6 Ways to Plan a Budget Break in the Great Outdoors

Even if you’re living in the heart of the city, you’re likely to be closer to the countryside than you think. And it’s so easy to make the most of the great outdoors without spending a fortune. Everyone loves to go away on a family holiday, but costs can easily add up and it can be tricky to find the time to dedicate to a long break.

By choosing to take a short trip locally, you’ll save pennies and smiles while still escaping city life for a much-needed break. The fresh air and beautiful scenery of the British countryside aren’t to be missed.

Saving on travel
You don’t need to venture far from your doorstep in order to find beautiful countryside that’s just waiting to be explored. Luscious and green land is often no more than an hour’s drive away from anywhere in Britain, meaning you actually don’t have to waste lots of time or money travelling.
Most major cities have neighbouring expanses of land, such as the Lake District near Lancaster and Carlisle, the Peak District near Manchester and Sheffield, The Cotswolds near Bristol and Oxford, and Dartmoor near Plymouth and Exeter.
If you don’t have a car to reach the countryside, look into your local bus or coach routes. Trains can be costly, so why not hop on the Megabus for cheaper tickets. And remember: booking in advance can lower prices even more.

Finding the right accommodation
Pitching up a tent and camping is one of the best ways to really embrace the great outdoors. Campsites don’t charge much for a patch of land for the night. If you don’t have your own tent, a number of campsites now offer pre-erected tents to families, so you don’t have to worry about losing a tent pole or the instructions!
Camping’s not for everyone though. Caravans and lodges are great alternatives to hotels and B&Bs, offering all the same home comforts and mod-cons at a lower price. You’ll be able to enjoy meals of your choice and come home to a proper bed at the end of the day.
Or find the perfect medium by trying out glamping, the luxury spin on camping that still lets you be at the heart of nature.

Packing your lunch
Don’t stumble at the last hurdle by forking out for expensive meals at restaurants. Plan ahead by packing lunches for your stay. After all, what could be better than a family picnic? Be mindful that the fresh air can be especially tiring for little ones, so having snacks at hand is essential too.
If you’re camping, remember to pack all the best camping foods for breakfast and dinner, including baked beans, sausages, eggs, bread, veg for one-pot meals, and, of course, hot chocolate and marshmallows for bedtime treats.

Pick the freebies
The best thing about the British countryside is that there are so many public walking trails, woodland areas and nature parks that are completely free. Before you plan your trip, look ahead to find all the freebies in the area. As well as lovely walking trails, there may be gardens or woodlands that are open to the public.
National Trust centres usually charge a small entrance fee but they have great deals all year round on family memberships, and little ones under 5 go free.
It’s worth taking some loose change on your trip for pit-stops as well just in case. It’s a lot harder to find an ATM or card reader when you’re in the middle of the countryside!

Checking out the local area
As well as parks and woodlands, there’s bound to be plenty of other things to do and see. There may be some hidden gems close to your local area, such as a river or lake, a special monument, a manor house or a famous cottage tucked away in the woods. Make the most of your trip by finding out everything the area has to offer before you arrive.
Once you’re there, it’s so easy to make your own fun and activities. There are loads of chances to nature spot or birdwatch within the great outdoors, and the charm of I Spy will never get old. Or you could even challenge the kids to a scavenger hunt in the woods to find and collect certain things, such as acorns, conkers and specific leaves. These kinds of activities can be enjoyed no matter what the season.


Travel lightly
Go back to basics and cut down on the things you plan to take with you. Unlike a summer holiday abroad, you should only need the essentials. Bear in mind where you’re staying and how you’re travelling. If you’re camping you are likely to pack slightly differently to if you’re staying in a lodge.
It’s always best to be prepared for all weathers though, so remember to pack waterproofs and woolies, good walking shoes, a change of clothes just in case, and a first aid kit.

What is your favourite part about exploring the great outdoors?

This is a guest post.

About the Author: Tilly Martin is a content writer for Pure Leisure Group, owners of picturesque family holiday parks in the heart of the British countryside, offering a choice between camping, caravan and lodge holidays


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