With the cost of living crisis continuing to rise, travelling with your dog can seem like an unattainable dream. But don’t despair! With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can still experience the joy of travel without breaking the bank. Whether you’re planning a day trip together or a week-long adventure, there are plenty of ways to save money on dog friendly travel all while building on your special bond together.
Dog friendly travel experts Dog Furiendly have a few savvy tips and tricks to help you explore the UK on a budget with your furry friend in tow. Whether it’s taking advantage of free events and attractions, finding discounts on dining and entertainment, or simply taking advantage of public transport. So grab your pup, and let’s hit the road!
1. Finding Cheap Accommodation
It’s possible to find cheap dog friendly accommodation with a bit of research and planning. Chances are you’ll start your search by visiting price comparison sites. However what many people don’t know, is once you’ve found a tail-wagging deal via a comparison site, your search shouldn’t stop there. Whether it’s a sophisticated hotel, or a charming glamping site, many of the providers would prefer for you to book directly. Therefore if you call up to let them know of the deal you’ve found online – chances are they can beat it, or match it. You may even get additional extras thrown in, like a bottle of bubbly.
If there’s a place that you have your eyes on, we would also recommend signing up for their mailing list and following them on social media. That way you can be the first to know about any special offers, and giveaways.
2. Book Off-Peak or Mid-Week
Planning your dog friendly adventures off-peak or mid-week can be a great way to save money! School holidays are often the most expensive time to travel and can end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for. Avoiding school holidays can really help cut the cost of your tail-wagging holiday, sometimes knocking almost £100 off per night depending on the location!
There is also the added bonus of enjoying a more peaceful destination. For example, if you visit Cornwall off-peak and mid-week, you could enjoy more empty space on the beach during your walkies, and plenty of quiet dog friendly cafes to cosy in afterwards.
3. Stay Outside of Your Chosen Destination
Booking accommodation a few miles away from your chosen holiday destination can be a great way to save money. Typically, people will book accommodation in the most well-known towns, but if you have flexibility with transport, you could save up to £100 per night just by booking somewhere further away.
For example, Windermere and Keswick are a few popular destinations in the Lake District, which are bursting with tourists in the Summer. However if you look for accommodation in towns such as Grasmere or Hawkshead you can still continue to enjoy plenty of scenic spots while having access to the more popular attractions (20 minute drive to Windemere).
4. Avoid Popular Destinations
Following on from the point above, you can save heaps of money by avoiding popular destinations altogether. Instead of St. Ives. in Cornwall, head to Pentryn. A beautiful place, sitting just a bones throw away from the coastal town of Falmouth. If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, why not explore the rugged landscape of the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides? For a unique, rural experience, you could also visit the charming market town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire. No matter which destination you choose, you’re sure to have a wonderful time enjoying the UK’s hidden gems together.
5. Public Transport
One great way to save money on vacation is to use public transportation! This can save you money on the ever-rising costs of petrol and the eye-watering parking fees when stopping in a popular tourist trap. All while reducing your carbon footprint. We are fortunate to have plenty of public transport across the UK, most of which is dog friendly – particularly trains and buses. Alternatively, enjoy the views and opt for transport such as boats, or steam trains. After all, travelling is part of the adventure too.
One of the best ways to save money while travelling is to opt for self-catering accommodation and rustling up something delicious in your home away from home. Whether you’re cooking up a delightful dinner, or a packaway picnic.
We all know that eating out is part of the holiday experience, but perhaps limit it to evening meals, or lunches. You can also save money by bringing your own snacks and beverages when travelling, so you don’t have to buy them along the way. Invest in a good ice-cooler backpack, a decent water bottle, and/or thermal flask.
7. Visit Free Dog Friendly Attractions & Events
The UK is inundated with free attractions, and better yet, free dog friendly attractions. With your canine companion in tow you can discover 100’s of historic buildings, monuments and sites. English Heritage alone has 250 free-to-visit sites, many of which are dog friendly. In Wales and Scotland can find similar places via Cadw and National Trust Scotland.
In South Wales, go back in time through museum heritage sites such as St Fagans or Big Pit. In Bristol enjoy a self-walking tour of Banksy’s street-art or visit the free 4-day-festival International Balloon Fiesta. Or visit one of England’s most recognisable castles in Northumberland – Bamburgh Castle, a place that sits on a rocky plateau off the coast.
Through researching the local area, you can also discover free parks, gardens, museums, walking tours, public art, landmarks and more. Alternatively, pop on your walking boots and explore the UK’s incredible National Parks, wonderful woodlands, magical mountains or breathtaking beaches.
8. Save Money On Dining Out
There are some great ways to save money on dining out in the UK. Loyalty cards are one of the most popular methods as they offer discounts and rewards for regular customers. Many dog friendly coffee chains will have one of these, including Coffee #1. Many restaurants also offer vouchers that can be redeemed for discounts or free meals. You can find these vouchers via social media, by signing up to their newsletter or in newspapers and magazines. Additionally, many restaurants offer discounts for large groups or special occasions, so it can be worth asking the staff at the restaurant.
Visit Dog Furiendly
Not sure where to start when it comes to planning your budget-friendly adventures with the dog? Check out Dog Furiendly, a free travel platform and app listing dog friendly places in the UK, including places to stay, places to eat and things to do. You can even filter results by ‘free entry’, helping you to enjoy tail-wagging experiences while saving money wherever you are in the UK.