Willing to try a Home-cation?
Tuesday, 19th August 2008
Source : Visitbritain.
A British ‘Homecation' holiday is the latest style of vacation to be marketed to the US -A home away from home vacation presents endless opportunities to meet real Brits and reap money saving tips in England, Scotland and Wales.

In the current economic climate, travelers in the know often stay in apartments, bed and breakfasts, as well as participate in home and hospitality exchange programs. Not only is a ‘homecation,' a home away from home experience, an affordable way to live like a local, but it also helps to stretch one's dollar on a vacation in Britain.

The British ‘homecation' begins simply by trading in frequent flyer miles or by purchasing an affordable roundtrip transatlantic ticket. To help consumers get the best bang for their buck, VisitBritain, the national tourist office for England, Scotland and Wales, suggests the following value for money experiences.

Britain's home and hospitality exchange programs present unique opportunities for U.S. travelers to swap homes with their British counterparts. Green Theme International Home Exchange Holiday Service (www.gti-home-exchange.com ) welcomes travelers with eco-friendly homes equipped with water efficient toilets and showers, solar panels, fluorescent or LED lightings and in some cases, bicycles or hybrid cars. HomeExchange (www.homeexchange.com ) offers house swaps, as well as hospitality exchanges – travelers stay in homes with their host families at mutually beneficial times.

Self-catering apartments such as Club Suites (www.sloaneclub.co.uk ) and Soho Square (www.londonapartmentservice.co.uk ) and bed & breakfasts also present an affordable way for visitors to save money during their stay in England, Scotland and Wales – all while preserving an intimate, home-away-from-home feel. At Home London (www.athomeinlondon.co.uk ) provides bed and breakfast to visitors in private homes in central London locations such as Belgravia, Chiswick, Kensington, Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Notting Hill. The Pembrokeshire-based Coastal Cottages (www.coastalcottages.co.uk ) operate affordable cottages along Britain's beautiful coast.

The home away from home experience can be enhanced by getting to know our British Friends -- local people residing across the country. British Friends often share intimate secrets and lesser known tourism treasures to help travelers capture the soul of a destination. To start meeting local Brits across the country, value conscious travelers should visit www.beabritdifferent.com.

Consumers can add to their ‘homecation' by doing what locals do in their hometown. Britain's farmers markets (Brecon, Edinburgh, Haverford West, Pimlico, Stroud and Winchester) provide endless opportunities to secure fresh, organic produce for home cooked meals, as well as savor local flavors. Locals also dine in gastropubs – fine British fare in pub settings at affordable prices – or they take advantage of the prix fixe lunch and dinner menus (www.toptable.com ) offered throughout the country.

Other lesser known secrets include paying just £5 (or approximately $10) to stand in the pit to watch a Shakespeare Globe Theatre production or to rent a cushion at the Rose Theatre to see a recent show. Or, they can also pay £2.50 (or approximately $5) to explore more than 3,000 private owned gardens which open to the public through the National Gardens Scheme (www.ngs.org.uk ). Or they can contact the BBC (www.bbc.co.uk ) to secure complimentary tickets for a taping of a popular television show.
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