Lifestyle

There is no downside to a day trip – just don’t call it a 'daycation' | Hannah Jane Parkinson


OK, let’s get the bad out of the way: the portmanteau “daycation”, a monstrous offshoot of the almost-equally offensive “staycation”. Given that I believe day trips are 12-hour delights, they do not deserve to be labelled in such a painful way.

Wherever one lives, and whatever one feels about that place, there is never a downside to going on a miniature jaunt. It’s a means of experiencing the world in bitesize; broadening one’s horizons, but not too much. If the trip goes badly, it doesn’t matter, because: a) it is short and b) it has the effect of casting a new light on one’s regular environment.

One thing wealthy people do not understand about those with lesser financial means (and judge them for) is how they manage to – shock horror – own mobile phones, or laptops, or things that cost a few bob. What they are missing is that people who can’t afford neverending luxuries will focus on treats to make the mundane bearable. Big treats saved up for, perhaps, or indulgences little and often.

Most of us cannot afford always to take five-star holidays to white sands and waters as clear as vodka, but day trips to British pebbles or birch trees or historical cities are in reach. (At least, for non-drivers, when private rail companies aren’t charging hundreds for train tickets.)

There are multiple thrills. The planning itself is exciting. Firing up Google Maps; browsing whatever the place has to offer and making a suggested itinerary, bookmarks galore. I want to visit art galleries, swim in the sea, eat Victoria sponge and sip at hand-warming coffee, pose outside National Trust homes as if I live there. I’ll admit I’ve never pulled off being “good” at museums. I guess I like my history to be under my feet, on location, or on the pages of a book.

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Though compiling the list of things to do (TripAdvisor reviews read; Instagram pictures scouted) is part of the fun, even more so is following one’s nose once there. Sometimes, a trip will be so successful it might spill overnight. This is even more likely when with close pals, who make the best companions for these explorations. (This level of spontaneity depends on the company. New lover? Tired children?)

Domestic holidays pretty much fell out of fashion with the advent of budget flights; especially trips to seaside towns that Victorians enjoyed so much. But with a crappy economy, flight-shaming in the light of a climate crisis and our time-poor lifestyles, I’d argue they are on the rise again. So, see you at a bus station in the hinterland, checking timetables.



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