Posted: 11 November 2016
Staycation- Noun informal - a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad.
More people than ever are choosing to spend their holidays exploring this ‘green and pleasant land’ and the same is happening in school music touring!
It’s not just that the travel markets have had a shake recently (did someone say Brexit…?), there is also a real thirst to get kids out and about, exploring their own country and visiting places they might otherwise never see.
Staycations are all about:
• Celebrating your homeland! The rest of the world travel in huge numbers to visit the UK every year (in 2015 the UK was 6th in the international tourism earnings league) and yet many of us have never been to the UK tourist hot spots. London and Edinburgh are the most popular destinations with other smaller cities such as Bath and Oxford punching well above their weight.
• Less time spent on the coach! Average staycation journey times are less than half of those for European tours. This means a 50 per cent drop in the number of times your students will ask you “are we nearly there yet!?” which can only be a good thing!
• Keeping the cost down! Whilst the pound takes a dive off the high board, UK tours have never offered better value compared with Europe. Low tour prices have the added benefit of increasing the number of students who sign up, which can then lower the cost even more. This in economic terms is known as “the staycation spiral of loveliness”.
In the last year alone we’ve been organising tours to Edinburgh, London, the Isle of Wight, Cambridge and we’re now working on many new UK trips for next year including Bristol, Bath and York. We’ve been building some amazing networks with UK venues and have recently begun working with the Youth Hostel Agency on their ‘Breaks for Kids’ offer.
At its heart, touring is about making music together, sharing that music with new communities and giving your students the chance to explore, discover and build friendships. It’s not about how far your students travel, it’s about how much they grow!
Anthony Chew, Head of Music, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, Lancashire.
Jane Werry, Head of Music, Hayes School, Kent.
James Williams, Llandovery College, Carmarthenshire.