Money-saving travel hacks and tips
Need to look after both the pennies and the pounds but still want to get away from the day-to-day on a mini-break or day out near you? Read on for some handy tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your staycation without breaking the bank.
TOP PICK: Hop on a scenic bus ride for just £2. You can zoom through the New Forest, take in the sights along Hadrian's Wall or feel the sea breeze on an open top bus in Cornwall.
• If you want the freedom of visiting as many of England’s iconic heritage sites, museums or art galleries as possible, it may be worth investing in an annual membership to organisations like the National Trust, National Art Pass and English Heritage, which saves you money by giving you access to hundreds of sites for a one-off price.
• Buy tickets in advance. You’ll find that many attractions offer cheaper tickets online than on the door, so it’s best to plan ahead.
• Discover tips and tricks on how to save money this winter by visiting the Help for Households website.
• With prices of petrol through the roof, public transport may end up being the cheaper way to travel. Book your rail tickets as far in advance as possible and, if you’re eligible, use a Railcard (they save you a third on normal fares). Families should also look out for any special discounts train companies offer, like Southeastern Railway’s Kids for £1 scheme.
• As well as cheaper rail travel, booking train tickets in advance can get you 2-for-1 entry to various attractions across the country, including the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. Check out the National Rail website for more information.
• When visiting London, it’s cheaper to pay for your bus and London Underground travel with an Oyster Card or by contactless payments – the daily cap means you can travel as much as you like for a set price.
• You’ll find loads of discounted activities, meals, attractions and even hotels on websites like Groupon, who sell a range of vouchers for experiences like afternoon tea, spa days and stays in stately homes.
• Can’t resist a bit of retail therapy but want to save your pennies? Have a nose around vintage fashion shops, local markets, emporiums and charity shops instead – you’re sure to find a gem or two in them.
• If you’re travelling with extended family or in a group, it’ll probably be better to stay in a self-catering property. As well as splitting the cost of the accommodation between you, you can take turns cooking too (which is always a great way to save money).
• If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, an alternative (and practically free) way to holiday is by going on a working holiday. Companies like Wwoof, HelpX and Planet Patrol offer free accommodation, food and/or experiences in return for a helping hand on farms, boats and even litter picking outings.
• Heading to Herefordshire over a weekend? Well you’ll be happy to know that bus travel on Saturdays and Sundays is currently free until autumn, meaning you can hop on and off any bus, any time, fare-free.
• If you’re a sucker for a cocktail, get more bang for your buck by finding bars with happy hours – Slug and Lettuce offer 2-for-1 cocktails all day, everyday while other bars have set times for cheaper drinks.
• Look out for any community events and festivals that are taking place in your local area or in the area you’re travelling to – many are free to attend and have tons of activities for little and big kids alike.