An amazing vacation doesn’t have to mean jetting off to an exotic place or a blissful Caribbean island in the sun. If you can’t afford it, are afraid of flying or just don’t enjoy lolling on the beach/by the pool all day, there are plenty of other vacation types and adventures. Here’s a good long list of no fly holidays – I wonder how many you’ve not thought of previously.
1 Cycling Vacations
Cycling vacations are top on the list for fans of no fly holidays. Choose from a guided cycling vacation offered by specialist tour operators, where transfer of baggage is included as well as accommodation in 3- and 4-star guesthouses, or design your own self-guided tour. Depending on fitness levels and experience, aim for 15 to 25 km per day to allow sufficient time for sightseeing and relaxation time at the selected destination.
2 Camping and Caravanning Vacations
Reconnect with nature and go camping – kids love it and you might too! There are plenty of unique campsites around these days, from staying in a traditional yurt to sleeping in hammocks or tree houses under stars. Consult camping and caravanning clubs on the best campsites, look up places of interest in camping books at your local library and plan your tour like a military campaign to make it a full success. Whatever you do, don't forget the can opener (and toilet tissue)!
3 National Park Holidays
National Parks and nature reserves offer a multitude of ways to get involved in projects or to just enjoy the scenery and wildlife. Most of the world’s national parks have their own websites detailing all the fun to be had and there are also government run National Park and National Reserve websites.
4 Waterway Holidays
For some, boating holidays conjure up images of expensive charter yachts. However, river barges, houseboats and narrow boats are nowhere near as expensive as yacht charters and far easier to handle for inexperienced skippers. Look up the nearest large body of water and start practicing river, lake and canal navigation, before setting out for a vacation with friends or family – it avoids a lot of embarrassment! Watch ducks, geese, kingfishers, herons and dragonflies in their own habitat and get a suntan at exhilarating speeds of 4 miles per hour.
5 City Breaks
Explore your very own city or one you've wanted to see for ages and can comfortably reach by road or train. Take a break from everyday life and indulge in culture, entertainment, bright city lights, nightclubs, restaurants and bars.
6 Staying Local
Leading busy lives, we often ignore what's on our doorstep: brand new museums or restaurants we haven't got round to visiting; city parks we haven't had a picnic in since we graduated; spas we've always wanted to get pampered at; urban festivals and community events; and even public art installations. Explore art galleries, flea markets and different shopping districts.
7 Discover a New Hobby
A change is as good as a vacation. Try learning a new skill if you don't fancy traveling. Paint watercolor pictures in your city park, join a cookery class at your local college, enroll in a sewing workshop or learn how to restore a classic car or antique furniture.
8 Tour Summer Festivals
Buy a pop-up tent and sleeping bag and tour the great summer music festivals. You'll come home with hundreds of cool photographs, amazing memories and probably a whole new set of friends. From jazz, rock, pop and classic to hip hop, indie and reggae, there's bound to be a music festival near you or one you can travel to by bus, car or train.
9 Explore Gardens and Parks
City parks offer amazing value for money – beautifully landscaped grounds with kiddies' playgrounds, tennis courts, ponds in which to swim, canoe, row or kayak, lawns on which to picnic and snooze and special events that will keep everyone entertained. Snoop through a few professionally designed public gardens and get inspiration for your own backyard!
10 Theme Park Holidays
So much to do, you'll never be bored. Whether you choose a Disney park, a water park or another, theme parks are fantastic for all ages. Stay in a hotel on site or offsite and have the rides of your life.
11 Museums and Galleries
History is not everybody's cup of tea, but there are specialist museums that can entertain all ages. Many museums and galleries hold family events and workshops during the summer that are great fun. If you live in or close to a big city, you could probably spend a week‘s vacation visiting a different museum every day.
12 Historic Train Rides
Practically every country in the world has a railroad and that means plenty of opportunity for adventures. Whether you choose simple day trips or a transcontinental journey, there are some amazing sights to be seen from a carriage window and at the stops you make: lakes, rivers, valleys, mountains, towns and tiny villages all presenting fabulous views.
13 Island Hopping Vacation
Island hopping is a great way to see the world around you in miniature. Spend time at the beach, go hiking, see local flora and fauna in nature reserves and enjoy old-fashioned island hospitality. Many countries have islands that are in reach by ferry or boat or even bridge.
