Last week, over half term, we took the children away for a family ‘staycation’ to the beautiful Lake District. It was a pretty last minute decision, as Ed and I have already had one holiday this year (our honeymoon to Mexico), and we have our very first cruise as a family coming up at the end of next month.
The main reason we ended up going away is that I knew it would be all too easy to end up staying in the house, struggling to make decisions of what to get up to, and lapsing into working on my phone or laptop, letting the kids run riot if we stayed home.
As a child, my mum would make an effort to take us away as often as possible. Being a teacher, she was able to spend all the school holidays with us, and we would often travel around the country staying at timeshare resorts that my grandparents had shares in, or finding little bed and breakfasts in the countryside to use as a base to explore from. My mum has always been into nature and history, and I have so many happy memories from my childhood adventures.
Now that Ed is a teacher and I work from home, we are in a position where we can provide the same for our own children, which is why I am trying to go away with them as often as possible. Family holidays don’t have to be expensive, and they definitely don’t have to involve travelling to another country, when our own has so many incredible places to explore.
I am going to write another blog post to go into more detail about what we got up to during our time in the lakes, but for now, I wanted to focus on the reasons I think family breaks away are so important.
They Encourage New Experiences
Going away gives us the chance to try things which we perhaps aren’t able to at home, or simply don’t prioritise during day to day life. Being in a new place encourages us to go out and about. There are always places to visit in the local area we are staying, and a quick google usually comes up with nearby options.
The Chance to Explore
As well as trying new things, a trip away allows us to explore new places. During our time in the Lake District, we headed off on a mini hike around a waterfall, which was so nice and definitely not something we would normally do back at home.
The children absolutely loved being in a new place, and discovering things they wouldn’t ordinarily see. Even Benjamin was saying ‘wow’ as we drove around the winding country lanes with the spectacular mountain views all around us.
Switch off & Get Back to Nature
I will be honest, I didn’t completely switch off whilst away. Working from home, it’s difficult to simply ignore work emails as they come through, but I did schedule as much of my work as I could, and as often as possible, I stepped away from social media and enjoyed being in the moment.
It was lovely to be out and about every day, and I felt so much better after all the fresh air and exercise I was doing without even thinking about it. We are blessed with some truly beautiful places here in the UK, and it was lovely to stop and appreciate the views (even if I couldn’t resist looking at it through the lens of my camera at times).
Quality Time Together
One of the best things about our recent break was how much time I got to spend with the children. At home, they will happily watch the TV or play on the iPad whilst I get some work done. It’s so easy to rely on technology to be able to get things done around the house, but whilst away we were outside and enjoying our break together as a family. I cherish the memories we made, eating ice creams in the sunshine, cooking together in the evening and going out on a rowing boat together.
A Slower Pace
At home, our mornings are a rush of getting the children up, dressed and ready for school. Everything is set to a schedule, and there is no time to relax. Whilst away, we have the chance to sleep in late, if we wish, and enjoy a lazy breakfast before heading out for the day. In the lake district, we would allow the children to stay up later than normal to play board games with us before bed, safe in the knowledge that they could sleep in the next morning. It was so chilled, and just what we all needed to slow down and recharge before they go back to school this week.