Friday, 15 May 2009

How to get away without going away

The Make it and Mend it philosophy can extend to summer holidays.
Why spend money and add to global warming by jetting off to the sun, when you can turn your home into a holiday destination?

Okay, it’s great to enjoy a holiday abroad with all the trimmings, but staying at home can also be fun, restore your energy levels and save you money. Make it and Mend it's Anne Caborn is daft as a brush but why not give her ideas a try? at least it isn't going to cost you any money!

Here’s Anne's Top 10 Tips for holidaying at home
1. Take a few days off
You don’t need a ‘paid for’ holiday – in the UK or abroad – to take time off work. As you’re not going to be spending the best part of a day getting to your holiday destination you can even take a shorter break ( for example, tag a couple of days onto a weekend). In the current economic climate many people are worried about taking too much time off work. A shorter home holiday gives you the break without the anxiety.

2. Get planning
Select your dates, mark it up as holiday in your diary, book the time off work and begin to plan – even plan your holiday wardrobe. Half the fun of a holiday is getting ready. Choose a couple of books to read. Sticklers for authenticity may want to pack a suitcase. Before your holiday starts, get everything ready in the same way you would if you were going away – mow the lawn, sort out your holiday money. Do your food shopping before your holiday starts. Treat yourself to a few luxury items – see 5. Exotic home holidays.

3. Don’t forget about sightseeing
Check out your local bus, train and tourist information offices for interesting destinations nearby. Chances are there are several of them you’ve never visited, because they’re too near. Cut excursion costs by packing picnics.

4. Holidays are all about de-stressing, so make your home stress free
One of the reasons we ‘go away’ to be on holiday is to leave behind on the chores and rituals that fill our days when we’re at home – the daily commute, reading the paper, putting another load of washing through the machine, cooking supper...
While you're on holiday you’re not allowed to: do the washing, clean the house, mow the lawn... You could even prepare and freeze evening meals to cut down on time spent cooking. If the weather’s warm enough, barbeque instead of using the cooker (it just feels less stressful).
Those seeking to super de-stress may want to avoid answering the phone (even put the thing on silent and check for messages at the end of your break). Make sure you set your emails to Out of Office Autoreply and make sure if you have a laptop or a Blackberry that they are switched off and hidden away.

5. Exotic home holidays
Ever wanted to visit the orient, or India, or the South Seas? Why not bring these exotic destinations to your home?
Read up on your chosen destination’s cuisine. Pick some of the more simple recipes to cook yourself. Often the difference between home cooking and holiday fare is as simple as an additional spice or herb. Treat yourself to your chosen destination‘s local beer, wine or liqueur. Try your hand at cocktail making.

6. Sounds like we’re on holiday
Another way to get yourself into the holiday mood is by listening to the indigenous music. You may find a great deal available for free on the internet. Even if you end up buying a CD it’s certainly going to be cheaper than flights and a hotel.

7. Make your home more like a hotel
• Lay the table for breakfast before you go up to bed.
• Make the bed in the morning and put chocolates on your pillow.
• Put a small basket of fruit on your dressing table.
• Put fresh flowers in the bathroom.
• Treat yourself as if your were a ‘guest’.
...oh and don't forget - nice clean towels laid out ready.

8. A change is a good as a rest
One of the reasons we enjoy holidays is because they give us a break from what we normally do. So try and behave differently. For example, if you don’t normally watch TV while you’re away, could you do without the TV on your home holiday? Cancel the papers.

9. Dare to be different
Holidays often give us the opportunity to be a little different. Office workers who spend 5 days a week in suits suddenly develop a penchant for flip flops and Hawaiian shirts.
Okay, you’re not going away and you don’t want to frighten the neighbours, but could you enjoy doing things differently? If your day usually starts with a mad dash, try a leisurely bath. If you dress up for work, dress down for your break. If you’re naturally a casual dresser try applying mascara (or shaving) before breakfast. Drink coffee instead of tea or vice versa.

10. Take things as they come
The great thing about going away is not knowing what to expect. Seek out the unfamiliar. This may be as simple as choosing alternative routes and road less travelled. So what if you get lost – you’re on holiday. You don’t have to be anywhere by a particular time. Just enjoy yourself – you deserve it.

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