Saving money with a Staycation

Saving money with a Staycation

I’ve never been a big fan of holidays. I mean; I’ve spent a tonne of money on purchasing a lovely house.. filling it with all my worldly possessions and have picked a location that has everything I need/want nearby. Why then would I want to endure the time, effort and cost of going away on some extravagant foreign holiday? I don’t know what it is about the stressing to ensure everything is packed, stressing about missing the plane, stressing about whether the accommodation will be safe, stressing about the costs and stressing about the million and one things that inevitably get stressed about on foreign holidays which puts me off them so much. It is a mystery indeed.

So, it was with great surprise and equal joy that my partner suggested for this summer we instead went on a Staycation. We left on Friday morning and came back Monday evening for a fantastic long weekend at an entertainment resort running a music tribute weekend. Looking back on it now; I thought we’d compare some of the best aspects of my staycation as it has certainly encouraged us (her) to consider it as an alternative to the foreign holiday next year!

Time

Our particular resort was only a couple of hours drive away which meant we didn’t even need to leave the house until late late morning. This meant that we only packed on the morning we were leaving and had arrived by 2pm at the resort. Similarly; When it was time to leave we just jumped back in the car and were home at a very reasonable hour. No more 6am dashes to the airport or losing 2 days of your holiday leave just sat in the back of a car travelling. By staying somewhere nearby our 4-day holiday actually stayed a 4-day holiday.

Effort

To say that this break was minimal effort would be an understatement. We didn’t have to try and coordinate flights, immigration, insurance, accomodation, transfers, activities or the many other requirements for a foreign holiday. All that we required was a quarter tank of petrol and the resort booking page. Infact we hadn’t even booked it until 5 days before leaving!  Minimal effort also relates to minimal stress as there’s far less that could possibly go wrong. A few years ago we went on a holiday abroad which resulted in the return flight being delayed by over 24 hours. This then meant that our car parking expired, our pets were unfed and our jobs wernt too happy about the unapproved holiday extension. The greater the number of components of a holiday required mean more things to potentially go wrong which have a knock-on effect to everything else.

Cost

It goes without saying that a Staycation is going to be cheaper.. but I was surprised at just how much cheaper everything became. Travelling each way used no more than £15 of diesel, we had no additional insurance costs and the resort entertainment & room for 4 days came in at £75 each! Similarly; because we were staying in the country it meant we knew where we could shop and eat cheaply. Before we left I jumped on Google Maps and plotted the 5 minute walk to the local Wetherspoons for breakfasts (£3 instead of the £9 on resort) and marked out the walkable supermarkets for picking up drink. I’ve no doubt that there are cheap restaurants abroad but it’s always a bit of a lottery or time consuming treck around town trying to find out which are good value.

Entertainment

The tribute bands over the weekend were absolutely fantastic. In my younger years I’ve attended many music festivals and had seen almost all of the tribute bands as live real acts so wasn’t expecting too much. However I was really impressed with the acts and found the experience far more enjoyable watching them from inside a much smaller venue instead of stuck in a muddy field in the rain. Perhaps I’m just getting old, but even things like having tables & chairs to relax on between acts and access to flushing loos made the experience much better compared to real festivals.

 

Total cost for the holiday came in at around £140 each and we both had a great time! Have you gone on a Staycation recently instead of a foreign holiday? Was it better then you expected or are you going to stick with the more standard trips abroad in future? Please let us know in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Saving money with a Staycation

  1. Wow sounds like a great mini vacation at an affordable cost. Living in NYC now, my “staycations” are taking a train to my parents who live in the rural Northeast of the US. All it costs me is a train ticket, and maybe a fill up of my parents’ gas tank to thank them for feeding me and chauffeuring me to and from the train station. I like to do this at least once every two months for a weekend.

    • Wow, living in NYC though there must be a tonne of things to do without ever needing to leave the city. I remember when I lived in Sydney for a bit and there was so much going on every weekend for free that you could keep yourself busy without ever needing to go elsewhere. It sounds like a good deal with your parents too. Mine moved abroad a few years back so while I don;t have to pay for accommodation.. it’s still a pretty expensive flight to get out to see them.
      I suppose you guys over in the states have far greater opportunities for ‘staycations’ without going abroad. How much are the internal flights there?

  2. Great post and great example of a staycation – affordable and fun!

    However for me, a holiday isn’t a holiday unless at some point, I’ve been sunning myself in hot weather in my bikini by a pool/on a beach, so that pretty much rules out staying in the UK!

    The fact that my entire family (except for one cousin who lives in London) now lives in Hong Kong pretty much means that the Far East is my destination when I go away (although sometimes, I do have a second holiday to Greece). Most of the cost is my flight, as I stay with family but I do have to ensure that this is all accounted for in my budget every year – without fail. Otherwise, I do not get to see my parents or my grandmother, who is unlikely to ever return to the UK at her age!

    In the past, the trips to HK used to turn into huge shopping trips. Since I’ve embarked on my journey to FI, I’ve hardly bought anything on my trips.

    I’m sure I would enjoy a staycation too, but it would be ‘as well as’, as opposed to ‘instead of’ my usual holiday.

    Also, it does make me laugh when you talk about getting old – wait til you get to my age lol! ;-)

    • I think it helps that I’m also not a huge fan of the sun! Took a long time to get used to in Australia and even then I was using the factor 50!
      Seeing family is important, I’m lucky that my parents come over to the UK a few times each year to visit all their children, they make a bit of a road trip of it as we’re all over the place now.

  3. I know what you mean, Guy. Definitely a vote here for the virtues of a staycation. Me and Miss DD are currently looking to book another staycation. I have never been a huge fan of too regular holidays. Least of all foreign ones.

    I love a good holiday. But I would much rather have a simpler holiday in the UK than anywhere else (that being said, our best holiday ever was in Jersey…not exactly a staycation or a foreign holiday!).

    We are currently in the process of trying to plan a little holiday in the Lake District (never been there myself). It easier, cheaper and less stressful. Exactly what is needed for a holiday! We are also planning to do it all by train. Should be an adventure too. We will see!

    • Glad I’ve found another kindred spirit. Holidays are supposed to be relaxing.. yet so many people endure the stress of a big complicated foreign holiday. Better to just jump in the car or on a train and relax much sooner.

  4. I always thought staycation meant you just took time off and stayed in your own house, and just organised stuff to do/relax!? :s
    In that case I’ve been taking staycations for years… whoop! :)

    I can see it from both sides of the picture to be honest. I love a good ole British holiday as much as the next man but I’m with weenie on liking the near guaranteed weather of a holiday abroad. If you share a cheap villa with friends and commit to eating in at least say 50% of the time then it doesn’t have to be that expensive. In fact I am sure you could end up spending more over here if you weren’t careful!!!

    When we went to Madrid it was very cheap compared to English (London/SE) prices for example, and me and the Mrs only spent about £350 between us on our recent family villa holiday for the week and we weren’t exactly holding back that much and ate out a few times. Comparitively for 7 days you would have spent ~£228 (accomodation, travel, flights etc not withstanding of course) so spending money wise I don’t think it’s really that much more for sampling some foreign weather and culture.

    Seeing more of our beautiful country though is something I am definitely in favour of regardless of cost!

    Cheers!

    • Wouldnt that just be the weekend though? ;)
      I agree; you can do some abroad places fairly cheap and indeed we do so occasionally, especially when visiting family. However I was comparing it to some of my friends’ holidays which have been well over a grand each!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *