And then there are the times when you just need a break

A lot has changed in a short space of time for me.  Starting a new job, getting to know new people and trying to get to grips with a new commute is exhausting.  One of the best aspects of travel for me is taking time out to be able to re-energise, and I believe that one of the best cures for times of mental exhaustion is taking a trip away.

I don’t want to contradict or undermine anything that I have said about travelling without leaving home.  But the ideas that I have shared are a way to try to keep the travel spirit alive in between travelling, and they would never be able to replace travel completely for me.  However many trips of the imagination I take when reading a book, or excursions as a tourist in my home town, there comes a time when a break away from home is what I need.

Short holiday in beautiful Chester

Short holiday in beautiful Chester

It is hard to define what amounts to a break.  Whenever I take holiday from work I always try to make sure that I will actually be doing something, otherwise it feels like a waste.  A lot of the time that will involve taking a series of day trips around the North East and beyond, which certainly can feel like a holiday.

My own personal definition of a short break or a holiday involves staying overnight somewhere away from home.  It doesn’t have to be far, and it doesn’t have to be for a long time.  I live in a fantastic part of the country, where I can reach Yorkshire, the Lake District and the Scottish Borders as easy day trips.  But equally, these destinations are accessible for short weekends away.

Loch Lomond - a bit far for a day trip for me, but a brilliant destination for a short break

Loch Lomond – a bit far for a day trip for me, but a brilliant destination for a short break

And so I am going to Edinburgh.  As a Christmas treat, Jim & I will be going to see The Lion King on tour at the Edinburgh Playhouse.  It will only be for a weekend, but I guarantee that I will come back from that weekend feeling refreshed and re-energised for having some time completely away.  I already feel refreshed for having a definite travel plan.

Up until now, Jim & I haven’t really taken many short weekend breaks, and we tend to focus on the longer holidays in the year.  But I have been reading about the challenge to take 12 trips from Need Another Holiday and I think it sounds like a great idea to help prioritise travel throughout the whole year and avoid getting burnt out between longer holidays.  I may use this as the basis for my 2014 travel plans, as I also think it will be a great challenge to achieve 12 trips on a budget.

London by night - we had a brilliant hotel deal to have a short break in London on a budget

London by night – we had a brilliant hotel deal to have a short break in London on a budget

My final tip for how to travel without travelling is to plan a trip.  The planning is one of my favourite parts of travelling as reading up on where I am going and what I can do there really helps build the anticipation for me.  I love trawling through accommodation reviews, reading other blogs, looking up suggestions on Trip Advisor and planning how to squeeze the maximum possible out of the limited time that I have.  By the time I end up going, I have journeyed to my destination many times over in my planning.  A couple of times I have been disappointed, but on the whole the planning is just a taster and the travelling is even better than expected.


10 responses to “And then there are the times when you just need a break

  1. How about a lakeland camping barn? £9.50 per person/night. Certainly an experience, and probably well outside of many peoples comfort zone.if used to heated hotel rooms. I have stayed at the “Cat Bells” camping barn at low Skelgill just round Derwentwater from Keswick. The Showers were surprisingly good, and clean washing and toilet facilities. You may not have exclusive use, but the initial awkwardness disappears and in the end adds to the experience. At this time of year you may have to fire up the woodburner, and take a top quality warm sleeping bag , and sleep with a wooly hat on, and fully clothed but again it adds to the experience. Its also dark in the Country so a torch is essential. I always think that a series of 5 for a £1 lighters are useful. Can’t understand why Ray Mears/Bear Grills et al try to start fires by wood on wood fire drills when slipping a few lighters in their kit would give them indtant fire starting capability for months! Yes and if you arrive in the dark when you get up next morning you will be greeted with the most fantastic landscape out the barn doQuick walk up catbells before ofr after breakfast and given a bit of reasonable visibility literally one of the best views in all of England is laid out before you. All this for £19 for two, whats not to like about that? Forget your hotel rooms-go for a camping barn!

  2. I have taken to NOT planning trips recently. It’s in response to a comment made to me by the most seasoned traveler I have ever met. He said he likes to go to a place with only the knowledge he already had, and learn from the ground. It’s a fun way of doing things. I managed to have some great adventures in Korea when I did that.

    • It sounds like a brilliant idea in theory but I would really have to have some strong will power to make it happen in practice – I would find it very difficult to resist not spending hours on the internet pouring over my destination! I do think you make an important point though – as much as I love the planning, some of my best adventures have been from doing something spur of the moment and there is definitely a risk of missing out on some great experiences if the trip is over-planned.

      • I’ve found the best research comes from talking to local people. You can always do a quick scan of activities or restaurants before you leave and figure the rest out there. I do that sometimes too. Part of my reason for doing that is when I when to India, my research told me I should avoid Mumbai, but to make sure to go to Delhi. Every Indian I met there told me I had it backwards. And admittedly, I didn’t find Delhi to be very thrilling.

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