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Thursday, 23 April 2015

How to save money during a staycation

As a family of five with school aged children, holidays abroad in the school holidays work out to be VERY expensive (usually well over £2000 for a week in the sun). This sum of money is completely out of reach for us this year but over the next 12 months we are going to work hard to save as much as we can and hopefully save enough for a lovely holiday abroad next summer. We have been researching some fantastic ways to save money and reading advice from the money advice service and are now confident if we work hard at following their advice, we should be able to save enough.

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:-

check what's included

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.

stay with family or friends

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!

search for money saving vouchers

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.

save money on petrol

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.

Take a picnic

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.

Join the national trust

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!).

head to the beach

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. 


Mums' Days


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6 comments

  1. We love holidaying in the UK and have a week planned in the summer. All your tips are great, and I'd add that it's definitely worth getting a travelcard if you are going to be using the train. It pays for itself pretty quickly. Plus, find out where parks and libraries are where you're going. They're free and usually great fun (libraries for when it's raining!)

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    1. Oh yes, travelcard definitely worth it - we have a family railcard and it has paid for itself in a few trips x

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  2. We're heading to Whitby next February and (although the weather may not be ideal for beach trips and picnics - but we'll still do it!) these tips are going to come in very handy! Thanks for a fab post.

    Becci xx onlybecci.blogspot.com

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    1. The beach can still be just as fab in Winter xx

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  3. Great tips Samantha, and to be honest it can be just as expensive here as abroad if you're not careful. At least if you're in all-inclusive or something you don't have to pay for food! Just eating out in the UK can cost a fortune. There's also loads of lovely things to do here. I totally agree about the National Trust, we just got an English Heritage pass and that alone has provided so much entertainment. We ALWAYS take a picnic though, even if we just have it in the car, it's still kinda fun :)

    Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList and enjoy your staycation lovely! xxxx

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    1. Yes I agree - it can be expensive staying at home - especially if the weather isn't the best. Oh I love our EH pass too - always somewhere new to explore xx

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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