Finding good affordable accommodation while traveling

Holidays can be quite costly, and accommodation is a big part of the cost. And, in Britain, where many places still charge per person, rather than per room, the cost adds up for large groups. The good news is that American-styled hotels are appearing here more frequently; however, most of them are the higher-priced hotels. The bad news is that the quaintness and character of bed-and-breakfasts, especially in England, may be going by the wayside.

Only 10 years ago, my husband and I honeymooned in Scotland and stayed at B&Bs for about 10GBP per person per night. The prices have gone up to around 20-30GBP pppn. Rates are the same for children. Gone are the days when we stayed in cheap hotels and motels in America, where kids stay for free. Some inns and B&Bs now have rates per room, but they will not allow a family of four into a double room – you must be in a family room. The cost still comes out to about the same as 20-30GBP pppn.

We have been able to find some cheaper accommodation at the Premier Inn and Travelodge. I preferred the Premier Inn as it was definitely cleaner, but the Travelodge was a little cheaper. Prices at the Premier Inn are the same, regardless of the room or the number of people. That is, a single room costs the same as a family room. Prices, on our last stay 6 months ago, were 67GBP M-Th, 55GBP F-Su. Unlike the US, the rates on the weekend were cheaper. The Innkeeper advertises its rates as starting at 39GBP, but the ones we stayed at were significantly higher. Breakfast is not included. The Best Western Lansdowne Strand Hotel in Calne, Wiltshire was also very affordable. They charged us only 60GBP and it included a delicious hot breakfast.

We also stayed in some pleasant B&Bs and guest houses. One of our favourites was Brompton Guest House in Redhill. It cost us 84GBP for a large comfy room, but a single was 48GBP. It was on the pricey side, but it included a wonderful breakfast. Freshfield Farm Cottage is a self-catering B&B in Freshfield, Sussex (mid-Sussex, right on the border of East & West, so it is unclear which county it is in). They charged 60GBP and the view was absolutely fantastic. You are on top of a hill, looking down on the Bluebell Railway. Wonderfully idyllic.

The Star Inn, a pub in Lingfield, Surrey, was recommended to us by the desk clerks at the Premier Inn, when they were completely booked for the night. Because of the referral, they gave us a very special rate of 65GBP, when the going rate was 80-90. The pub was undergoing some renovations to a former stable to provide some additional rooms. The advantage of this pub was that we had free WiFi access. The disadvantage was that one night they had a band playing. Surprisingly, we found a pub in the middle of Stow-on-the-Wold which charged us only 65GBP. It must be remembered that the Cotswolds area is very expensive.

Although we have stayed at other nice places, we do not mention them here due to the fact that they were very pricey for our budget.

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