Rather than taking years of planning, months of saving and days of travel, getting away with the family can be simple, stress-free and loaded with savings, as Emma Bangay discovers.
Not yet the end of the year - but oh-so-close - I recently found myself yearning for a quick getaway with the family, before the holiday havoc set in. But how could I do so with little time, even less non-gift-delegated funds and no spray-tan prep?
A ‘Staycation’ - family-focused hotel stay/holiday hybrid that hotels such as Novotel are offering across the country - seemed the only answer.
“Hotel staycations are becoming an increasingly popular ‘holiday at home’ option for families,” explains Novotel Australia’s Brand Manager – and mother of two - Emily Hoare. “Whether its school holidays or a weekend, kids adore going to a hotel. And so do parents.”
Ah, happy parents. That is an underrated notion on holidays, but one a simple trip into the CBD – free of transfers, queues and therefor the need for 134 games of eye-spy - was sure to accommodate.
We chose a short drive to a CBD Novotel – although 28 hotels across Australia (from a Wollongong, to Manly, Newcastle to Coffs Harbour, Exmouth to the Sunshine Coast) are involved in the family-focused fun-for-all. With only one overnight bag packed and two excited kids in the back, we arrived to an immediate array of benefits for broods - like us - toting two children under the age of 16.
First up, Dad was happy – as kids stay free – Mum was happy (eyeing off a sleep-in thanks to 5pm checkout the following morning) and kids were happy due to unlimited swimming and guaranteed snuggle time beckoning.
Over the next 24 hours we proceeded to slump on beds, jump on beds, colour in - there was even an awesome kids colouring kit gift awaiting each offspring in our room – swim in the pool, buffet ourselves until we were blue in the face, wander seconds to major outdoor dining. shopping and art attractions, swim –again - and even leave a wet towel or two on the floor without anyone of us freaking out. (Ok, maybe I freaked out a little bit.)
Emily agrees that these little things make Staycations hugely appealing. “The beauty of a hotel as opposed to staying at home is that your room gets cleaned, there’s no washing up and meals are prepared,” she says.” You also have the opportunity to do things in your own city that you otherwise wouldn’t do.”
And she is right. I love an overseas adventure as much as the next person, but there is something about being in your own city with no rigid itinerary that enables you to ramble about and reconnect. Who knew that it would take only two lazy days to remedy the 365 we’ve just sped through?