So many people are jetting off for trips overseas or taking a couple of weeks off to enjoy some time in another part of the UK. While I would love to do these things, it’s not always feasible. With things to do at home, my recent house move, and of course my cats, it doesn’t always work out. And this is then the joy of day holidays comes into its own.
What is a “day holiday”?
A day holiday is essentially a day trip, but with more excitement wrapped up in the planning and the journey. You might even expect to plan a few activities to do on the day to make the most of your short time in the place you’re visiting. My definition of a day holiday is that it can be travelled to in under three hours (that is the maximum time travelling) and can be done in a day with plenty of time to feed the cats before we go and be back for their evening meal.
I have gone on day holidays to a few places. Sometimes from home in Manchester and sometimes when we stay at my Mum’s on the Wirral, as it gives us a different day holiday radius. Blackpool, York and Hull have been some of my favourites – and ones I have blogged about.
Planning a day holiday
To make the most of a day trip to somewhere for a day holiday, you will want to do a bit of research before you go. Of course, you might want to simply do some wandering and get your bearings, but you might miss out on some good things taking this route. And I say this as a notorious wanderer!
The thing with a day holiday is to experience and enjoy as much as you can in a place without doing it in a rush. So, with that, a bit of planning goes a long way. Here are some of the ways that I like to plan for my day holidays.
- Go onto Trainline/Google maps and work out where you can get to in your chosen travel time. (this is also useful for budgeting for your day holiday too)
- Put a shoutout on Twitter asking people for recommendations of things to see and do, places to eat etc. Be specific if there are things you enjoy most or any dietary needs you might have. (This is my thread for a trip to Lancaster)
- Do a search to find out if anything significant is happening in the area on the dates you would like to visit. There’s nothing quite so disappointing as arriving to find that half the attractions are shut due to a parade or something (unless it is the parade that you’re after)
- Decide on timing for your journey and the things you want to do. Check you can travel between places without too much trouble (check bus timetables)
- See whether there are any walking routes/trails that would help you get to know the area. I really enjoy the Treasure Trails activities for getting to know new places, but tend to opt for more local history routes for day holidays.
- Watch travel videos on YouTube (I found this great vlog about Lancaster) to whet your appetite and see what other people discovered. You might be surprised at the places featured on there.
- Get planning and looking forward to your trip!
Making the most of your day holiday
The most important part of a day holiday is that you have fun! While you will have made some plans and have some ‘must see’ places, you can always change them when you discover things on your way around the destination. I got sidetracked when I went to York because of a cat trail, which ended up being one of the best ways to see the city.
Pick up a souvenir or send a postcard. While I often take a picnic on my day holidays, I do like to purchase something and also have a mooch around the local shops. So having an idea of something you’d like to buy help. I collect stickers for my flask from places I have been and I love sending postcards, so they are high on my browsing list. It is also fun to check out local boutiques and shops for presents that you can’t get back home, and come with a story.
Enjoy the break
Even if your day holiday is just a couple of miles away from your home, you really can enjoy it as a break and take it all in with a fresh eye. I love nothing more than being a tourist in my own city, as it really highlights the things you miss in everyday life.
Right now, I am planning a couple of day holidays to fill my weekend days and days off. First up is Lancaster, which I am having fun exploring online. If you have any tips, let me know in the comments!