How to Save Money Whilst Travelling Domestically in the UK

Tourists at Stonehenge

With rising costs, it’s becoming more challenging to go on holiday. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get around it. You can set and follow a strict budget, book affordable accommodations, and cook your own food instead of frequently eating out. Another option you’ll want to consider is choosing domestic over international travel. 

Local staycations are quickly becoming a popular alternative to travelling abroad. For the most part, that’s because it’s more affordable. Airfare alone surged by 24% in 2023, and the fees for visas and travel documents can add up quickly. But why stop there? You can do more than simply opt for a domestic holiday—you can go beyond a staycation and maximise what you do on your trip by trying some budget-friendly tips. Here’s how you can save money on domestic travel:

Plan around peak season 

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One of the biggest ways you can save is to plan your holiday depending on the season. Travelling in the spring rather than the summer months of June to September will make for a cheaper trip. If you’re bringing kids along, consider booking a holiday closer to the start of classes. Avoiding bank holidays can also significantly cut your costs. Finally, do your research and avoid visiting certain destinations if they’ll be holding major events amid the duration of your trip, as the crowds will drive prices up. For example, you can steer clear of Edinburgh in August—the city will host the Fringe Festival for most of the month. 

Book affordable flights

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Here’s a fun fact: when it comes to domestic travel in the UK, trains are the pricier option. Railway tickets can be up to 239% more expensive, and that’s not to mention your travel time will be longer. For a quicker and more affordable journey, hop on a plane. If you don’t want to break the bank on things like baggage fees, don’t worry—you can get cheap flights to save even more. Booking online is the best way to find the lowest-priced tickets, especially with budget carriers. Take easyJet’s website: here, you can use low fare finders to simplify the research process. Checking such websites for sales and offers can further slash the price of flying to popular domestic destinations, like Belfast and Liverpool.

Try alternative accommodations

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Even local accommodations are getting more expensive. Both hotels and bed and breakfasts now charge 20% more due to rising operational costs, but provide fewer services. To prevent those costs from passing down to you for little value, try making an adventure out of your domestic holiday with alternative accommodations. The most popular choice so far? Camping. According to The Guardian, it’s often considered more affordable because it’s cheaper to simply book a spot at your favourite camping grounds and take care of your own amenities. You can even get budget-friendly camping experiences at spots like Three Horseshoes and Lincolnshire Lanes for an average of ÂŁ82.87 for three nights—compared to the ÂŁ142.73 a night most UK hotels charge. As with flights, you can use comparison tools on sites like Campsite to find highly-rated spots that suit your budget.  

Look for cheap things to do 

Credit: on Instagram

Cost-cutting during your travels doesn’t have to be boring or a chore. By carefully curating your domestic holiday itinerary, you can easily see most of the sights in your chosen destination at cheap prices—or even for free! For example, spots like the iconic Hadrian’s Wall in Brampton and the National Museum Cardiff don’t charge entry fees, meaning history buffs can easily immerse themselves in the pasts of certain areas even on a tight budget. Meanwhile, families visiting right here in Yorkshire will find a vast range of fun and affordable activities to try—including splashing around at the Lightwater Valley Theme Park in Ripon and exploring Skipton Castle. 

Domestic holidays are a great option if you’re tight on funds but still want to travel this year. With these tips, you can save even further—perfect for both sticking to a budget and allocating costs for things you want to splurge on during your trip.  

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