Many of us are unable to travel abroad this summer due to Covid-19. But that doesn’t mean holidays are off the table. Instead, take a staycation.
By definition a staycation means you take a holiday in your home country.
Staycations can be a fun way to take a break from the usual routine, see unexpected sites and support the local tourist economy. Staycations also tend to be a cheaper alternative to jet-setting holidays as you save money on flights.
So how do you turn a day or a weekend into a budget-friendly staycation to remember? Here are a few tips for planning a perfect budget holiday staycation without breaking the bank:
Step 1: Decide on your budget
Determine how much you can afford to spend before you start planning. And how much you want to spend.
You may have savings set aside for a big vacation in the South of France, but do you really want to spend it all on a trip to the coast or walking in the Highlands?
Money Dashboard can help you decide your budget for staycation holidays. The app will help you calculate how much money you have available relative to other financial goals.
Step 2: Pick a less pricey vacation time
Timing has a big impact on pricing. Hotels and transport will likely be cheaper when the school holidays are over, so consider waiting until mid-August, and ideally September if you can.
Additionally, travelling and staying in hotels during the week is usually cheaper than on weekends.
Step 3: Plan your transport in advance for discounts
The UK has a lot to offer. You can make cheap weekend breaks to the mountains, beaches, lakes, forests, city centres and scenic villages are all within reach.
If you are traveling by car or train, plan ahead if you can. You can often get a discount if you book tickets for railways, ferries, and car rentals online in advance.
Step 4: Plan free or low cost activities
Free and low cost attractions are the heart and soul of staycation holidays. And there are a lot of things you can do. Here are some staycation ideas:
- Go for a walk. Find new paths and put on your trainers.
- Visit local museums. Look for special exhibits and for smaller niche museums and galleries that you haven’t been to before.
- Rent a bike. Get a trail map and bike to another area, sculpture park, or a monument.
- Visit markets. You never know what might catch your eye. Look for local farmer markets, clothes markets, antique sellers and more.
- See local tourist attractions. Just because you’re local doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a touristy walking tour. Knock off any to-see places on the local to-do list.
If you’re having difficulty finding local attractions, research as tourists do with TripAdvisor. You can also use Instagram’s location filter to see top posts in that area, which often show people in interesting and beautiful spots.
When researching, look for deals online. A lot of places are offering special deals for their reopening.
Step 5: Do something smart with your saved money
If you saved money during a staycation, put it to good use. Pay off debt, build an emergency fund, or invest it.