Low cost holidays

low cost holidaysEverybody loves a holiday, and we all need time to recharge after long periods of working hard.  However you don’t need to jet off for a five star retreat in the Seychelles to have a good time and unwind.  There are plenty of lower cost money saving alternatives that mean that you can still have a good time without breaking the bank.  Here are our top 5 ideas for low cost holidays – if you’re prepared to take a different approach to your annual vacation you should find something you can enjoy for a lot less money.


1.  Have a staycation.

You can stay at home and take the time to do fun stuff near where you live. However if you’re going to do this you need to be very disciplined, and make sure you don’t fill the time with all the jobs that need doing around the home and garden.  Arrange your time in a structured way – book days out, trips to the theatre, the zoo and the local museums.  Take a tour of the local brewery, spend the day at the nearest theme park, or whatever takes your fancy, just ensure that you do lots of things that you don’t do normally, to make the time memorable.

2.  Go camping.

Whilst time in the great outdoors with nights under canvas and evenings spent around the campfire is not everybody’s cup of tea, there are, in fact, camping holidays to suit most people.  When the idea was raised by my family a couple of years ago, I threw up my hands in horror!  Not for me the sleepless nights spent on the hard ground listening to the pounding of rain upon the canvas, or the scuttling of insects trying to make their way into my sleeping bag.  However I was persuaded (eventually), and was pleasantly surprised.  I discovered that with the right equipment camping need not be uncomfortable, and there is something very liberating about feeling ‘at one’ with nature.

3.  Visit friends.

I’m not advocating sponging off your nearest and dearest, but time spent visiting friends can be just as much of a break as staying in a hotel.  Arrange to do a tour of the UK, visiting all of those people that you’ve been meaning to go and see for ages – you’ll have great fun and your friends will really appreciate your effort.  Just remember to take a nice present with you to show your appreciation for their hospitality.

4.  Do a house swap.

You need to be fairly trusting for this one, but many people swear by this kind of holiday.   If you are prepared to let strangers come and live in your house for a week or two, this can be a great way of getting free accommodation in some of the places that you’ve always wanted to visit but couldn’t afford to.  My sister regularly swaps her apartment in Cyprus for time in other people’s houses all over the world, and swears by it.  In fact she has never had any bad experiences with any of the people staying in her property – people tend to look after your house as if it were their own, because you will be doing exactly the same in their house.  There are many websites that arrange these kinds of house swaps – just Google ‘house swap’ and you should find a selection.

5.  Youth hostels.

Yes, really!  In days gone by, youth hostels were the preserve of kids on school trips and students travelling on a shoestring.  However they have undergone a transformation in recent years, and can now offer budget holidays for all the family.  Facilities at the hostels vary enormously from place to place – many have family rooms, some have licenced restaurants, others are self-catering only.  With hundreds of locations to choose from around the UK, it’s worth having a look at the YHA website which will give you a great idea of what’s available in the area you want to visit.

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