Holidaying at home: the so-called ‘staycation’

Self-guided day tours
February 17, 2011
Celebrity superliner to call Australia home
March 2, 2011

Some people call it a “stay-cation” I suppose, but really this was just a weekend of activities that grew from a sleepover request from my 13-year-old son.

Mother of three and seasoned traveller, Deborah Dickson-Smith blogs about last weekend..

“Mum, can I please have some friends sleep over on Friday night?”


“What about if we sleep in a tent in the garden?”

“No. Well maybe. Only if it requires absolutely no effort from me and I don’t have to feed anyone I’m not normally responsible for.”

And so (as promised) with no effort from me, my son successfully hosted four friends in a rather well equipped tent in the garden without even disturbing the neighbours.

As the tent was still up the next day I decided to make use of it for the rest of the family – a little bit of quiet time in the house for me and my significant other, a lot of fun for our combined offspring.

After a marathon barbeque and mountains of washing up I have to say, apart from one near-midnight stumble to the garden to settle an argument, the sleepover passed without a hitch. Not bad, considering we ended up with six kids under canvas (there always seems to be a couple more kids than I expect).

The next day, after a pleasantly quiet night, we’re up bright and early for an excursion. Armed with an annual pass to Sydney Wildlife World and a packed lunch (leftovers) we head into the city.

The movie, Rango, is one of those rare animated classics that is every bit enjoyable for us grownups as it is for the kids. The novelty of a weekend trip into the city (including an indulgent midday pint of beer on the Darling Harbour waterfront) is a treat for all of us.

Sydney Wildlife World doesn’t usually disappoint and today’s visit is no exception: lots of animals, lots of intriguing facts and lots of interactive displays to keep the kids interested. On this occasion there’s also a fantastic Lego exhibition.

So with very little expenditure (let’s not mention the parking ticket), the kids have not only been camping, they’ve also explored some of Sydney’s great attractions. That counts as a holiday right?

About Deborah Dickson-Smith

Deborah’s first trip with a bub of 4 months involved a 26-hour flight with no sleep, which is exactly when she realised travelling would never be the same. This has only been further confirmed as her family has grown. She’s lived in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Edinburgh, London and is now reasonably settled in Sydney’s northern beaches with her three children — who are now all seasoned travellers.