This article was recently contributed by Su Beeton, our Highland Relaxation Retreats were used as an example of alternative retreats in the UK…
Relaxation Retreats – Can Indulgence Be Eco-Friendly?
Getting away from the daily grind once a year is a must for almost everybody, and while the thought of jetting abroad to a sun soaked paradise is the idea of heaven for a lot of us, there’s a growing number of affordable and truly unique alternatives in the UK which offer unparalleled amounts of relaxation, reflection, and calm. With the growing popularity, and importance, of sustainable tourism and eco friendly holidaying, a staycation is becoming a much more appealing prospect for many, and there are a number of advantages to spending a break on home turf, too.
The Advantages of Home Soil
Thinking of an indulgent, pampering holiday often brings 5 star resorts to mind, with steaming spas, indoor pools, private beaches and so on. However, while such options may be the obvious choice, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best. Firstly, any eco-conscious traveller may already be aware that air travel, as well as many of the sprawling continental resorts themselves, are a major source of contention for environmentalists. To begin with, the tourism industry in general is responsible for some wide reaching impacts on both the local and global environmental stage. Overuse of water is a major concern, and some of the worst culprits are (as you might suspect), the sprawling resorts with numerous pools and saunas. Additionally, land degradation and pollution are also by products of major tourist hubs. As the industry continues to grow, more land is swallowed up for development. This is becoming a real problem is areas that have recently become popular, especially more rural or secluded native areas around the world. Bearing this in mind, it’s still possible to enjoy an indulgent, relaxing retreat in an environmentally friendly way – the added bonus is that staying in the UK means you’ll be saving money, and have more to splurge as a result. In fact, a staycation is just one of a number of ways that you can enjoy an environmentally responsible break for less, when combined with some other useful tips.
The most obvious saving that can be made is on transport. Flights to exotic locations can be very costly, and normally eat up a large chunk of any holiday budget. Staying in the UK however, will mean you can save a huge amount on transport costs. Getting to a panoramic, rural retreat in Scotland for example, will be only a fraction of the price of a flight abroad in many cases. This means you can use your saved cash on more extravagant accommodation, or a longer stay. It’s also worth noting that just having an eco-friendly holiday at home doesn’t mean you’ll miss out. Walking in nature for example, can be one of the most relaxing activities on any holiday, no matter where you are, and the UK (Scotland in particular), has some truly unique and breathtaking landscapes to explore. Additionally, while it’s easy to think that a few weeks in an all inclusive resort will be just the thing for the ultimate in relaxation, there are actually far more benefits to enjoying a natural environment. According to some studies for example, people who spend more time in green spaces and nature, or who live near to them, are far less likely to suffer from depression and other mental illnesses. Combined with the fact that you’re likely to end up much better off financially as well, a staycation focused on relaxation could end up leaving you much more refreshed and reinvigorated than a trip abroad. There’s also the bonus of not having to deal with the stress of airports when you’re break is over -instead you can simply hop on a train or in a car. Overall then, indulgence can certainly be eco-friendly, and what’s more, an eco-friendly trip can also present new experiences and locations that you may not have previously considered. Coupled with the potential savings, as well as the benefits of a more nature focused break, the end results are easily comparable to a jet setting holiday abroad, and in many cases even better – the crucial point being that you won’t be contributing to environmental problems. All in all, this kind of trip simply serves to prove that you can have a great time without costing yourself (or anyone else) the earth.