Planning a staycation this year? Here’s how to save a ton on a UK holiday – you don’t need to leave the country to have the perfect family adventure…
Book slightly (or completely!) out of season
If you’re able to travel outside of peak times you could see some big savings – even a week or two can make a huge difference to prices. You can save hundreds of pounds by travelling off peak, and these big savings can be used to travel more frequently and for longer periods.
Haven Holidays offer fab savings if you avoid the peak school summer holiday period – this year they’ve offered breaks away from as little as £49 so it’s well worth a look. We recently stayed at Haven Hafan y Mor Holiday Park in Wales and had a blast – check out my review!
Food can be a huge expense when you’re travelling, particularly if you eat out regularly. To keep costs down, self-catering is really important – stock up at cheap supermarkets along your route, pack up picnics and cook at your accommodation when you can.
Every penny saved can go towards another trip so avoid splurging on food; if you’re travelling with the kids the costs could soon spiral. To save time, book a click and collect slot at a supermarket local to where you’ll be staying.
Get a Blue Peter Badge
With a Blue Peter Badge, children can gain free entry to over 200 Blue Peter Badge attractions around the country such as theme parks, zoos and castles – making days out a lot more affordable. It’s definitely worth them completing a task and sending off for a badge – there are lots of ways to earn one, check out my article on Blue Peter Badges for more info.
Slash accommodation costs
If you want to travel frequently, then your accommodation choices need to play a big part in keeping your costs to a minimum. By ditching luxury hotels (in exchange for campsites, caravans and hostels) you’ll be able to enjoy a longer trip.
Be pragmatic – your accommodation is a place to sleep in between fun excursions and adventures, and it’s likely to be one of your biggest expenses, so downgrade where you can to cut costs.
Book with Sun Newspaper Holidays
The Sun Holidays are a fantastic way to get away, even on the tightest of budgets. A few years ago we had an amazing five day holiday in the Isle of Wight– we upgraded our caravan, and included travel on the ferry from Portsmouth… the bill was about £150 for it all!
Holidays through the Sun are as little as £9.50pp – and you can book a break in the UK or abroad. For more info on how it works, check out my post on the Sun Newspaper Holidays.
Travelodge £29 rooms
Cheap Travelodge rooms can be a great way to explore the UK – there are loads on offer all over for just £29 per night. This potentially means that you could have 10 days away for less than £300, which is a steal! Have a look at their current deals here > Travelodge Saver Rooms.
Enjoy free days out
If you’re a Tesco shopper, you can benefit from using your Tesco Clubcard points for free meals and days out. These points can be collected through Tesco services too – such as Tesco Mobile or through a Tesco Credit Card, so you can collect them even if you do your weekly shop elsewhere.
Points can be exchanged for theme parks, zoos, farms, castles and even trips to London. Read my post on Tesco Clubcard days out to make the most of your points.
Decant your toiletries
Decant your normal toiletries into smaller pots instead of paying over the odds for ‘mini’ versions of your favourite products. You can wash the pots out when you get home and re-use them year after year – better for your wallet and the planet.
Reduce your accommodation costs to just £99 per year by using a housesitting service like Trusted Housesitters. In exchange for looking after someone’s pet you can stay for free anywhere in the world – making travelling to your favourite places so much more affordable.
For the yearly membership fee of £99, you can book a stay through their website as many times as you like. Join Trusted Housesitters today to get access to free accommodation in the UK and abroad.
Camping can be a really cost effective way to explore without the huge accommodation costs that can often come with a trip away. Some sites will allow you to hire what you need, at a cheaper rate than a caravan, and you can arrive to find it all set up.
If you have your own kit, or can borrow from a friend, then you’ll likely pay very little. It’s also much easier to book last minute when you go camping – which is a real plus with the unpredictable English weather!
Join Kids Pass
Kids Pass is a fantastic way to save up to 40% off of the cost of your family holiday! On top of this, you can also benefit from big savings on days while you’re away – and the best bit is that you can trial it for 30 days for just a quid!
Using their app, you can save on the go and search for things to do and restaurants near you. It’s a great option for trips away and the summer holidays, even if cancelled afterwards. Take a look at my Kids Pass article for more information.
The perks are:
- Up to 57% off family days out – such as: Legoland, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures
- Up to 40% off adult & child cinema tickets, 7 days a week
- Kids eat free at thousands of restaurants
- Holiday discounts
Save on fuel
Driving your own car when you go away can really cut down on additional costs of hire and insurance. Save even more by hunting out the cheapest fuel costs along your route. Often, the services along the motorway charge a lot more than other petrol stations – which can really add up on a long drive. Read my post on how to hunt out the cheapest fuel prices for more info.
Find a Groupon deal
Groupon deals can be a fab way to have a fun day out without spending lots of money. Use their ‘Local’ section to get the best offers close to you. A quick search in my local area revealed these brilliant offers…
- Bowling for two for £6, or for four at just £10
- Clip n Climb session for £9
- Zippos Circus for under a tenner
- Play Centre entry for £3.95 (one child), £6.95 (two children) or £8.95 (three children)
Travel for a quid
If you’re in the South East, kids can travel on the train for just a quid – making getting away, or having days out so much more affordable. For all of the info you need on how to benefit from this deal, check out my post on Southeastern Rail. Not travelling in the South East? Take a look at the area you’re visiting to see if they have any deals on offer.
Head to the capital
Surprisingly, cities can often be really affordable places for holidays and days out. In particular, there are loads of FREE things to do in London with children – even if you’re not a fan of the museums. From to playgrounds, to lidos, to farms and zoos – there’s something to entertain everyone. Make sure you read my post on freebie days out in London for more info.
There are so many gorgeous beaches and country parks dotted all over the country – each offering a new (free!) adventure. Whether it be woodland walks, sand dunes, lakes or large green spaces, they’re always a winner for a family day out. Many have trails too, to keep the kids entertained, or themed activities dependent on the time of year, so be sure to check out what’s on offer before you visit.
Make the most of memberships
National Trust and English Heritage memberships can be a great investment; once you’ve signed up you can use them time and time again for free days out all over the UK. Often it’ll only take a visit or two to make it worthwhile money-wise, and payments can be made monthly so that they don’t seem too overwhelming – family memberships are usually about a tenner each month.
For home-educating families, you can get a year’s National Trust family membership for a discounted rate of £50 – which can be used term-time. And, English Heritage allow free entry to their sites, just as they do for school visits – just be sure to give a few weeks notice as they’ll need time to approve the visit and send you an entry permit.
Happy travels! 😍