For those of us on a budget, a holiday may seem like a luxury that we can’t afford. But this isn’t true if you consider having a staycation instead.
What is a staycation?
It’s still a great holiday, but instead of going abroad, you stay in the UK.
You get to enjoy all the wonderful things that go with a break, discover what our country has to offer, and save a ton of money whilst you’re at it!
Why take a staycation at all?
Saving for a holiday can be tough, but the benefits of having a holiday are immense.
Having a holiday can help you relax and unwind…and with all the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s definitely much needed.
So instead of saving for a holiday that could break the bank, why not consider a staycation and save yourself some money?
Having a staycation could mean one of two things:
- You can either choose to stay at home and visit the local sites, or
- You can choose to stay elsewhere in the country that isn’t near where you usually live.
Staying at home
It has its benefits, but also has its downsides.
Looking at the positives:
It’s by far the cheaper option of the two. That’s a huge incentive if you need a break on a budget.
The biggest savings you’ll make will be on accommodation (of course – you’re staying at home, silly!)
And travel – no expensive planes, trains or buses to worry about.
According to travel information from the Office of National Statistics, the average Brit spends £341 on just travel and accommodation for a 7 day holiday.
That’s nearly £700 for a couple, and close to an eye-watering £1400 for an average family of 4…ouch!
It doesn’t take much to quickly see the savings stack up!
And because travelling is cut down, you actually get more time to enjoy the staycation itself…meaning you can pack in more (or less!) into your holiday.
On the other hand:
By being at home, you might feel that you can’t get as much of a break as you need.
You can find yourself doing all the things that you usually do at home – things like cleaning, mowing the lawn, the odd bit of DIY…
Which can make it feel like a waste of your precious time off.
So make sure you have plans for your staycation (places to visit, friends to catch up with or just relaxing in the garden) and put the other bits to one side.
Just focus on being on holiday!
Staycation away from home
Staying elsewhere is slightly more expensive, but still cheaper than going abroad.
We’ve just done this ourselves, with a week camping near Lyme Regis in Dorset. It was awesome!
For a fraction of the cost of a holiday abroad, we got sun, sandy beaches and plenty of time to explore!
You generally can save money because you don’t have to pay for flights or ferries to get to your far flung destination.
And because we live in a small country, you can get away with driving most places.
If you’re prepared to spend a few hours in the car, train or bus, it’s worth it for all the money you can save instead of flying to your holiday.
Money saving travel tips blue box:
- Try to avoid travelling at peak times (7-9am and 5-7pm). You’ll find roads are clearer and public travel fares are cheaper off-peak too. (Google maps is great for directions and showing you busy times)
- Pack your own food and drinks to save on costly service station meals and takeaways
- If driving – try to keep it smooth to improve fuel economy. Over-revving, sudden breaking and speeding cost more than you might think. There’s a few simple economy tips shown by a test day at Top Gear’s Millbrook track here.
Eating on your staycation
When you go abroad, you can often go for the all-inclusive option. That means you don’t have to pay for your meals – unless you leave the resort.
It’s not something I’ve done before as our holidays normally involve a lot of moving around, but friends that have gone the all-inclusive route swear by it.
They say it can cost more initially, but if you plan on staying nearby, it normally works out cheaper in the long run.
With staycations, it can be harder to find all-inclusive places, so an easier option is to find somewhere self-catering.
Camping or using Air BnB to find self-catering accommodation is a popular way to take a holiday.
Yes you will have to cook your meals, but as you’ll know – this is usually cheaper than eating out for each meal.
Chances are there’s a supermarket nearby, which means you can take advantage of these everyday food shopping tips.
As you’ll see – the savings quickly add up!
Finding things to do on your staycation
Unless your plans are to kick back, relax and do nothing, you’ll need to find ways to make the most of your time off.
I’m a fan of getting out. Exploring and discovering new things about my surroundings.
With so much to choose from, there are a bunch of resources and ideas I keep going back to:
- Google – A quick search is a great way to get you started. I normally go with: things to do in <town name here> or what’s going on near me.
As well as big attractions, it often unearths local events, groups and landmarks that can make for great days out, that don’t destroy your bank balance!
- Although they can sometimes be costly, the National Trust and English Heritage sites have some incredible historic places to visit, that can turn into entire days out.
- Ordnance Survey maps – consider picking up one for the area you’re heading to, and without needing to be a map reading expert, you can easily find walks, dis-used railway lines, ruins, bunkers and some hilarious place names like Fannyfield and Long Itchington. They all add to the memories!
Anything outdoors is normally a cheap/free activity.
Weather permitting, things like walks, visits to the beach, swimming in the sea, finding ruins and geocaching all make for memorable, fun days out.
Staying at home can save you money – depending on how you do it.
There are downsides to staying at home, but if you’re on a budget and need a break, don’t rule it out.
There are so many wonderful places all over the UK to stay and they are definitely worth exploring.
Staying at home means that you get to save yourself some money and experience all the amazing stuff right on your doorstep!
What are your favourite staycation locations? Are there any tips, apps or tools you use to make the most out of your holiday?
Let us know in the comments below 🙂