Seaside on a shoestring: save £££s on your staycation
Oh I do like to camp beside the sea
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside! Problem is, it isn’t cheap, especially now that demand for UK staycations is so high due to the coronavirus pandemic.
You definitely need to have a few tricks up your sleeve if you want to enjoy a trip to the seaside while saving money. This time last week I was enjoying a relaxing stay at a caravan in Paignton, Devon that cost £252 for four nights for an eight-birth caravan – a bargain if you have a big family or are a single parent family bubbling with another. The downside for us was that our family is quite a lot smaller and we had to pay an extra £25 just for the pooch!
That said, it was still a steal compared to some of the other offers I came across and we were lucky to find anywhere to stay in the South West during the Bristol school summer holidays. What’s my secret? Research, research, research!
I looked at Pitchup, UK Campsite, Groupon and Living Social before somehow coming across the campsite’s homepage and booking it directly. Now that I’d saved money on the booking, I was keen to keep to a budget while I was on holiday. Here’s a few of my secrets below…
10 tips for enjoying the seaside on a shoestring
1. The best way to save money and still enjoy a summer holiday on a budget is to go camping. But the annoying thing is that even this option can be expensive during the school summer holidays and even more so this year. Check out Pitchup, UK campsite, Groupon and Living Social for deals.
3. Taking a trip to one of the UK’s cities or seaside towns this summer? It’s well worth investing in a Friends & Family railcard. which will give you 1/3 off adult fares and 60% off kids' fares. Use your Tesco vouchers to bag it for £10 instead of the usual £30. You should also check out offers from train companies like South West Trains. Little Miss Diva and I tend to take a day trip to London during the school holidays where you can get 2 for 1 entry on Shreks Adventure, London Eye, London Dungeon and London Zoo.
4. Stock up on your summer essentials like sun cream and mosquito repellent by paying your local pound shop a visit. Yes the sizes are smaller than the supermarkets (30ml compared to 100ml) but they still tend to work out cheaper.
5. Get yourself a cashback card if you're spending a lot of money on a holiday. Even with just 1% cash back you could save £10 on a trip costing £1,000. I have a Utility Warehouse cash back card which offers me fantastic savings and the money comes straight off my bills. Send me an email if you'd like to find out how you can get your hands on one.
6. We’ve all heard of Airbnb but have you thought of swapping your home to live in someone else’s home for a week? Check out www.lovehomeswap.com – I’d love to do this if my house was a bit more together.
7. Use public transport rather than an open top tour bus. It may not be as fun, but it’s usually a hell of a lot cheaper and it often goes to the same place!
8. Eat like a local. Venturing further afield will ensure you don’t have to pay over inflated prices just for a view of the sea (although it’s nice to splash out at least once!).
9. Be clever with your cash. While on holiday we ordered a takeaway from JustEat one evening and both families got money off from an invitation referral code. We all also enjoyed a Costa Coffee for 50p when out shopping.
10. Check out your destination’s student area. Clifton in Bristol is an upmarket part of my city but because it also has a huge student population there are often meal deals and drinks promotions running at the local bars and restaurants. And, of course, you don’t have to be a student to take advantage of them!
That’s it for this week folks. Don’t forget to like Broke in Bristol (& beyond) to never miss an update. More from Broke in Bristol: