We aren't going abroad this year but that doesn't mean we won't have fun! We have booked a couple of inexpensive staycations and will be making our money work hard during our breaks away by following these simple tips:-
When you are pricing your accommodation double check what's included as all of the extras can certainly add up. Do you need to pay extra for bedding or can you save money and take your own? Will you need to pay for gas and electricity? Is wifi included or do you need to purchase it? Do you need to pay a security deposit? Take all of this into account when pricing your holiday as the price advertised isn't necessarily the price you'll pay.
We are lucky to have family who own a caravan by the sea and have friends that live across the country. We always have the option to stay here for free which saves lots of money. Do make sure you buy your hosts a nice bottle of wine to say thank you though!
Before committing to booking your staycation make sure you google any money off codes or vouchers and check sites such as VoucherBin to see if there are any final savings to be made.
If you are going to be driving quite some distance for your staycation (as we will be when we drive from Northumberland to Cornwall this Summer) make sure you take into consideration the cost of petrol and keep your eyes peeled for money saving deals. You can easily find the cheapest fuel in the area you are staying using petrolprices.com and I usually find fuel is cheaper in supermarket forecourts than by the side of a motorway.
Once you are on holiday there is no need to spend money on eating out which certainly mounts up. Instead pack a picnic with homemade cakes and sandwiches - if the weather's not great the kids will love a 'car picnic'. An average lunch out for us costs around £40-£50 whereas a nice picnic can cost less than £10. Multiply this by 7 days and you have made a huge saving.
We have been members of the National Trust for four years now and pay just £8.67 every month for the five of us which is an absolute bargain. This entitles us to free entry to over 300 houses and gardens. We visit a national trust property every couple of weeks and wherever we are staying in the UK we will find a property nearby and visit for the day. They are a fantastic way to learn about the area you are staying and nearly always feature fantastic playgrounds, beautiful gardens and host exciting events. In the last year we have taken part in egg hunts, pirate day, den building, treasure hunts, pond dipping, blindfolded trails and more and all for the fraction of the cost of a theme park (with the added bonus of no queuing!).
You can't beat a day at the seaside for a free day out - even if the sun isn't shining children love skimming stones, hunting for pretty shells and building sandcastles. You don't need to spend money to have fun and most children will play for hours at the beach.
We have a couple of mini staycations planned this year starting with glamping at Bells of Hemscott next week. I have double checked what is included and we will be taking our own food and drink and will pack some board games for the evening. We have planned a day at the beach and a picnic in a nearby country park meaning we hopefully won't be spending any money whilst we are there but we'll still be having lots of fun!
Will you be enjoying a UK break this year? I would love to hear your ideas for saving money too.