The chances are that if you’re a full-time worker and capitalise on your weekends, then you’ll have unknowingly taken a micro gap. But if you’re gasping for a holiday and exotic destinations aren’t feasible, then a Micro Gap might just be for you. Read on to find out what the bloody hell I’m jabbering on about – I promise it’s worth your time.
My Ramblings on the Micro Gap
Feel free to gloss over this part, I’m just speaking my truth.
I first came across this buzz word during World Travel Market when I summoned some courage and asked Visit Britain and Visit England about their upcoming campaigns. The #MyMicroGap campaign was mentioned more than once, and as I delved deeper I realised that the ‘Micro Gap’ is the very exposition of The Millennial Runaway.
With a full-time job, volunteer position and as a part-time Masters student it’s safe to say that time is not in abundance for me. Paired with the minimum UK holiday allowance, and one might wonder how I ever do anything at all.
But I’m an adventurer at heart, and travel enriches all aspects of my life so I make it a priority within my calendar year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, travel isn’t all about the exotic locations, since your home country is a tourist destination for someone, somewhere else in the world.
With this in mind, I’ve become a BIG advocate for being a tourist in your home town, city and country (I’m going to name it ‘Hometown Tourism’ – you heard it here first!), even going so far as to create my own campaign of sorts – It’s Not All Tea and Scones.
The idea of this was self-encouragement to seek out travel opportunities within Great Britain, many of which can be discovered under ‘UK’ on the ‘Destinations’ menu tab. I’m incredibly proud of the experiences completed thus far, and I can’t wait to seek out more of what Great Britain has to offer.
Each year I publish my travel plans for the year ahead, including my planned annual leave dates, as an example and encouragement of how to capitalise on weekends and bank holidays to travel more. I aim to do one international trip over one to two weeks, and smaller European and UK city breaks laced throughout the year. Weekends are then filled with experiences closer to home within easy reach of Bristol and Gloucester. Keep an eye of the 2019 article in December.
What is a Micro Gap?
Ok so enough of that, ‘what is it!?’ I hear you cry.
I can’t tell you who exactly takes credit for coining the phrase, but Visit England seem to be honing in on the action. In October 2018, Visit England launched their ‘Join the World – #MyMicrogap’ campaign to ‘target young people with experiences and activities typically taken during a gap-year that can be condensed into a micro-holiday of one to three nights in the UK.’
A recent article from Visit Britain explains that the campaign is part of a drive to get more young people to holiday at home. The microgap campaign follows research by Visit England into the travel habits of young Brits which showed that 24% of 18-to-34 year olds were likely to take a career break to travel in the next three years, compared to 57% who are likely to take a microgap during the next three years.
Research showed that young people keen on taking a microgap wanted the same self-development opportunities typical of a gap-year. Top activities and experiences sought were wellbeing and relaxation, visiting iconic landmarks, trying local food and drink and seeing nature and wildlife.
Now usually I’d get a little pissed off about yet-another-article about millennials and what they think we want, but this one is actually hits the nail on the head. I’m pretty sure this doesn’t just apply to ‘Young Brits’ either, but the country as a whole who are feeling the pinch with increase rent prices and the like.
So read on to allow me to persuade you why you should book a Micro Gap right now! (well, after you’ve finished ready the article ofc)
Why Should You Take One?
I know, I know, you don’t really need any encouragement to go on holiday but perhaps you haven’t considered that your holiday might only be one hour away. Now this next section might seem a little bit obvious, but sometimes we tend to forget the simplest of things so humour me. Why should you take a micro gap?
More bang for your buck
I’m speaking in terms of annual leave here, in that you can weave the bank holidays and weekends to your advantage and take a lovely weekend break somewhere. And, with that somewhere being easily accessible and likely not requiring much travel time, you’ll have plenty of time to recharge and see the sights.
Recharge your batteries – again and again
Taking a number of smaller breaks throughout the year is going to make you feel like a jet setter – likely without even boarding a plane. A number of smaller weekend breaks spread across the year will allow you to recharge your batteries over and over again without comprising your time off.
Discover more of your home country
You know that part of the country you keep meaning to busy but never found the time? Go. For me, that’s Scotland and Ireland. You bet I’ll be off to discover some Heelan Coo’s in 2019. Great Britain is bursting with idyllic scenery, world-renowned gourmet and one-of-a-kind experiences.
Save some money
I’d say this point is a little ambiguous ac since some UK destinations rival the cost of a holiday abroad. But without the cost of flights and with the increase of Air B&Bs allowing you more control over your catering, it’s possible to take a wondrous break without filing for bankruptcy.
A Final Word
So I know what you’re thinking, how is a ‘Micro Gap’ any different to a ‘Staycation’, ‘Daycation’, ‘Short Break’ or ‘Weekend Break’? Well it isn’t really – but it’s a cool term don’t you think? I suppose the difference is that rather than just going away for a weekend, you experience the place with an open mind, making the effort to seek out iconic landmarks or trying a new food you haven’t tried before. Really just being a ‘hometown tourist’.
Cue Regina George, “Shut up, Gretchen. Stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s not going to happen.”
To get in on the action, be sure to use #MyMiniGap to showcase your Mini Gap Insta’s.