The staycation is very much here to stay, after a few years of upheaval brought the domestic holiday all the way back into the public eye. The coronavirus pandemic halted international travel for over a year, and the ensuing cost-of-living crisis made it prohibitively expensive for many. If you’re looking to get away from it all on a budget, there’s no better way than to holiday domestically; how can you make your staycation budget-friendly as can be?
Transport is often the sticking point for the expense when it comes to holidays – and this can be just as true for domestic trips as it is for international travel. Where plane tickets can cost hundreds, so too can rail tickets. There are discounts you can avail yourself of, such as family rail cards or promotional offers, which can bring the cost of travel down.
Meanwhile, local bus systems are surprisingly well-connected and could take you right out to somewhere entirely new for practically nothing. Of course, there’s no avoiding the additional issues that reliance on public transport can bring, from cancellations to missed connections.
If you have a driver’s license, driving could well be the cheapest way to get around, particularly when you have your family in tow. To keep to your shoestring budget, a reliable model of a second-hand car would be ideal – not only to reduce your upfront costs but also to minimise the chance of a costly breakdown mid-trip. Japanese brands have a good reputation in this regard, making something like a used Toyota a wise option for your travel needs.
Getting there is only one part of the equation. Whether on a city break in the south or a camping trip in Cumbria, you will also need to think carefully about where you’ll be staying. Conventional hotels and bed-and-breakfasts can be pricey things, up and down the scale – so what can you do to bring accommodation costs down?
For one, camping is an extremely easy and inexpensive route to accommodation. Some comforts are sacrificed, but the act of camping itself is an extremely fun one in the right circumstances. It could be a central part of a rural walking holiday, or a fun option on the outskirts of the city. If you’d rather stay amongst the urban action, there are myriad holiday rental platforms where you can find cheaper-than-hotel short-term rental options.
Next up, food. Food costs can mount heavily when eating out of restaurants and takeaways; the latter wasn’t always true, but the last few years of inflation have done terrible things to the average cost of fish and chips. There are many budget-friendly alternatives to sniff out on your staycation extravaganza, from the esoteric delights of local markets and street food stalls to the incredible value of local produce from independent farmers. Cooking your own food – whether in your holiday let or from your camping stove – will always win out price-wise!
Finally, filling your holiday time should be no hard thing. There are boundless free ways to enjoy your holiday! Public walking routes are completely free to enjoy, as are the views they give access to. In the city, there are always opportunities to enjoy art and history for free via museums and galleries.