No holiday abroad this year? No problem! Katy Beskow looks at ways to make the most of your UK staycation, without breaking the bank
1. Plan your UK staycation
Whether your UK staycation will last for two days or 14 days, get together as a group and plan how you are going to spend your break.
Begin by setting a realistic budget, then list all of the things that you’d like to do. These don’t have to be costly experiences. Perhaps you want to keep it simple and find ways of spending time together or enjoying some screen-free days.
Why not host a board game tournament? They’re great fun for the whole family and are guaranteed to make you smile. Don’t forget to start your staycation countdown, to get in the holiday spirit!
If your budget (and COVID-19 restrictions) allows, consider travelling somewhere within the UK. Looking for affordable accommodation in the UK? Consider a house swap, or book a caravan or cabin in advance, researching offers and flexibility with dates, if possible.
If travelling to another part of the UK is not an option, have a staycation in your own home, by making the most of days out and special treats. Differentiate this staycation time at home by breaking your normal routine.
Try to reduce screen time, get outdoors and ensure your plans allow for special experiences out of the home. We’ve spent enough time in them over the past year after all!
3. Free experiences
Search online for free museums, art galleries, and festivals that are in your area. Chances are there will be plenty of free activities for all the family to enjoy. Also look out for free walking tours, or pay-what-you-feel guided tours.
There are many online guides that can be downloaded or used live, including walking, cycling or sightseeing tours to take you to new places, even in your local area.
4. Book ahead
If you decide to travel out of your local area, book transport ahead to get the best deals on trains, coaches and buses. Booking a number of weeks ahead may secure the lowest prices, but also look out for group, family or 2-for-1 travel deals.
Many travel companies offer an email reminder service of the cheapest time to book, so it is worth planning ahead and signing up to this service.
5. Coupon it
Days out to major attractions such as theme parks are great fun, but can be costly when purchasing tickets. Many major tourist attractions have voucher codes available online, or on promotional packs of foods (ensure vegan before purchase), which can save you up to half of the entry price.
Once at the attraction, be aware of premium prices for drinks, snacks and meals – if you haven’t budgeted for these extra costs, then take a picnic and a refillable water bottle.
6. Tourist destinations for your UK staycation
To keep costs at their lowest, avoid tourist destinations including major attractions, well known seaside resorts, and paid-entry gardens. There are many free attractions that can be researched before a trip, including museums and hands-on experiences.
If you are planning a trip to the seaside, opt for a smaller, less-known beach or bay, and experience the adventure! Discover beautiful forest areas, pastures and beauty points that have no entry costs – and an additional positive of no costly gift shops to be tempted by!
7. Eat out
One of the best things about being on holiday is eating out somewhere different each night. If you’re choosing to stay local for your staycation, make a list of restaurants, pubs or cafés you’ve been meaning to try, and eat somewhere new during your staycation. Or if this is out of your budget, have a week of trying new recipes from around the world to transport you to a new country each night of the week.
If you want to have a week free of cooking, but don’t have the budget to eat out, meal prep the week before and freeze into individually portioned containers, for homemade ready meals when you need them most.
8. Go camping for your UK staycation
Even if you can’t get away on holiday, it is lots of fun to pitch up a tent in the garden (and enjoy the luxury of your own bathroom facilities on site!)
Dig out your camping kit, set up your tent, buy your favourite camping foods, and prepare for a night beneath the stars, in your own back garden. Make sure you’ve got everything you need from vegan beans and sausages, gelatine-free marshmallows to corn on the cob.
9. Enjoy a spa day
Turn your bathroom into a luxury spa, and experience the relaxation and wellbeing that comes from spending time at a resort – for less.
Before you rush out and treat yourself to a whole shelf of new products, have a look at what you already have available, dig out those gift sets you received for Christmas, and light that soy-based candle that you’ve been saving for a special occasion.
Write yourself a menu of treatments, including exfoliating bath, hair treatment, pedicure, and hand massage, then pour a glass of ice-cold water infused with cucumber.
10. Beach day
Pack up your beach bag and go on an adventure to the coast. Take everything you need for the day, including towels, swimwear, sunglasses, sun cream (and/or jumpers!), and of course, a bucket and spade.
Take a picnic of easy to carry foods including sandwiches, plant-based sausage rolls, and seasonal fruits, or alternatively budget for chip butties and vegan ice cream at the seaside. Nothing beats the fun of a day at the beach, so relive your childhood memories, and have some good old-fashioned British fun!
Planning a trip to the seaside for your UK staycation?
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