I’m often asked how my family and I arrange our staycations. The truth is, it’s a team effort. Hubby and I are like a tag team. He finds a place we can afford. Then, I look for attractions in the area. Gone are the days when we could book a budget hotel for a romantic city break. Now, it’s all about the family road trips and UK getaways. If you are staycation newbie, here’s how we plan our budget staycations.
Family Budget Staycation
Planning in advance is key to finding accommodation that’s affordable and ticks all your boxes. We usually book in January/ February for our summer and winter breaks.
TIP: Depending on your chosen destination, it may be best to visit out of season. It will be cheaper and less busy. This can work for a city break or country break.
Another way so save money is to book two different accommodations. For example, if you have two weeks or more for your getaway, stay in a budget accommodation for half of your stay. Then, for the second leg of the break stay in somewhere fancy, as a mini treat. You have the opportunity to cover more sites while on your break.
TIP: If you can, avoid booking accommodation too close to attractions. You pay for convenience and location.
I estimate 30 -45 minutes’ drive from where we set up camp to the nearest town and attractions.
Where We Look For Accommodation
Hubby uses a variety of website to look for accommodation. We always self-cater. Most of the cottages we’ve booked in the past have been via Skyes Cottage or Cottagesdotcom, now that the kids are in school full time. However, when they were toddlers we enjoyed the off season stays at Center Parcs and Bluestone. In fact, it was during our stay at Bluestone that I fell in love with Southwest Wales.
More recently I’ve heard about sites like Unique Holidays, Stay In A Pub and of course the Dean Valley and Lincolnshire area we love has several camping and hot tub holiday accomodation. Their accommodation can be on the pricey side but from the looks of it, they can offer exceptional experiences.
Once hubby has booked accommodation, I use the accommodation’s post code to find local attractions. As I mentioned earlier, I use a drive time of 30-45 minutes as my benchmark to select sites to visit and things to do. Now at age 10 and 8 the kids can entertain themselves en route by reading or watching Netflix and such. Still, if the journey is too long they still get irritable especially on the way back.
TIP: book your tickets to attractions in advance if you can. It’s more expensive to pay on the day.
A beach getaway can be as cheap or expensive as you want. We tend to carry a packed lunch. The main expense on the day might be parking. Whenever possible we book parking in advance via Just Park which can be cheaper than parking in a public car park.
While on a countryside getaway, we tend to make use of the grounds we’ve rented. Local attractions might be heritage sites, swimming pools, craft cafes and adventure playgrounds. These breaks tend to be slower paced, in the winter.
City breaks can to be busy by nature of the locale. We haven’t had a city break since becoming parents, but we are close to the City of London . We prefer wide open space for the kids to be wild and free. My suggestion for arranging a family city break would be to visit out to season to avoid crowds, as mentioned earlier.
There’s so much to explore in the UK, you only need to do your research. I hope you have found the above useful. If I missed anything do ask me in the comment box below or DM me on Instagram or Twitter.
Will you be having a UK staycation this year? What do you have planned? Comment below I would love to hear from you. Additionally, feel free to share your top tips.