I share my top tips to help you choose accommodation to get away on the cheap!
This week I’m on holiday with my family (that’s my Mum and two brothers in their 20’s). We’re in Devon, UK. It’s a late season break, which is good. Between ploughing money into my business, paying the bills, moving slowly toward needing a new car, and preparing for increased energy bills in Autumn, it needs to be cheap!
- It’s great to prepare in advance, but if you’re willing to be flexible, or there’s only two of you or less (plus maybe a four legged friend), you can get some fantastic last-minute deals.
- Choose late season or out of season. In the UK, September is a great time-usually the weather is still good, but prices get cheaper the closer you book towards the end. This is because the main holiday traffic is gone, and kids are back at school. Less people are looking for holidays and owners are willing to drop prices if it means they’ll still get some income, compared to nothing.
- September is also a great time because most attractions are still open, and you can go places without competing with the rest of the holiday rabble.
- Search decent cheap websites, and sign up to availability alerts in advance.
- Some places are more willing to accept well-behaved dogs at the end of, or out of season, if it means people will stay.
- Try the National Newspapers-The Sun’s holiday deals, or check the Guardian’s travel pages.
- Hotels are the most expensive accommodation (and usually the most restricting), followed expense-wise by self-catering. Static caravan parks & camp-sites are cheapest (if you’re happy to bring a tent, great), and usually the most flexible. They do often close in Autumn and can be packed out in high Summer, so, trying early to mid September is probably best.
- Don’t forget you can also stay at a Youth Hostel. Most will recoil in horror at this suggestion, but if you have few social issues or trouble getting to sleep, I suggest you look into it. All I can say is I’ve stayed at the one in Borth, Wales, and it wasn’t half bad. It was on the prom, and the first night I went back several times for extra helpings of starter (gorgeous tomato soup) and main (pizza, chips & veg) which the chef was actually very happy to give. I could have probably also gone back for pudding twice (sponge & custard), but I was a bit full by then! They also had a communal lounge, and an entertainment area with pool table. The one in Conwy, Wales, is also well catered for, with good views and location, and often the staff are friendly. At Borth, there was, I believe, even an optional laundry service!
- Staying with relatives, friends or home exchanges can also be great. However, be aware that it is someone else’s home & someone else’s rules. Don’t stay anywhere you think could damage relationships.
- Travelodges and Premier Inns can be okay, but it is just a functional room, and doesn’t give you a holiday vibe. Obviously, most of them have a restaurant on the side, so you at least have somewhere to eat, with a good choice at a decent price, but it’s restricted to certain times of day, with little food-to-go. They’re obviously not keen on you bringing full meals back to your room, especially anything that smells or could stain (curry or fish & chips, for example). Their locations can be mixed. Travelodge’s DO allow dogs (best to check the location in advance), but they won’t provide anything for them, and you’ll have to find somewghere other than the car park to walk them (often no green space). From personal experience, I’ve stayed at a Travelodge with someone else’s dog-what a nightmare. It howled all night, and constantly wanted to go to the toilet. You have been warned.
- If you are camping, try the tent first, and pack extra tent pegs. Also check facilities & the week’s weather. You don’t want to end up in a field with no loo, with a broken tent in the rain.
- Check reviews if you can. You don’t want a miserable holiday!
P.S If holidaying, or travel-blogging is your passion, or you’re interested in finding out what is, why not sign up for our free videos to show you what life can be like when you turn what you love into your day job!
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