CHRISTMAS is a popular time for families and friends to embark on a staycation, and with the introduction of tighter border rules, many people may be rethinking overseas travel. But which UK destinations offer the best deals?
Christmas is an expensive time of year, with multiple social events and plenty of presents to spend money on. However, for many families or groups of friends, a festive staycation is also an annual treat to look forward to.
Luckily, a little bit of flexibility can be the key to securing some seasonal savings.
Neena Jivraj Stevenson, chief culture officer for family-run UK hotel chain Point A Hotels, told Express.co.uk that the key to bagging a deal can be found in where you choose to book.
While city breaks might muster images of Christmas markets and cocktail-filled evenings, Ms Stevenson points out that over the festive period, holidaymakers may be looking to leave the urban landscape.
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Over the course of the last two years, rural log cabins and treehouses have seen a surge in popularity as many Britons opted for a UK-based holiday during the pandemic.
But this is not the only reason why city escapes might have more availability.
The Point A Hotels expert said: “One thing we have seen is how people tend to get away from city centres close to Christmas.
“The overwhelming direction of travel is people leaving the urban hubbub for friends and family elsewhere.
“This can mean that city-centre spots have more availability, and subsequently cheaper rooms, than more popular rural spots.”
According to Ms Stevenson, the dates you book your city break for make a lot of difference.
Although the earlier weeks of December may see visitors flocking to cities, the crowds should die down the sooner it gets to the big day.
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Ms Jivraj Stevenson added: “[Deals] will be intensified the closer you get to Christmas, of course, beginning-to-mid December will be busy as Christmas shopping ramps up, but from around the 20th we’d expect to see cities
quietening down making them prime destinations for deal-hungry holidaymakers.”
With Christmas falling on a Saturday this year, Ms Stevenson recommends opting for a city break in the week running up to the big day.
She said: “This doesn’t mean you have to spend Christmas Day away from home – a five-night stay beginning on Monday, December 20, and ending on Christmas Eve is a smart way of avoiding the pre-Christmas rush, which inevitably sees prices increase across the board – from hotel prices to tourist attraction admissions.”
The good news is, a metropolitan holiday can also offer plenty of other purse-friendly savings.
Ms Jivraj Stevenson said: “No matter where you go, getting about whilst you’re holidaying can be an easy way of racking up a steep bill.
“Swap the fuel bill for cheaper public transport options, or if you’re staycationing in an urban environment, try and make a couple of hearty walks part of your itinerary!
“You see way more of the city and save a tonne of money.
“Whilst this may be a fresher walk during the winter, arm yourself with a hot drink and take in the sights.”
By AIMEE ROBINSON