Tuesday 16 September 2014

Holiday on the cheap

Hello. How do you have a cheap eight day holiday in the UK for just over £200? First of all you need a bus pass, because you don't want to be paying anything for transport. Then you need to go to the parts of the country where there are hostels. Unfortunately they are not evenly spread about, there are pockets of them in tourist areas like The Lakes, Derbyshire, and the South West, For a full list go to the YHA web site. The prices quoted are for non members, deduct £3 per night if you are a member. For information about hostels in Scotland go to the SYHA site.  It is cheaper to join the Scottish YHA than the English one. The benefits are the same, your membership covers you for a discount at the YHA and the SYHA. There is an Independent Hostel site as well, or you could try Couch Surfing, or Air B&B.

Here is a breakdown of my costs.
Monday B & B at Pateley Bridge. £55
Tuesday Malham Youth Hostel £17
Wednesday Windermere Youth Hostel £18.50
Thursday & Friday Ambleside Youth Hostel £39
Saturday B & B Kendal £30
Sunday York Youth Hostel £17.
I had a breakfast at the hostels, good value at £5, but you could make your own in the self catering kitchens. Bedding is included. I had a bed in a female dorm, the cheapest option, though some private rooms are available which cost more.
Total for accommodation £176.50

I allowed myself £3.50 a day for other food. I didn't have an evening meal, because I knew I was getting a big breakfast in the morning. I bought bananas, pasta salad, button mushrooms, crisps, bread, cheese, sprouting beans, and I had a packet of pasta in cheese sauce which I cooked at a hostel.

I don't usually pay to go in places, I am more interested in the outside of buildings. I did go in the Pencil Museum, had seen it on the tele and it looked quirky. It was interesting.

I had one ice cream, £1.70, and I spent £9.60 on gingerbread, not all for myself I hasten to add, a gift for a friend. So they were my two treats.

Total cost was £214.80, so that's how to have a cheap holiday.

Working out bus timetables was the biggest challenge. With no definite route in mind, I made it up as I went along. Arriving at a bus station and reading all the boards to see where the buses were going. Some had electronic screens which gave information about all buses, and updated it every couple of minutes. That made it a bit easier. I suppose you could check timetables before you go, and book accommodation to fit in with the buses. That seems like a lot of hard work to me. Also you get local knowledge from the staff who work at the bus stations. Another way to do it is to book several nights at the same hostel and use that as a base to go out each day using local buses.

I carried a rucksack, but you could do it with a wheelie suitcase if you weren't going to do much walking. I suggest if you are thinking of doing a bus pass holiday, to book some cheap accommodation  for two or three nights, within a days travel of your home. Check the bus times before and make sure you can get to your destination in one day. Anyone fancy giving it a go?

I'm going to be a bit busy tomorrow, so if you don't mind, I will take a day off from blogging. I need to catch up. Thank you. Toodle pip.


  1. You are an unbelievably thrifty lady, and I can't imagine going anywhere that inexpensively. From your posts, you had a great time, so congratulations on all that!

  2. Wow I am pleased me and OH have bagged a holiday to Spain for 10 nights half board from local airport to Spain for £650. Okay it doesn't include spending money which we won't have much of. Not as good as your bargain holiday I know x

  3. You`ve done incredibly well with your way of having a holiday! - I used to take my kids camping many years ago. We would take the bikes along with us, board a train with them and all the camping gear, get to the destination and campsite we had booked, cycle all around the areas of interest, visit a few castles, visited the local beaches and generally had a blast for the cost of £200 (holiday for 2 weeks) all inclusive self catering in the tents. Holidays don`t have to cost the earth to be exciting, stimulating and satisfying.

  4. I too have done some Bus Pass trips and thoroughly enjoyed them but I have planned my buses and B and Bs ahead and enjoyed the organising as part of the fun. Bus Passes are a wonderful thing and I have met some interesting people along my way. For me it's not just the thriftyness of it but the challenge of being able to do it on the cheap and still enjoy a few days on my own.

  5. Our aim is to live more frugally, but we are not missing out on our holidays, as you have shown you can have a good holiday cheaply, when I know we are going to have a holiday we will just cut back a bit more to fund it, glad you had a lovely time, x

  6. Wow that is cheap! Would you do it again? Have a lovely day off...

  7. We have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your holiday. We loved looking at all the pictures every day and we really enjoyed the visit to the York Railway Museum. Glad that you are home again safe and sound.
    Wendy (Wales)

  8. That was a really thrifty holiday...really varied and enjoyable for us too! There are two of us, and our holiday costs are usually about the same as yours. We book a dog friendly holiday cottage, out of high season (about £300 for a week), allow £60 for petrol, take lots of home prepared frozen meals and make sandwiches. We all love to walk and usually manage to include a few ice-creams for our £200 per person - but for a single person, it's much harder to keep costs down...you are truly expert in frugal living!

  9. That is certainly the way to go! Buses and walking and staying at hostels. You did an amazing job of getting away for awhile but not spending a lot of money. Great budgeting and you really saw a lot of interesting things and been to a lot of great places. Glad you had a good time. I enjoyed "travelling" with you.

  10. Truly enjoyed all the photos from your holiday. You show how it can be done as frugally as possible, but still have a great time. Thanks!


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