If you’re in desperate need of a little getaway but you can’t afford to jet off on a luxury break somewhere, I’d definitely recommend treating yourself to a staycation. This basically means having a holiday in (or near to) the place where you already live, which keeps the cost to a minimum. It may sound unexciting, but it can actually be just as refreshing as going on holiday. Here are some tips, along with some advice from my personal staycation experience, to help you with making the most out of yours!
Find a local destination for your staycation
This can be your hometown, or somewhere very nearby. Have a look at a map, there’s probably a load of interesting little places nearby with names you’ve seen but never looked up before. Living in Birmingham, I decided to take my staycation in a little nearby town called Bromsgrove. I knew absolutely nothing about it so I didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a surprisingly pretty place…
Get your rose-tinted tourist glasses on
It might sound silly to look up tourist information for a place you’ve lived in or near to for such a long time, but in order to make the most out of your break you need to start seeing your destination through some rose-tinted tourist glasses. Who knows, there might be something nearby you didn’t even know about! Check out what free activities or events are happening locally, maybe there’s a free concert or a market you could look around? Spending some time strolling through a beautiful park or two is also a nice way to relax without spending a penny.
Book a hotel with a pool and spa facilities
This is one of the most important pieces of advice, if you are in a hotel with a pool and a spa, it doesn’t really matter where you’re in the world you’re staying! Spending most of your weekend enjoying the jacuzzi and other facilities will make you feel pampered and brand new: you’ll never believe that you only stopped down the road!
“Hold on a minute…” I hear you say, “I thought this was supposed to be about a staycation on a tiny budget!?”
Yes, I know it sounds crazy that you could stay in a hotel with a pool and spa without breaking the bank, but trust me, it really is possible! I actually managed to stay in a gorgeous 4 star hotel with a pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room for less than £30 per night! Follow the rest of my tips and you will know how…
I honestly compared prices on all of these sites before I finally chose the cheapest one to book with. Shopping around takes a bit of time, but it can save you a lot of money.
Book (very) last minute
…and I really do mean last minute! If you’re only staying nearby then you really don’t need to worry about planning in advance, so the later you can book the better! If you shop around on the sites mentioned above, you can find massive discounts for last minute, on-the-day bookings.
We booked our hotel at 12 noon and checked in at 2pm on the same day, meaning there was a massive 45% discount off the usual rates!
Have a supermarket picnic
If you’re like me, no matter how much you try to scrimp and save on other areas of your trip, you just can’t help but splurge all of your money when it comes to food. I mean, how are you supposed to have a break in a nice hotel without spending a fortune on dinner and breakfast?
If you’re committed to doing this thing on a really teeny tiny budget, there’s only one thing for it: get over to a good-value supermarket like Aldi or Lidl, and buy a haul of budget-friendly picnic and breakfast food. It isn’t really as strange as it sounds, most hotels will be happy to lend you some plates, cutlery, etc. and you can set up your own private picnic dinner in your hotel room! Who needs restaurant food or £10 breakfasts? No thanks!
Granted, our (very) cheap but cheerful Aldi picnic dinner wasn’t exactly the most glamorous meal I’ve ever had. Buuuttt, my staycation experience was just what I needed, and the total spend didn’t even rise above £35 per person!!
(I now challenge you to have an even cheaper staycation than me… I bet you’ll actually be surprised by how much you enjoy it)