Darker days, colder nights and the chirpy spirit of summer long forgotten, it’s no wonder so many of us feel so down in the dumps when winter comes along. Sure, there’s Christmas to distract us – the festivities of family, food and fun – but once January’s underway, things can feel a little dull. With New Year’s resolutions to follow and the looming pressure of Valentine’s Day, there’s not too much for us to get excited about. Except there is! Summer days will soon be upon us, and there’s no better time to make holiday plans than the winter!
There’s the obvious cure for the infamous ‘winter blues’ – eating well, ensuring you’re getting enough vitamin D and maintaining regular exercise – but let’s face it, it’s going to be the thought of those warmer, brighter days that will truly motivate you to get through the season in one piece. Get organising!
Booking breaks in advance can often result in some great savings, while having your escape marked on the calendar gives you that little something to look forward to when the cold winter commute is bringing you down.
Planning ahead doesn’t have to mean booking elaborate three-month adventures, nor even fortnight getaways. After all, Christmas has already left a dent in your wallet and that credit card bill isn’t going to pay itself. But most people’s minds won’t be on holidays yet, so why not get yourself one step ahead of the others and make the most of the early-bird deals?
The UK is home to so many exploring opportunities, whether it is walking in the Lake District or indulging in traditional British fish and chips in the thriving coastal city of Brighton. Although, affordable flights mean Europe is also very accessible. Perhaps cycling in Amsterdam or the beaches of Barcelona would suffice? The possibilities are endless – and who says you even have to wait until the summer? A city break absorbing the culture of Berlin or the impressive views of Scandinavia could be a good option if you simply can’t wait for the warmer weather to take on an adventure!
Chilling out gets no better than when you’re under the hot sun and surrounded by nature’s beauty, but this is a little harder to do in the winter months. Sure, the frost looks pretty, but going outside in sub-zero temperatures gives hardly the same feeling as those warm rays.
If you work in a city, urban life can also grind you down – especially when making your way to the office through puddle-ridden sidewalks in your flimsy suede loafers. A rural escape can be a fantastic opportunity to truly get your spring-like energy back and really refresh.
Luckily, just a short drive or train trip outside of most major cities in the UK is glorious countryside waiting to be discovered. Why not hire a day boat on the Norfolk broads? Formed of seven rivers, the broads are the largest wetland in the UK and is also one of the most diverse wildlife areas in the country.
If unwinding on deck isn’t your thing, think woodland lodges or even camping. Interacting with nature is highly recommended for an authentically relaxing experience – and the thought of some days isolated from bustling city life will help get you through those umbrella-blowing-away commutes!
Let your hair down!
New Year’s Eve might be done and Christmas may be out of the way, but your mental health and wellbeing literally requires you to let your hair down regularly! Feeling free and forgetting about those day-to-day tasks and worries is vital in order to remain a fully-functioning human being. The best way to accomplish this? Music.
The popularity of music festivals has grown in the last decade, and make for a fun and free-feeling experience. Although it is worth remembering, that as with anything, rising popularity usually equals a rise in cost and festival tickets are becoming increasingly expensive. Luckily, by getting ahead of the game you can make the best of this situation. Most major festivals offer a payment plan so that you can pay in instalments, and offer an early-bird price for those ready to commit to the following year early on.
One thing no one can guarantee in the UK, however, is the weather, so why not party abroad? European festivals such as Nos Alive (Lisbon, Portugal) and Sziget (Budapest, Hungary) are attracting more UK tourists than ever. Why? They’re often better value for money, with cheaper ticket costs, bigger line-ups and – perhaps most importantly – the average price of beer falls way below the UK average! Do book in advance though, as airlines will play the game and up prices around known festival dates.
Money tight? Even booking some day trips can help brighten up your diary, giving you motivation to get through the typical slog of the New Year’s first couple of months! Theme parks will open early spring, while there are always concerts at your local venues, as well as sporting events to enjoy. It’s all about planning things in advance – no matter how small – to give you something to get excited about. Spontaneity is great and all, but looking forward to an event or trip is an important part of the fun of it! Hold tight, sunnier days will come around quicker than you think!