Families should make a New Year’s resolution to spend more time together in the outdoors, says leading youth charity YHA (England and Wales).
To help families with that resolution, YHA is offering 25% off the cost of accommodation at selected YHA properties for stays taken between January – 27 April 2019, including February half term and Easter. Stays must be booked online at www.yha.org.uk before 31 January 2019 using the code JAN-019.
Family friendly youth hostels available to book as part of the offer include:
YHA Snowdon Pen-y-Pass
YHA Wilderhope Manor
YHA Treyarnon Bay
YHA Eden Project
YHA London Earls Court
YHA The Sill at HAdrian’s Wall
Having adventures together outside promotes positive family relationships as well as helping children become happier, healthier and more confident.
“By getting outdoors and having adventures together you also provide an opportunity to reconnect and create shared memories, which are vital for family harmony and wellbeing,” explained leading psychologist Karen Pine, who is championing YHA’s Adventure Effect campaign.
The youth hostelling charity’s Adventure Effect campaign responds to a growing body of research which shows that stress, anxiety and depression amongst young people is higher than ever before.
Only *1 in 5 children regularly play outside yet studies also show that **just 5 minutes of ‘green exercise’ can improve a child’s mental wellbeing.
She added: “It is important that children get the opportunity to release pent up feelings by getting outside: running down a hill or across the park, going for a long bike ride or hiking up a hill is a really good way to help them put any worries they have aside and feel good about themselves.
“A walk outside produces a lift in mood in just five or 10 minutes. The endorphins that walking produces in the brain are the best natural stress buster. Connecting with others is also vitally important for warding off a low mood. Build in some form of adventure and the physical exercise and social contact will bring huge health benefits.”
Time together outdoors could also be the antidote to the decline of the family meal in contemporary Western society. Karen added: “Having a meal together as a family has become a thing of the past and this was traditionally the time when everyone could discuss the day they’ve had, download their worries, reconnect and give each other support.”
“Planning a short adventure holiday offers enormous benefits for both parents and children,” says Karen. “It can provide an escape from everyday chores and the pressures of work and school. Letting go of tight schedules and deadlines helps reduce stress; combined with more exercise and sleep, people are more likely to return to their ‘real’ life feeling refreshed and more able to cope,” she said.
YHA has 150 locations throughout England and Wales offering affordable access to adventure for everyone, regardless of age. Youth hostels are located in National Parks, coastal resorts, towns, cities and rural areas of England and Wales.
In recent years, YHA has invested millions of pounds in its accommodation to create modern, private en-suite family rooms. James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA (England and Wales) said: “YHA has been around for nearly 90 years providing travel and adventure for young people. While times have changed, the transformative effect of adventure is as relevant today as it was in the 1930s. That’s why we’re as committed as ever to making stays at YHA both affordable and accessible.”
“We’re passionate about transforming young lives through travel and real adventure. We know the experiences we deliver through our network of youth hostels make a very real difference to young people and their families. I hope families will take advantage of the offer and take the opportunity to stay with us and reconnect with each other after a busy festive season.”
To find out more about the Adventure Effect visit https://www.yha.org.uk/adventureeffect