When school’s out, many parents across New Zealand also take time off for a family holiday. But sometimes travel isn’t the best option. There are many reasons why taking a holiday might not be on the cards every school break—whether that’s due to budget limitations, not having enough leave or simply not wanting to live by a travel itinerary.
For those weeks, a “staycation” could be a better option. Holidaying at home might be a less stressful and more budget friendly way to enjoy some time off as a family. Still not sure? Here are five reasons to consider staying in:
1. You could save money
This is maybe the most obvious perk of planning a staycation. By staying at home, you won’t be splashing out on common holiday expenses, like petrol, airline tickets, caravan rentals, hotels, regularly dining out or buying souvenirs. The money that would have gone towards a smaller trip might instead be saved for a bigger holiday during the next term break.
2. You can actually relax
Sometimes holidays aren’t as relaxing as you hope them to be. The children still need to be looked after, meals need to be planned and activities supervised. Even “fly and flop” trips may mean stressful airline travel or carefully tracking a budget. The beauty of a staycation is that there’s very little planning involved! Everyone can keep to their own schedule, taking advantage of morning lie-ins, impromptu visits to the park and unrushed shopping trips.
3. Everyone could get a little bored
And yes—that’s a good thing! Scientists are discovering that boredom just may be good for us. It could spark creativity, help us solve difficult problems or may even strengthen our relationships. A staycation might be the perfect opportunity to let everyone’s mind wander. Instead of packing the days full of engaging activities, maybe set aside “free play” time for the kids. Encourage them to make their own fun, whilst you enjoy a bit of downtime yourself!
4. You can explore your local area
A staycation doesn’t have to mean staying in every day. This could be a great opportunity to explore your neighbourhood. Museums, art galleries and libraries often host school holiday events designed just for kids. You might also plan a day trip to a nearby zoo or aquarium, or get some fresh air in a national park. Best of all, these activities don’t have to break the bank. Many are low cost or may offer discounts on admission to local families. Your library might even have zoo or museum passes available to loan—just ask!
5. You can reconnect with nearby family and friends
Everyone’s life can get busy at times, and we may neglect our relationships when that happens. A school holiday spent at home could be the perfect time to slow down and reconnect with those we’ve lost touch with. Invite a neighbour over for morning tea, host a movie night with friends or have the family round for dinner. Everyone can relax, have a chat and catch up on what’s been happening since you last saw each other.