Money-saving tips for UK family holidays is a paid collaberative post with Holiday Cottages. Holidays are when we make some of the best memories together as a family, but it can be hard to plan the perfect family holiday on a budget. Luckily UK holidays are becoming more and more affordable, and there are so many great attractions and places to visit across the country that you don’t even need to go abroad to have an amazing time with the kids. Holidays in the UK can be cheaper than you think, especially when you know how to make your money go further so it can be spent on the things that really matter.
Where to stay
There are so many accommodation options these days that it can be hard to decide what to go for, but self-catering is normally the cheapest option, whether you’re looking to stay in a caravan, chalet or holiday cottage. Holidaycottages.co.uk, for instance, has cottages sleeping 4 from £415 a week – under £15 a person a night. If you have a dog, dog-friendly accommodation may also be a good choice, as you can bring your pet along instead of paying out for expensive kennels.
Self-catering is not only the cheapest option in this respect but also when it comes to food and drink, as you don’t need to eat out every night. Instead, you can stock up in the supermarket and prepare your meals in your accommodation (ideal for fussy eaters too!).
If you’re really looking to save money on your accommodation, it can be tricky if you can only travel in the school holidays, as prices do jump up, but the Christmas, February half-term and October half-term school holidays tend to be the cheapest.
Even if you do decide to prepare most of your own meals on holiday, it’s nice to enjoy the occasional treat and have a meal out together. Many eating establishments have ‘kids eat free’ offers – keep an eye out for these on posters and boards as you’re walking around your holiday destination.
You can also get some great discounts from chain restaurants if you do a little planning beforehand. If you know where you’re going to eat, you can look up the restaurant’s discounts online – some also send you discounts by email if you sign up for their newsletter. You can also purchase discount cards such as the Tastecard, where you can save money at Pizza Hut, Chiquito, Pizza Express and many more.
Activities and attractions
Days out can be one of the most expensive parts of a family holiday, but there are so many free and low-cost things to do that it needn’t cost you much at all.
If nice weather is forecast for your holiday, you can make the most of the UK’s beaches and National Parks, where, if you pack a picnic, the parking is the only thing you’ll need to pay for all day. The beach is perfect for swimming in the sea, building sandcastles or playing games on the sand, while the UK’s 15 National Parks offer natural playgrounds with hills to climb, forests to explore, rivers to splash in and some amazing photo opportunities. You could also try your hand at Geocaching, an outdoor treasure hunt which is completely free to do.
If the weather is not quite on your side, you could always head to a museum for a day – there are plenty around the country that are free of charge to visit, and you may learn something too! For just £120 a year, those interested in historic houses and castles can also enjoy free unlimited access to the National Trust’s 500 different attractions across the UK with a family membership. Under-5s can also get in for free!
The Kids Pass is also a brilliant option if you’re planning on visiting one of the country’s big attractions for the day, such as Blackpool Pleasure Beach. You can enjoy huge discounts with the Kids Pass not only on days out but also cinema tickets if you’re looking for some rainy-day entertainment.
Looking at going on a US holiday, then take a look at this post about budgeting for a US road trip. Have you got any other tips on how to save money on family holidays? Let me know in the comments!