At the start of the year, I told you that 2017 was going to be a year that we traveled as much as we could as a family because last year was pretty crap and even the holiday to Butlins was overshadowed by the fact I wasn’t well.
Saving money and planning a holiday are two things that don’t often go hand in hand, but it is possible to book a getaway without spending a fortune. We’ve been to New York and Milan so far this year and have a holiday booked to Nice and Monaco for later in the year but we’ve been super thrifty when booking all of them and certainly the 4 nights in Milan and the 4 nights in Nice cost less added together than our one week holiday in Butlins cost us last year because we hunted for great deals and were flexible with our dates.
For our main family holiday this year though we’re staying here in the UK because we’re restricted to the School Holidays for a full week away for all four of us and a week and the costs of a week abroad for the Summer were ridiculous. Holidaying here in the UK is great for us though as we know we’re not going to frazzle like we almost did in Milan where it was 32 degrees at times.
We’re also going to be visiting a beautiful part of the country that we’ve never been to before – the Isle of Wight. We’ll be staying in a holiday park and I’m pleased to say that it was actually very reasonably priced, even taking into account that it’s going to be August.
We’re not the only ones staying in the UK for our main holiday though as ‘staycations’ are becoming increasingly common with holidaymakers – and it’s clear to see why. England is home to hundreds of stunning coastal and countryside destinations, and that’s without mentioning the splendours of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This year we’re all about quantity over quality as far as travel is concerned so we’ll take the budget options when we do travel so we can do more. This approach to travel has prompted me to think about what we can do on a budget here in the UK so I’ve listed five ways to enjoy a budget break in the UK….
- Stay in a bed and breakfast
Instead of choosing a chain hotel for your weekend away, consider the benefits of bed and breakfast accommodation. Not only are B&Bs often much cheaper than hotels, but they’re homely, comfortable and intimate – you’re always guaranteed a personalised service.
What’s more, when you visit the B&B Blackpool section of the Toprooms website, you’ll be able to save even more money by comparing hotels and finding the best rates. Blackpool is somewhere that we love and when the kids were younger especially we’d often head there as a last minute break.
- Pick the right dates
Avoid summer holidays, bank holidays and on-peak times if you want to save money on your accommodation and entertainment. Generally speaking, the months of March-May and September-November are best for a staycation, as you’ll still be able to catch sunny weather without having to pay a premium for your accommodation. Also avoid any bank holidays as people often try and tag a break on to a week with a bank holiday in it so they use less holidays from work.
Read this full list of bank holidays on The Independent so that you can plan your staycation in advance.
- Bring your own food
Depending on how long you’re going on holiday for, this tip won’t always be appropriate. However, if you’re choosing a staycation, bring your own food and snacks so that you can avoid expensive room service, cafes and takeaway prices. One sensible idea is packing cereal bars to save on breakfasts, and water to keep children hydrated on their travels.
- Look for free activities
Another great way to save money on your staycation is to look out for free activities that the whole family can enjoy. Of course, walking along the seafront or countryside should come at the top of your list, but The Telegraph’s guide to free things to do at half term should keep your purse firmly closed while you’re away. Visit a gallery or attraction, and save more by packing a picnic to avoid splashing out on expensive sandwiches and drinks.
- Take the car
Instead of wasting money on coaches or trains, consider taking your car on your staycation. Not only will it be more convenient, but it’ll be more economical and will mean you won’t need to rely on public transport and taxis when travelling around your holiday destination.
So there you have it – five ways to save money on your next staycation. Whether you’re off to Edinburgh, Blackpool or Cornwall, have a fantastic time, and remember that by thinking before you buy, you’ll be able to save money that you can use towards your next break.
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