For many of us, work commitments and high-stress schedules mean that finding the time to get away and relax on a beach is far from easy. For those of us who want to recharge with a change of scenery and some much-needed family time, but don’t want to step too far away from the office, a ‘staycation’ could be the perfect solution.
In 2015, the number of domestic holidays taken within Britain reached a seven-year high according to Visit Britain, with 19.7 million taken during the year - and the trend is showing no signs of abating.
So, if you’re looking to plan a holiday a little closer to home this year, we’ve put together a few tips to help you take a break on a budget – and without venturing too far from your commitments.
1) Explore somewhere new
The UK is incredibly diverse, while also being pretty easy to get around. You don’t need to travel to another country to discover somewhere new and exciting – just hop in your car or jump on a train. If you live in a big city, why not journey out to the countryside and take in some stunning scenery? Or vice versa.
Even if you’re travelling domestically, travel can still be expensive. Save money on expensive train tickets and petrol by looking into alternatives like the Megabus, or into car sharing options like Zipcar.
2) Do your research
Like with a traditional holiday, it’s always good to do your research before embarking on a staycation. Have a look online at sites like Time Out, which share the best places to go, things to see and even the best dishes to eat around the UK.
Save money on dining and attractions by scouring the internet for deals before you set off. Subscribe to sites like Opentable for regular dining offers straight into your inbox.
Special offers are fairly easy to come by if you know where to look. Aside from the standard vouchers sites and newspapers, it’s worth bearing in mind that some companies leave money-off vouchers in tourist offices. It’s always worth dropping in if you’re staying near one, to see if you can get yourself a deal.
3) Splash out on your accommodation
By staying in the UK, you’ll be saving money on your travel, which means being able to find somewhere a little different to rest your head. Whether your preference is a fancy boutique hotel, a quaint bed and breakfast, or a retro caravan atop a hillside in Wales, now’s your time to find the perfect retreat.
And although we’ve said splashing out – there really is no need to go overboard. Different doesn’t need to be expensive, as proven by the likes of Airbnb.
4) Or get back to basics
For families and bigger groups, camping is a cost-effective holiday solution as prices are usually per tent, per night - not per person. You can pitch-up, enjoy the local amenities and spend quality time with your loved ones, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
If you don't want to rough it, glamping is a popular alternative too. Now campers can stay in yurts, tipis and holiday pods - some of which include electricity, heating and even have a television. Browse voucher and comparison sites for great glamping deals and enjoy a unique, relaxing trip away. Just make sure that you’re prepared for the often unpredictable British weather and pack some waterproofs!
Camping can be really low-cost if you already have the gear – but if you need to buy everything from scratch, costs can mount up. Instead of buying everything new, borrow what you can for the trip from friends and family or see what you can get on sites like Amazon. Most suppliers of outdoor wear will also offer store cards and e-mail out offers, so sign up to what you can and look out for deals and special offers.
5) But don’t be afraid to be spontaneous
While it’s always good to plan ahead, don’t be afraid to let spontaneity take over from time to time. With so many fantastic destinations less than a few hours away, why not book a last minute trip away. You can often find great deals on hotels by booking them at the last minute, which can allow you to stay in some amazing places for much less than you’d normally pay.
No matter how much work we’ve got on or deadlines to meet, we all need to take a break from time to time to recharge our batteries. Whatever your reasons for staying in Britain, plan an affordable holiday to remember by venturing to the cities, countryside and accommodation right on your doorstep.
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