5 tips and tricks to save money while booking a staycation

5 tips and tricks to save money while booking a staycation

Monday 06th May 2024 |

With the May Bank Holiday on the horizon, lots of people will be loading up their cars and preparing for a long weekend of fun.

Not only do staycations remove the need to purchase plane tickets, worry about passports, and wrack your brain for ideas on how to keep the kids entertained at the airport, but they can also save you a lot of money. 

With this in mind, Nick Drewe, Discount Expert at Online Coupon Platform, Wethrift, has shared his insight on how to secure the best UK staycation deals, so you can kick back and relax with your family. 

How to save money on your upcoming staycation

“Choosing to holiday in the UK can take a lot of stress out of planning a vacation. However, with the cost of fuel on the rise, train ticket prices more expensive than ever, and the cost of living crisis continuing – it is important to save money wherever you can. Luckily, there are a few simple tips you can follow to secure the most budget-friendly staycation possible.”

Book train tickets far in advance 

If you’re planning on leaving the car at home, make sure you book your train tickets as far in advance as possible. The closer to the date of your staycation you book, the more expensive the tickets will be. 

It could also be helpful to download the Trainline App, as it allows you to compare the different ticket prices quickly and easily. For example, you can compare the prices of two single tickets to one open return ticket, as booking specific times usually shaves off some of the cost. 

Check hotels as well as Airbnb 

Recently, it has come to people’s attention that Airbnb is not as affordable as it once claimed to be. With hosts utilising surge charges more than ever, it can sometimes be better to check out budget hotels. 

Sites like Booking.com, Hotels.com, Trivago and more help you to compare the prices of different rooms, which are likely to be cheaper than Airbnb properties. However, if you are travelling with a group, splitting a whole Airbnb property could work out more affordable. 

Sign up to hotel loyalty schemes 

Becoming a member of a hotel loyalty scheme can have numerous benefits, especially if you are planning to visit more than once. One up-front payment can mean that you are contacted about the best deals the hotel is offering, which are known as ‘exclusive member rates’. 

As well as this, loyalty schemes also allow you to build up points that can be used during your next stay, knocking even more money off your bill. Other perks are also usually available, such as early check-in options and even free WiFi. 

Plan ahead when it comes to activities 

Not having an itinerary laid out for your staycation, especially if you have kids, could lead to you overspending. For example, you could walk past a very expensive fun fair and get conned into buying an extortionately-priced hot dog – so let’s try to avoid this. Typically, museums and art galleries are free, but it is also better to look them up in advance. 

If you are vacationing in the summer, there will most likely be a treasure trove of parks, gardens, National Trust centres, and more, which not only offer hours of fun – but are also affordable. You could even sign up for National Trust membership, to save even more. Also, children under 5 get free entry!

Bring your own food and prioritise packed lunches 

The cost of food and snacks can be one of the biggest expenses staycationers are faced with. With this in mind, if you are heading to a campsite or Airbnb property, make sure you bring as much of your own food as possible – think a loaf of bread, cheese, fruit, pasta, tins of beans, and more – as this will help you avoid eating in cafes and restaurants out of convenience. 

If you have a big day out planned, make an assortment of sandwiches to bring along, as well as bottles of water. If you are staying in a hotel that offers a breakfast buffet, sneak a few extra muffins and pastries for the day ahead. 

Top Tip: if you are planning on staying in an Airbnb, make sure you choose one with access to the kitchen, so you can cook your own meals while there. 

Be flexible with dates 

It’s always the best idea to stay off-season when it comes to booking a holiday, as school holidays can often make things a lot more expensive. If you click the flexible booking option on Airbnb or a trusted hotel site, then it will show you offers on more affordable travel dates. 

Not only that but booking a staycation between July and September can often mean there will be families around that will make excursions a lot busier and potentially harder to book.