14 Artist Colony Holidays
Feeling artistic but lacking confidence? Join an artist colony this summer! You get to connect with your muse and like minded spirits. You never know, you might be the next Frida Kahlo.
15 Bootcamp Vacation
Experiencing an attack of the porkies? Get fit, lose weight and change your attitude to eating while having loads of fun. Enroll in a bootcamp holiday, where you're provided with fitness and exercise classes and plenty of time to relax. Yoga, swimming, circuit training, beach boxing, spa therapies and indulging in post-workout snacks at bespoke restaurants are all part of the bootcamp package.
16 Weight Loss Holidays
Weight loss holidays teach you not only to shed excess weight but to keep it off for good. Losing weight isn't just a one-off physical experience; the holiday programs include therapy to achieve a healthy psychological balance that will make over-eating a thing of the past. Summer holidays include cycling, horse-riding, walking and swimming; winter holidays include skiing and hiking.
17 Walking Holidays
Walk in National Parks or nature reserves, mountain terrain or along the coast to reconnect with nature and get fit at the same time. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails available for walking holidays and tourist offices publish detailed hiking maps for self-guided walking tours.
18 Wellness Holidays
You don't need to fly to Asia to enjoy yoga classes, meditation, Indian head massages and wellness. Numerous upmarket hotels at home offer special "sanctuary" deals that include beauty treatments, yoga, Reiki, massage, mud baths and hot stone treatments to give you that total wellness feeling.
19 Vacations on a Working Farm
Many organic farms offer vacations where city slickers can get involved in everyday chores like milking cows or goats, mucking out riding stables, fruit picking or harvesting. It may be back-breaking work at times, but it's also great fun and educational. And you get to play with baby farm animals!
20 Horse Riding Vacation
Go on a guided tour or stay on a cattle ranch. Saddle up, camp out under the stars and eat round the campfire. Or sleep in a traditional bunkhouse, eat good home cooking and earn your spurs.
21 Traditional Holiday Parks
Resorts and traditional holiday parks offer families a budget-friendly escape with all the trimmings. Since the price usually includes all food and drinks, accommodation and onsite entertainment, parents can relax and concentrate on having fun. Hand your kids over to a qualified minder and hit the cocktail bar!
22 House Swap Holidays
House swap or home exchange holidays are becoming increasingly popular. They allow you to really get to know your chosen destination, staying in somebody else's home while they are holidaying in yours. You often don't need to rent a car, as it's included in the swap package, and there'll be a garden where you can relax and use a BBQ. As a bonus, you'll have a support network of friendly neighbors to fall back on when things go unexpectedly wrong.
23 Healing Holidays
There's no need to fly to Bali – you'll find plenty of places back home that offer healing holidays, taking the Ayurvedic approach to healthcare and medicine. The center you select will have experts in therapy, nutrition and yoga at hand to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle, lose weight and relax.
24 Fitness Holidays
From kickboxing classes to cardio and strength training, from Pilates and yoga to aqua-spinning and coastal runs, fitness holidays are designed to offer not just nightlife and sunbathing at the beach. They provide guests with a multitude of daytime activities designed for fitness fanatics of all abilities. A personal trainer is typically at hand to assist with workouts.
25 Spa Holidays
You could travel to St. Lucia for a luxury spa holiday but not if you don't fly but your local 5-star hotel can provide you with a similar experience at a fraction of the cost. Choose a beachfront spa holiday if you like water sports like snorkeling, kayaking and windsurfing, and a mountain retreat if you prefer hiking, quad-biking and climbing. Spa holidays include tailored programs with fitness classes, detoxing and weight-loss regimes and personalized wellness programs, including sauna, massage and beauty treatments.
26 Cruise Holidays
If there's one holiday type that opens up the world to non-flyers it is the cruise. It's a fabulous way of visiting numerous destinations in a short period and no need to hop on a plane. Modern cruise ships are like mini cities with the most amazing facilities on board. With destinations as diverse as Alaska and South East Asia, it really is an incredible no-fly option.
So many things to do, so little time. These ideas are great whether you fly or not. Have you had your vacation this year yet? Where ya goin’? Whatya doing?
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