website lets you search by the kind of holiday you want and you can find places by region, so you could just pop to a campsite an hour away for the night.
Or how about a ‘glamping’ staycation (yes, it’s like glammed-up camping) – companies such as Canopy & Stars rent out amazing places for short stays. You never know, there might be a yurt, treehouse or converted horse cart in your area!
Packing tip: you’re unlikely to find a plug socket out in the sticks, but you can still give your teeth the best possible clean – and keep your phone charged! The Oral-B Genius 9000 comes with a smart travel case that doubles up as a charging dock for both your brush and smartphone.
Many museums, like the Natural History Museum in London and Eureka! Children’s Museum in Halifax, host sessions where families get busy after the daytime crowds have gone home, and then spend the night camped out among the exhibits. Let’s just hope they don’t come to life!
Or if your little ones are fans of the deep blue sea, aquariums such as Loch Lomond Sea Life in Scotland, will let you, quite literally, sleep with the fishes!
Packing tip: sleeping among many other families with over-excited kids does not make for a good night’s sleep. Best come prepared with an eye mask and some earplugs!
If you’re close to the coast, why not 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 and check out nearby accommodation options so you don’t have to worry about the drive back when you’re exhausted after a day’s surfing.
Packing tip: don’t get caught out when you pop your swimsuit on – make sure you pack your Venus Snap – a portable razor with its own little case and five blades for a super-smooth finish – and battery-powered Venus Bikini Trimmer to take care of any rogue bikini line hair in a jiffy.
Many wildlife parks have overnight stays available, so you can hear the wolves howling at the moon and the tigers roaring goodnight to each other. Try a Pinewood Pod in Port Lympne in Kent, a look-out lodge in ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire, or a Lion Lodge in the ZSL London site.
Packing tip: while animals are beautiful, they often don’t smell great! Prevent the whiffs from coming home with you by washing your clothes with a scoop of Lenor Unstoppables in Fresh. The beads boost the freshness of your laundry, keeping the gorgeous scent for up to 12 weeks.
Even better, pour some into a sandwich bag, poke some holes in it and pop it in your overnight bag to keep everything smelling fresh, no matter how close you get to the lion’s den!
Sleeper trains are a great way to go a long distance around the UK (to Scotland or Cornwall, for example) 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.
Packing tip: if you have a teenage daughter, she might be a bit apprehensive travelling far from home if she is on her period. But simply pack a handful of Tampax Compak Pearl – which will easily fit in her beauty bag – and she can stay protected and comfortable no matter what adventures you all go on.
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