When people from overseas think of the UK, they no doubt think of cups of tea, crumpets, fish and chips, room temperature beer (the way it’s supposed to be served, FYI) and grey and drizzly weather.
Yes, we can’t get enough cups of tea in our lives, and fish and chips by the sea is one of the best experiences in life. period. But we still have so much more to offer.
The UK is home to gorgeous historical cities, National Parks, Heritage coastlines, chocolate box villages, green pastures, woodland, moors, market towns, mountains, caves, famous monuments, tourist attractions, and so much more besides.
Because of the sheer amount of choice available in terms of things to do, places to visit, and things to see, travelling in the UK can be expensive.
Worry not, though, because I have a few great money-saving tips for travelling in the UK that are bound to impress.
Download money-saving travel apps
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, there are now apps dedicated to virtually anything you can imagine, including saving money whilst travelling.
If you’re looking to save money on your travels around the UK, there are plenty of apps you can download.
Citymapper, for example, will tell you how much your journey will cost and will give you the most effective travel options for getting from A to B.
Hostelworld is ideal for people looking for cheap accommodation such as hostels, B and Bs, hotels, and self-catering accommodation.
In truth, there are apps for saving money on dining out, apps for days out, apps for travel, and much more besides, so my advice here is to do your research and see what you can find online.
Avoid breaks during school holidays
Now, this might be easier said than done if you have kids, but if not, or if you have the option of travelling in the UK outside of school holidays, do so.
In the UK, parents are fined if they take their children out of school during term time, which means that they can only take their kids on holiday during the school holidays.
Holiday providers and retailers know this, which is why they hike their prices so much during school holidays.
If you go to book a self-catering cottage or villa during the school holidays, you will pay several hundred more pounds than if you booked outside of the school holidays. It’s unfair and immoral, but it is what it is.
Therefore, if you want to save money on a UK travel break, avoid school holidays whenever possible.
Travel around cheaper parts of the UK
In the UK, it’s safe to say that no two places are exactly alike in terms of pricing.
If you want a city break, for example, a stay in the city of York, in the North of England, will likely cost considerably less than a stay in the city of London, which the nation’s capital.
Different parts of the country cost different prices, which is why it’s so important to do your research and know which parts to visit.
If you’ve no preferences of where you visit, avoid tourist traps and perhaps look for accommodation just outside where you have your eye on, as it will likely be cheaper.
Whilst there are plenty of special offers to be had when dining out in the UK when you factor in travel, snacks, as well as beverages, dining out in the UK is not cheap.
A great way to save money whilst travelling in the UK is to go self-catering.
When you book accommodation, opt for self-catering as that way you can either take food with you from home or simply purchase cheap essentials to fill a hole and keep you going.
Whilst out and about exploring in the day, you could pack some sandwiches and a couple of cheap snacks, which would be considerably less than, say, a couple of hot dogs, a bottle of cola, and an ice cream.
Consider alternative methods of accommodation
When travelling around the UK, accommodation is likely going to be one of your biggest expenses.
Hostels and Airbnb’s are typically very cheap, though if you’re travelling to somewhere remote, these might not be possible.
In this instance, you could rough it and go camping, or even hire a camper van, which, if you split the cost, wouldn’t be very expensive at all.
Static caravan sites are also useful, as here you basically have all of the luxuries of a real home or hotel, without the costs, especially if you visit off-season.
Opt for tap water when dining out
Sometimes the food in the UK is just too good to resist.
If you’re exploring the countryside and have been for a long walk, sitting down in a cosy pub and tucking into a homemade steak and ale pie and chips takes some beating. For that matter, so does a portion of fish, chips, and mushy peas whilst at the beach.
If you do want to dine out, a great way of keeping the costs down is to simply opt for a jug of tap water for the table instead, which, by law, must be provided free of charge.
If you and a partner dined out and ordered two drinks each, that would easily be an extra £15 – £20 on top of your food order, and sometimes more if you opt for alcoholic beverages.
Tap water will quench your thirst and will cost you nothing.
Do things for free or purchase a Heritage Pass
In the UK, you’ll find plenty of awesome things to do, that won’t cost you a penny.
In towns and cities, there are usually museums and art galleries you can visit for free, whereas by the coast, a day by the seaside will cost you nothing, unless you decide to enjoy an ice cream or fish and chips (that’s only the third time I’ve mentioned it, can you tell I’m a fan?).
National Parks are also home to plenty of free-to-visit attractions.
If you plan on seeing English Heritage sites, investing in a Heritage Pass will yield massive discounts and free entry to places that would otherwise be costly.
This pass is offered by English Heritage, National Trust, and Historic Scotland.
With one of these passes, you’ll save money on attractions such as Stonehenge, Stourhead, or Whitby Abbey illuminations around Halloween time.
Let me know if you found these tips helpful and share your tips and tricks with us!
Until next time stay safe, stay curious and don’t stop wandering!