Christmas and New Year seem to be hurtling towards us at lightning place, so the clock is ticking if you fancy squeezing in a holiday before 2013 draws to a close. Of course, I dare say most of us fancy a quick break, but it’s often finances that make us resist this urge. But there’s a simple way of getting away for a few days without burning a hole in your budget: a staycation in a cottage.
Since the start of the recession, staycations have become much more popular and now they’re a well-known way to have an affordable holiday. That said, UK restaurants and hotels can be pretty pricey, so exactly where you choose to stay is just as important as opting to stay on your own shores. Below, I take a look at how both elements can give you the spending power to say yes to that end-of-year holiday.
- You won’t need to splash out on flights
One of the major appeals of a staycation is that you don’t need to pay for flights – an immediate money saver. Yes, some budget airlines do offer good prices, but these can never compare to doing away with that cost altogether.
Plus, you save on all those other little expenses that mount up when you fly overseas – paying for transport to the airport, having to shell out for airport parking if you drive there, buying the right currency, and forking out for food and drink while you wait for your flights being just a few examples.
- Go somewhere that’s friendly to your wallet
Lots of destinations are touted as wallet-friendly, but let’s be honest, how true that is will be individual to you. For instance, let’s say you decide to head somewhere with several premium attractions, such as theme parks and museums. If you already have something like an annual attractions pass that covers those places, it immediately becomes a more cost-effective place to visit.
Similarly, it might be that you (or someone you are travelling with) have discount codes or are eligible for money off certain attractions. Plus, you might also want to consider destinations that are fairly close to where you live to save money on petrol or train tickets. So, always think about where you could save before turning to more general recommendations.
As a quick tip, it’s worth thinking about your hobbies too. If you love walking or cycling, for instance, pick a destination that has plenty of walking trails and biking routes – that way you can have fun for free!
- Cook your own food
Eating out is one of the most significant holiday expenses; it seems to zap budgets at an incredible rate. So, for me this is where self-catered holiday cottages really come into their own.
With your own fully equipped kitchen, you will be able to whip up all your own meals – including packed lunches for any days out. This gives you the ultimate flexibility to spend as much or as little as you like on what you eat, not to mention giving you the chance to treat yourself to exactly what you want, rather than picking from the same menu night after night (as you may well do at an all inclusive hotel).
- Split the cost
Another point in favour of staying in a holiday cottage is that it can actually work out cheaper per person per night than paying for several hotel rooms. This is particularly true if you’re planning a trip with a group of friends, since you can split the cost evenly among you.
It’s still a good choice for smaller parties and families, though, largely because the total cost spread over several days is still usually cheaper than the hotel equivalent – just make sure you visit websites like Sykes Cottages to find the best prices, and do your maths before booking.