Since the recession, the trend of a stay-cation has grown popular with holidaymakers trying to save their pennies. If you're choosing to stay at home this year instead of travelling abroad, there are so many fantastic places in the UK that you forget can make great holiday spots!
Why not pack up the car and head down South to Cornwall or Devon? If you're based up North and don't fancy travelling far, the Lake District is one of the most beautiful places in the country and has plenty to do for families.
If you're a keen sightseer it's worth checking for cheap Travelodge or Premier Inn rooms. If you won't be spending much time in your accommodation, these are great for acting as a base for your adventures. Even in peak season, if you shop around and do your research, you can plan a great holiday on a budget.
Home exchange means you literally exchange homes with somebody else or another family and you holiday in their home whilst they holiday in yours. You might have seen it in the Cameron Diaz film The Holiday, and the best part is, apart from travel costs and spends, it's completely free!
If you fancy doing something different, why not have a search on homeexchange.com (the website actually featured in The Holiday) and see if you would be willing to trade homes with another couple or family for a money saving break. (Who knows, if you're lucky Jude Law might knock on your front door in the middle of the night!)
The great thing about all sites such as these are you get the chance to discuss and chat with other house-swappers on forums and discussion boards so you can really get a taste of what it would be like to do a swap. But, be realistc in what you're offering. Honesty is the most important thing so when you're describing your house and what it offers, be honest and hope other people will be too so you can build a level of trust between whoever you're planning on trading with. If you can, swap plenty of emails, phonecalls, even photographs, so you build a relationship with your willing swapper.
Instead of a normal summer holiday, how about going somewhere completely new and exotic and doing some travelling? You may struggle to save, but if you've got time off over summer, it might be a great opportunity to go and visit somewhere you've never been and treat yourself to a whole new experience.
You need a realistic saving strategy that you can stick to for 6 months before you go travelling. Yes, you'll be living on a budget and it might be hard going, but surely it's worth it when you get to where you want to be?
The most important thing is to research where you're going. Before you pick a country, if you're looking to stick to a budget, research where's cheap and where you can get good value for your money. Also look for free or cheap activites and day trips you can do while you're there, plan ahead so you've got plenty of idea's that don't break the bank.
If you're going travelling for a long period of time, have a massive clear out of your stuff and get rid of what you don't need. In a few months time, will you still need that dress that you worn once last year? Sell as much stuff as you can to make some extra cash. Go through old cd's and dvd's that you don't listen to or watch anymore and sell them to help your holiday fund.