With a Staycation you can have a great holiday on a shoestring, says Age Scotland volunteer Pat Craig.

Cruise the Med., take the Trans Siberian Express to Outer Mongolia or merely spend a few days in a hotel in the UK and you’ll make a significant dent in your savings. There is certainly a market for such holidays but for many these trips are as big a fantasy as going to the Moon.

Despair not; there are ways of having a relaxing break for next to nothing if you think creatively. Staycations!

In 2009 when the weak pound made overseas holidays significantly more expensive, some bright spark invented Staycations. During a Staycation, you stay and relax at home. Forget frustrating train journeys, airline queues and disappointing accommodation. Make your own package.

Visit your local park or use your bus pass to go further afield. Take a picnic, fun even in the rain! Go into free museums or galleries that you would ordinarily pass.  If you like traditional art try modern art.

Museums have come a long way from the stuffy edifices of the past. Act like a child, trying all the interactive displays for fun. Explore your family history via your local library where you may also be able to access free talks and courses. Visit your local swimming pool. Experience the guilty pleasure of visiting the cinema in the morning when everyone else is at work.

Visit your weekend Farmers’ market and buy some continental delicacies to set the mood. Get your bike out and explore the cycle ways around you. If you are brave, borrow a skateboard and head to your local skateboarding track. You may get some funny looks but who cares. The kids will love you. Life is for living.

Set some rules. Decide a start and end date, plan ahead and avoid routine. Tell people that you will be on holiday, disable the phone, switch your mobile off, create an ‘out of office’ message on your email and don’t peek.

If you do feel an overwhelming need to go abroad take the 67 bus from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed via Galashiels, crossing the Border into Northumberland, England on your journey!

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