As the nights draw in, the temptation to get away on holiday can be irresistible. While a week of winter sun may be out of the question, there are still plenty of ways to bag yourself a few days away on a budget.
Holidays can do wonders for our mental health, providing some respite from the stresses and strains of daily life. Here we explain how you can get some valuable headspace without breaking the bank.
Cheap roomsFor an inexpensive UK city break, EasyHotel boasts cheap pads in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh. From just £20 per night, you could bag yourself a simple room in a great location – let’s face it, you’ll hardly spend any time in the room anyway!
Wanting a place to crash in central London for a fun-filled weekend? Visit Tune Hotels to book rooms from £35 – often cheaper with promotions. AirBnB is also great for this – hosts regularly allow a counter-offer for their apartment based on customer profile or availability. If you’re new to AirBnB, you also receive money off your first stay.
Always check comparison websites, such as Trivago or Lastminute.com before committing to your hotel and don’t be afraid to call them up, ask for a better price and try to negotiate. If you are flexible, picking up a last-minute deal can often secure the biggest savings out there.
Top tips for travelDespite inflation being at its highest level since 2013, and with rail fares rising, there are still ways to keep the travel costs down. If you qualify for the 16-25 student, or the senior (over 60) railcard, then forking out an initial cost of £30 will cut a third off most standard class rail fares throughout the UK. Keep an eye on ticket prices weeks before you are due to travel and you should be able to spot a bargain.
If you are not eligible for a student or a senior railcard, the Two Together card and the Family and Friends Railcard can also offer family friendly ways to cut costs. Check out the National Rail website for more information on cost.
A bus may be an equally cost-effective alternative. Megabus UK operates across 9 countries, covering 322 cities across 2,162 routes. Equipped with WiFi and power sockets, you won’t feel deprived of any amenities during your journey, which can cost as little as £1!
House sitting and swapping holidaysAfter being popular in the US for years, house sitting is fast catching on in the UK. With the demand for good house and pet sitters increasing rapidly, more and more people are using their skills to experience exciting new holiday destinations. TrustedHousesitters allows you to filter your preferences in order to find the perfect match for you, based on location and what type of pet you would be happy to care for. Ranging from weekends to years in length, and nationally to internationally, this is one of the cheapest ways to experience a new place for free.
While it is dependent on location, house swapping is simple and can allow families and couples the opportunity to visit some unique places, which would otherwise be out of their price range. Lovehomeswap.com enables you to filter your search based on preferred location and length of stay. For a more in-depth guide, this article offers some great tips. One of the most cost effective ways of holidaying – use the roof over your head to pay for the sand between your toes.
Before you goTravel insurance may sometimes seem like an unnecessary expense, it’s easy to think it’s highly unlikely that anything will go wrong on holiday. But this approach could land you a large medical bill. For the sake of as little as £5 per individual for a single trip or just £22 for family coverage, travel insurance is a must.
If you’re heading to Europe, don’t forget to apply for a free EHIC card, which will allow you to receive free medical treatment across the EU. This should be seen as an additional measure alongside health insurance as insurance covers many more serious scenarios, which could save you a bill which could reach thousands of pounds.
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This article was checked and deemed to be correct as at the above publication date, but please be aware that some things may have changed between then and now. So please don't rely on any of this information as a statement of fact, especially if the article was published some time ago.