Top tips for a holiday on a budget

You don't need to spend a lot to get a lot when holidaying. Find out our favourite tips for holidaying on a budget.

Top tips for a fun-filled staycation on a budget

By Harry Roberts, Managing Director at My Favourite Cottages

With rising inflation, energy price caps and national insurance contributions, many families are predicted to be significantly worse off.

And with the cost of living going up, people are more money conscious than ever before. 

But, if you are still looking for a break from reality, there are ways you can do it without breaking the bank.

Here are some useful tips and tricks on how you can still have a fun-filled staycation without breaking the bank…

Prep is key

While searching through hundreds of websites at all the different options available, it’s always best to do your research thoroughly before booking a staycation. 

Be open-minded and have a couple of locations in mind, or if you’re looking for a particular type of location, prepare to be flexible with dates. When possible, travel out of season and choose mid-week as these are normally cheaper and have more availability. 

Keep an eye out for discounts and be weary of hidden charges to keep costs down and ensure you book in advance to save money and when possible, pay in instalments, so the cost is broken down with smaller monthly payments.

Although, if you are a last minute holidaymaker, the best time to book is two weeks before the desired date, with last minute cancellations normally taking 20 percent off the original price.

Find cost-free activities

While a trip to a theme park or booking a pre-arranged activity may seem like a ready-made day out for the family, there are plenty of cost-free activities which could prove just as fun, such as going for a coastal walk, visiting the beach, making arts and crafts, having a picnic, visiting a farmers market or a free museum.

And consider visiting somewhere ‘off the beaten track’, just a few miles away from tourist hotspots, as they may offer cheaper options, too.

If you’re looking for something a little different, why not try out ‘geocaching’ – an outdoor real life treasure hunting game that can be played with hundreds of other people. It would certainly make for a free and exciting way to explore the local area and get a free souvenir.

Or if you’re the type that likes to immerse themselves in the local community and culture, see if there are any food kitchens or animal shelters you can volunteer at for the day.

Dine for ‘free’

Eating on a budget doesn’t have to be boring, either.

If you’re concerned about spending money on food, plan your meals wisely and stock up on your favourite foods in advance. 

But if you are tempted to treat yourself while you're away have a look around for restaurants with offers on, lunch deals, or a more unknown location that is favoured by the locals.

Using a reusable water bottle is another way you can save on money and best of all, you’re reducing your environmental impact at the same time. 

That said if you are missing travelling the world, why not go on a food tour, sampling all the different cuisines on offer near where you’re staying, or make your own date night somewhere scenic, with a picnic, drinks and perhaps even entertainment from your own phone or tablet.

Arrange alternative transport

From petrol to parking, driving around could end up costing quite a lot of money.

Plan your days ahead of your trip to maximise walking opportunities between each attraction. 

If hotspots are too spread out, look to bring your own bikes or purchase a travel pass to help you save on costs.

By doing so, you’re more likely to take in all of the sights and get some exercise, too!

Alternatively, ask your holiday provider or the locals if there are any cheaper methods of travel, such as by boat if you’re near the river or sea. While it may seem different than the norm, it could prove to be cheaper than a car.

Repurpose old clothes or do a clothes swap

Ahead of your holiday, there's always an appeal to go out and buy a new holiday wardrobe but, this year, try something different instead.

If you're creative, look into ways to repurpose your old clothes, such as turning your old jeans into a pair of denim shorts or an old shirt into an oversized dress and add accessories. 

Your friends may be in same boat, so ask if they want to do a clothes swap – you may end up getting a temporary new wardrobe for free.