Beware the Pitfalls of Moving to Your Favourite Holiday Spot

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Beware the Pitfalls of Moving to Your Favourite Holiday Spot

Why living where you holiday may not work

You’re wandering along the beach, feeling relaxed and loving that chilled out holiday feeling. As your toes sink into the warm sand, your mind drifts off and you find yourself thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to live like this all year round?’

But before you dash off to throw in your job, sell your house, kiss the city goodbye and move to your favourite holiday spot on a whim, STOP!

While this may be an enticing option, there are many hidden traps. Falling into even one of them, could result in considerable financial, emotional and relationship stress.

Let’s take a sea change / tree change ‘dream vs reality’ check to see what you need to consider:

1. Off Season Vibe

Over the summer break popular holiday spots are a hive of activity. Happy, chilled out holiday goers having fun fill the streets, restaurants and tourist attractions. There’s a real ‘buzz’ that makes you feel alive.

But what happens when the tourists all go home? Many seaside destinations become ghost towns for the rest of the year and what was vibrant becomes dull.

2. Economic Ups and Downs

Popular holiday locations are at the mercy of the tourist trade and scale back to adjust to the downturn in the off season. In the high country, alpine regions of NSW and Victoria, essential services such as medical facilities may offer reduced hours, while restaurants and retail outlets may close.

When adverse weather and economic downturns set in, towns that rely so heavily on tourists take a direct hit. Job security moves onto shaky ground and there are fewer opportunities and less money in the community for schools, roads, services and development.

3. Climate Changes

If you love walking barefoot along the beach in summer with a gentle sea breeze taking the bite out of the summer sun, how much will you love it in winter? Howling winds, driving rain and a hostile, grey sea may drive you back inside for months.

Without being fully aware of what the climate is like to live in all year round, you may be in for a rude shock. Many failed tree changes include reasons like, ‘Oh, we came back because we just couldn’t stand the heat!

4. Might NOT Meet All Your Needs

Your needs as a holiday maker are different from your needs as a resident. When you live somewhere permanently you need access to services, jobs, facilities and businesses you may not even think about when you’re on holidays.

If you’re camping or staying in a holiday apartment, you don’t need to worry about plumbers, hairdressers and non emergency medical services. On holidays we tend to ‘make do’ and ‘go with the flow’. If there’s only one poorly stocked supermarket in town, it doesn’t matter so much. But when you live somewhere permanently, these things do matter and are well worth checking out.

5. Are the Locals YOUR Kind of People?

Many people holiday with friends which guarantees good times! Let’s assume your entire friendship group isn’t making a sea change with you. How well do you know the people who live permanently in your favourite holiday spot?

Ironically, some locals who don’t work directly in the tourist and hospitality trade leave town for the peak season, returning when the tourists go home. Are there clubs and community groups of like minded people who are similar in age and share your interests and values?

6. It May Not be Logistically Do-able

Some people move to a picturesque country town and keep their city jobs with a longer commute. Driving across the city onto country roads for 1½ hours, twice a day may be fine for a while. After 3 months the novelty may wear off, particularly when you’re leaving and arriving home long after dark on cold winter nights.

Rather than the peaceful, relaxed lifestyle you’ve imagined, you may find you’re living with the reality of chronic fatigue, work stress and fractured family relationships.

By now you may be thinking you’d be mad to move to your favourite holiday spot! But don’t despair – it is possible to make it work.

Discover if your favourite holiday spot IS right for your sea change:

  • Identify what you really want and what you’re prepared to compromise. Create a set of Sea Change Criteria based on what’s important to you.
  • Research thoroughly – explore all your options and assess them against their ability to meet your criteria. Consider towns and regions whose economies are viable and strong all year round.  Our Sea Change Location Locator will help you get started.
  • Talk to others who have made a sea or tree change. Many popular holiday spots are filled with sea changers. Ask them why they moved there, what they’ve found challenging and what they’d do differently if they were doing it again.
  • Give it a go with a ‘sea change trial’. If in doubt, keep your home in the city and rent. Ask your employer if you can work remotely or use unpaid leave to take a sabbatical.

Still not sure whether your favourite holiday spot would be a great place to live?



Together we’ll uncover what’s most important to you, remove the road blocks and map out the best way to make your sea change a success.

In the meantime, kick back, relax and enjoy your holiday!

Carpe diem



Conner0214_0010_CroppedCaroline Cameron is a master certified executive, career and lifestyle coach, sea change coach, speaker and author.

Having successfully reinvented herself through 10 career and 4 major lifestyle changes, Caroline helps mid-career professionals harness the power of change to achieve success in business, work and life.

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