Nowadays so many of us are on tight budgets, whether we are paying off debts to try and improve out credit scores or saving up for house deposits, there are many reasons why we need to be extra careful with the pennies.
Going abroad hasn’t been something we’ve been able to afford for the last few years, now both the kids need their own seats on the plane flights alone can cost a small fortune but we have been lucky enough to have a few UK breaks also known as ‘staycations’. Some of these were to review the accommodation but as we all know that’s usually the cheapest part, it’s the spending money while you are there that can quickly get out of hand.
Here are some of my top tips on how to save money whilst on a staycation.
- Choose places where everywhere you want to go is in walking distance. It’s amazing how quickly fuel costs can mount up when you need to get in your car to reach any attractions or supermarkets.
- Plan your days out carefully. If there is swimming or entertainment in the place you are staying then stick to doing that but if not then investigate into the things you want to do and try to find vouchers or money saving offers before you go. If you are National Trust members (we are) then find out what properties of theirs are near where you are staying. On our recent trip to the Lake District we ended up visiting four amazing places and they were all free. You also get free parking in so many coastal car parks and we only pay £9 a month so it is well worth it.
- If you are staying in self-catering accommodation then take all the basics with you, especially things like dishwasher tablets, olive oil, tea bags, sugar and cereal. You might not be near a supermarket and stopping at a convenience store can mean having to buy the things you already have at home for a much greater price.
- Make packed lunches for days out. We aren’t very organised with this but after a few occasions where we’ve spent fortune in a cafe only for no-one to like their food we are going to get better at it.
- Plan quick and easy meals for when you are there. Again this is something we haven’t done but will do for next time as when you have been out all day and are tired trying to think of what to eat can be really hard and going out seems a lot easier. Think of things that are easy to buy even in smaller shops as you might not always be near a large supermarket. Also you don’t want it to be too hard to make as you don’t know how well equipped the kitchen will be. We usually end up eating pasta with pesto or pizza every night but there are so many quick and easy meals that are a lot more interesting. Jamie Oliver has a page of quick fix recipes that is worth checking out.
- Don’t buy ice-creams or stop for drinks. These two things can cost a fortune when you have a family of four, that many ice-creams can easily come in and over £10 and the same for a few drinks. We usually stock up on small bottles of water from the supermarket and keep a bottle of squash in the car for the kids (we usually water down juice but that doesn’t keep very long). As an alternative to ice-creams look out for a shop where you can buy a box or ice-lollies, even if you get a pack of 6 and have to throw a couple away it will still be about 75% cheaper than buying them in cones and kids don’t really mind the difference, well mine don’t anyway!
So they are my tips on how to save money when away on a break.
Do you have any to add?