With the rising cost of living affecting every part of our lives, knowing how to save money on days out in the UK can come in extremely handy.
Let’s face it, whether you have children or are planning a day trip as a couple or with friends, having family days out can be expensive – once you start thinking about parking, restaurants, buying snacks and the entry fee to top attractions, it all starts to add up!
So, how can you save money on days out?
Here, we share our top tips to save money on fun family days.
Take Advantage of Free Events
Honestly, you would be surprised by the huge number of free activities there are in the UK.
There are many places around the country that offer free entry, meaning you’ll definitely save a few quid. Don’t worry, these aren’t boring places either – there are many free attractions available over the summer and winter – perfect for a rainy day!
Here are just a few places where you can get in for free:
- The Natural History Museum, London
- The National Railway Museum
- The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
- The Potter Trail, Edinburgh
- The National Football Museum, Manchester
- Durham Cathedral
Don’t forget to also see if your local museums are offering free entry for the whole family.
There are many that offer free entry for a whole range of people, including kids, adults, and groups.
Join the National Trust
If you or your family enjoy being outside, then joining the National Trust may be beneficial.
A family membership costs £133.80 per year for two adults living at the same address and their children or grandchildren (must be under 18). Any under 5’s get in for free.
It’s cheaper for couples and individual memberships.
A National Trust membership gives you free access to over 500 places, including national parks, woodlands, gardens, and much more. Plus, you get free parking too.
You can go to these nature attractions as many times as you like so a membership could provide a massive saving, especially if you and your children enjoy the outdoors.
Get An Annual Membership
With a membership, you pay a reduced fee for loads of attractions, including theme parks, zoos, sports activities, and even indoor places.
You’ll also find things to do during half term and summer holidays which can give you a massive saving when you have kids.
Research Current Deals and Discounts
Did you know that there are comparison websites you can use to get a great deal on your days out.
If you’re looking to visit London or go on to a theatre, Last Minute is an excellent website to search.
Alternatively, you can check Money Saving Expert to find a good deal – I’ve used this website for all sorts of things, getting some brilliant deals!
Look for Discount Codes for Booking Online
Doing a quick Google is always handy for finding random codes.
Usually, googling ‘place’ + voucher code or ‘place’ + discount throws up a few results for current offers – you could save £££’s just by doing this!
Get A Merlin Family Pass
Merlin annual passes can save you up to half price on admission fees. Plus, you can get up to 20% off food (depending on the type of annual passes you choose) and extra benefits.
Prices start from £89.
If you’re planning on visiting at least one theme park, a Merlin Pass could be beneficial.
Find Free Events in Your Local Area
Whether you have two children, three kids, or are planning a couples day out, free activities in your local area are well worth a look.
There are many beautiful nature reserves, parks, and other outdoor areas that host events during the summer and winter.
It’s best to search your local website or Facebook pages to see what’s on!
Search for Cinema Offers
There are always offers on cinema tickets.
I don’t think I’ve paid full price in a long time – Meerkat Movies currently offers you 2 for 1 tickets for a whole year – you can get insurance from just £1 to get this offer (huge bargain alert).
Head To The Great Outdoors
Why pay for a day out when you can head to the outdoors for free.
There are thousands of free walking trails across the UK – and, many wildlife attractions that allow you to enter for nothing.
Even the local park can keep you occupied for a couple of hours – all you need is a few outdoor games or sports equipment to keep the boredom away.
Take a look at the links below for some ideas:
Use Supermarket Vouchers
The Nectar Card and Tesco Clubcard enable you to swap points for vouchers.
Using these for your day trips is a great money-saver!
Join Website Newsletters
If there’s somewhere you fancy visiting, try signing up for their newsletter.
Many places give exclusive offers to email newsletter subscribers so it’s worth doing if there’s somewhere in particular you want to go.
Use Other Discount Schemes
Keep an eye on cereal boxes, chocolate, crisps, and other food and beverages for discounts, especially during the summer months.
Extra Tips to Save Money
Take a picnic or snacks with you
The cost of food and drinks can seriously add up when you’re out and about.
To pay less for your meals, see if you can bring your own lunch with you.
It’s also a good idea to take your own bottled water or refillable water bottles with you as this can also reduce the cost of a day out, especially if you have kids.
Search for deals on restaurants
If you want to eat out, try to find restaurant deals in the area you’re travelling to.
Places like Groupon and Living Social often offer discounts, even during summer.
You can also look for money offer coupons by googling branded chains or get a Taste Card which gives you instant access to 50% off food or 2 for 1 offers.
Look for free parking
A free app like Parkopedia notifies you of where you can park for free within England.
By looking for these spots in advance, you can plan your day trip around them to save cash.
Save money with National Rail travel
You can get 2 for 1 days out across the country with National Rail tickets. There are over 300 attractions in the scheme, including Cadbury World, The London Eye, Warwick Castle, Sea Life Centres and many more.
All you need to do is to show your ticket stub on entry and you’ll make a saving.
Book in advance
Booking before you go can save you money, especially when it comes to paying a booking fee.
Often, many places, such as Alton Towers, have reduced costs for admission and parking when booking online.
Remember, to use a cashback website like Topcashback to get some extra money back when you book online.
Use staff discounts
The NHS and companies that offer Perkbox give you discounts on days out.
Depending on the place you visit, you may have to fill in your details when you arrive – I’ve heard of some places that give savings to NHS workers doing this – so be prepared.
However, you could get vouchers or a percentage discount on entry.
Visit as a group
Some attractions offer group discounts when you visit as a group.
For example, you can save money on admission to the London Eye when you visit in groups of 10 or more.
To Recap: How to Sve Money on Day Out!
Now you know our best tips and tricks for avoiding paying full price on days out, make sure you bookmark this page or your favourite links to make some great savings.
You can save quite a bit of money using this go-to guide. It’s worth noting that free offers and deals for family days are often updated so this post will continue to be revised for up-to-date savings.
Find more saving money tips here.