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How to have a budget staycation this Bank Holiday Weekend

Published 26 August 2016 by

The august bank holiday is almost upon us, and since it’s the last opportunity to have a break before half-term and then Christmas, we’re looking at last minute affordable staycation getaways.

Avoid the poor exchange rate

Since the referendum result, the value of the pound has fallen against the Euro. This has been bad for British holidaymakers going abroad, but good for foreign visitors who are taking advantage and booking trips to the UK. Those taking holidays in Europe could end up paying more than 22% for meals, drinks and other items purchased abroad a year ago.

So rather than jetting off where your money doesn’t go as far, stay in the UK over bank holiday. Trip Advisor has compared the cost of staying in 20 of the UK’s most popular cities and shown that it’s substantially cheaper to have a bank holiday break in the North of England.

Go North, it’s much cheaper

Sheffield was voted the best value city break in the UK when compared to other cities. The most expensive cities were London, Brighton, Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh. Scotland’s second city, Glasgow, on the other hand, is great value for money and is one of the cheaper cities to visit, with five of its top rated attractions all free to enter. Sheffield came on top with affordable accommodation, free entry into its winter gardens and proximity to the Peak District National Park.

Why not take a look at our recent blogs that feature Manchester and York, with their many free attractions. Also, consider visiting Blackpool, Liverpool, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Leeds all featuring in the top 10 cheapest destinations for this bank holiday.

Stay in accommodation for one night only

To squeeze the most out of your wallet and your staycation, set off from home very early and get to your destination first thing in the morning (whilst avoiding the worst of the traffic). You can fit in many hours of activity until you’re ready to check into your accommodation for a night’s rest.

Whilst some places have a two night minimum stay over the bank holiday, not everywhere does. Don’t book accommodation for the second day of your trip, but ask them to hold your bags until the end of the day. This way you’ll spend another full day exploring sites, and travel through the night when the roads are quieter - not to mention achieve a two day break for less!

Shop for cheaper train tickets online

Go online and see what train deals you are on offer. Normally it’s recommended that you search for cheap train tickets up to 12 weeks in advance but you might find some good deals just a few hours before a train’s departure.

A better option could be to split your train tickets. So instead of buying tickets for the whole journey, you buy tickets for parts separately and it can often work out cheaper. For example, if you’re travelling from London to Durham you could look at buying a single from London to York, and another from York to Durham. This is within the rail companies regulations so don’t worry that you’re doing something wrong.

Interested? You could try Money Saving Expert’s Ticket Split calculator to see how you can split up your journey.

Another trick is to look at off peak and super off peak tickets by specifying the times you want to travel. It may be a gamble, but look at buying tickets at the very last minute, or the night before. Some train companies still let you buy advance priced tickets on the day of travel that can be cheaper. But don’t leave it too late as some third party sites selling tickets can take up to two hours to prepare them for collection – and you don’t want to miss your train.

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