UK holidays: Three ways to slash costs on an autumn staycation

Kate Garraway discusses 'expensive' cost of UK holidays

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Summer may be on its way out, but that doesn’t mean the end of UK staycations. According to reports, the domestic holiday boom is continuing right through until the October half term – with some parks and campsites extending their opening dates to facilitate travel.

Though the cost of travel in the autumn is often cheaper than the most popular summer months, three UK tourism insiders told there are still some additional ways Britons could be cutting costs.

Book your accommodation direct

Accommodation can be costly at any time of year, particularly for those hoping to unwind in an edgy boutique hotel or relax cabin complete with bubbling, wood fire hot tub.

However, there is a way you may be able to cut the cost of your stay, or at least benefit from some additional extras for free.

Philip Turner, founder of The Chestnut Group, which boasts accommodation across East Anglia, advises Britons to sidestep travel booking sites and go straight to the source.

He told “Go direct to property owners, talk to them and work around their flexibility.”

In many instances, cheaper rates may be offered for less popular dates, particularly mid-week.

Paul Hardingham, managing director of Landal GreenParks UK, told this can be particularly helpful for those hoping to enjoy a “luxury stay”.

He explained: “You can enjoy a luxury break by visiting during the off-peak season or enjoy a mid-week break when the prices are typically lower.”

Alternatively, travelling with a tour operator can offer holidaymakers accommodation for a bargain price.

Rabbie’s is a sustainable coach tour operator, offering small group tours around the UK and Europe.

Heather Reekie, director of marketing and sales for Rabbie’s Tours told “A key factor of holidays is accommodation. Not only can this be an expensive decision it can also be a stressful one.

“A great way to save money on late summer or autumn staycations is to consider booking your accommodation as an add-on through a tour operator.

“Often tour operators can secure exclusive rates, meaning the end-cost to holidaymakers can work out much cheaper than if they were to book direct or through other third-party booking systems.”

Ms Reekie added: “Similarly, prices are lower over autumn and winter versus the peak summer period.

“Booking a tour any time between October and April will give you lower prices.”

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Try a different type of holiday

Cottage rentals and luxury caravan holidays have seen an uptick in popularity throughout the pandemic, with many people switching their traditional overseas jaunt for something closer to home.

In turn, this has driven up the cost for many stays.

However, thinking outside of the box and trying a new form of holiday could be key.

Ms Reekie of Rabbie’s said: “Those looking for affordable, yet rich and rewarding holiday options may want to consider a different type of holiday to their usual B&B or city break.

“For such people, a coach tour is a fantastic option and gives huge value for money. The tours not only offer a great variety of attractions and destinations but are packaged as an efficient and affordable option.

“A coach tour can give guests a taste of a whole country or region, rather than limiting a holidaymaker to what is in reasonable reach from their accommodation.

“Holidaymakers may be surprised at how cost efficient a coach holiday can be, allowing guests to travel great distances at a reasonable cost.”

Speak to locals about things to do and places to dine

Unsurprisingly, no one knows a region better than the people who live and work there.

According to the experts, this can be a beneficial way for holidaymakers to save substantial amounts of money when it comes to activities, restaurants and entertainment.

Those staying on a campsite are advised to talk to others who may have a permanent pitch or own a holiday home.

Alternatively, staff working in the accommodation or on holiday parks will be able to offer useful.

In the case of Rabbie’s, this information can be provided by their drivers, who lead holidaymakers around their destination.

Ms Reekie explained “A Rabbie’s tour is led by one of our brilliant driver-guides.

“They know that guests on a tour want to make the most of their time with us, and therefore can offer the very best recommendations.

“Their expertise is incomparable, recommending the best attractions to suit individual guests, or sharing hidden culinary gems that ensure you really get the most value – both economically and culturally – from your trip as possible.”

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