The pound isn’t looking too rosy, and queuing for ages at Dover might not be your idea of a good time, so you may be thinking of a UK holiday this summer. What are your tips for an affordable break back home?
We got the idea for this Convo from a tip Quincy Stone shared with the Convo community on cutting the cost of holidaying with a toddler.
‘My husband and I occasionally like to visit hotels within an hour or two of our home. Occasionally, about three times a year, we take our now three-year-old grandson along. Usually they are four- or five-star places.’
But the couple found that when they booked online the price of, for example, £150 a night for a double room could shoot up to £220 to £500 – for sharing a room with a toddler who would usually have to sleep on a ‘put you up’ beside the bed.
They got around this by booking a future visit and then going to the hotel in person and asking at reception for a ‘put you up’ for that future visit. This usually came to just an extra £20-£30.
Let’s face it, we could all do with a few moneysaving ideas, as the UK itself can be an expensive place to holiday.
Travelling on the cheap
Travel can take a big chunk out of your holiday budget.
I usually travel with my other half and find my Two Together railcard a lifesaver for journeys all over the country. And when I lived in London, I had a Network railcard too, which knocked a third off train ticket prices when I travelled by myself in the South East. Spending £20 or £30 on a railcard can be a really great investment for saving plenty of cash on your holiday rail travel.
I’ve also saved a fair bit of cash using other tips for travelling cheaply, including ticket splitting.
Taking a Megabus is a low-cost way to get between major towns and cities. I used it as a student in 2004 and it meant enduring three-hour journeys between Birmingham and London in a simple double-decker bus. But these days the buses are much swankier and the fares can be really low if you book far enough in advance or can be really flexible about when you travel.
You’ll have to help me with motoring moneysaving tips though as I’m no expert on driving. Fuel costs anyone? Or how do you keep car hire costs in check?
Good deals on things to do
So you’ve booked your travel to a beautiful part of Britain and saved a fair amount in the process. But what do you do when you get there? If you don’t want to blow the holiday budget now, it pays to be prepared. Start looking around now for vouchers on cereal packets and tokens in newspapers if you or anyone in the family might want to visit an expensive theme park during the trip.
It’s also worth keeping an eye out for special cards that offer you discounted or free entry into attractions in a particular city or area. Whether or not they represent good value depends on how many attractions you’ll be able to visit, and it might still be cheaper to buy student or pensioner tickets if you’re eligible.
Are you planning a holiday in the UK this summer? How do you keep costs low while still having an enjoyable and comfortable trip?
This convo was inspired by a tip shared by Quincy Stone in our ideas section.