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How To Enjoy A Bank Holiday Weekend For Under £100

Cheap weekend at the park

With a series of bank holiday weekends up ahead, some people are choosing to steer clear of the pubs and parties, in an attempt to save their coffers for the excitement coming this summer. But how do you keep yourself busy without breaking the bank? This month we're looking at the best ways to have a great time during a long weekend for under a hundred pounds – think it's possible? Just watch.

  • Do

    1. GATHER ALLIES. If you're committed to a cheap and cheerful weekend, you're going to need some support. Sooner or later everyone gets despondent or anxious, and tries to break out of the money saving mode (except students, who are flat broke at times and left with no other choice). So get yourself a partner in crime, or several if you can rustle them up, and make a group project out of it. There is success and safety in numbers.

    2. PLAN A BIG NIGHT IN. 'Cheap' doesn't have to mean 'boring' when it comes to entertainment. A Big Night In is the perfect way for you and your team of frugal allies to combine pennies and make a big event of your small budget. If everyone meets at one person's house and brings a bottle of wine, you've got grounds for a 'wine tasting' soiree. If there are enough of you, people can even split up and bring cheese, making it a 'cheese and wine' mine-festival. For a bit of extra fun, the local pound shop has plenty of streamers and bright, frillie decorations to make the house look festive.

    3. GO FISHING. With the run of good weather we've been having, fishing may be one of the most relaxing ways to enjoy the great British countryside. The best part is that it costs next to nothing – other than your license fee, a bit of petrol and a picnic basket full of goodies. The other good thing is that you'll be taking your family to some of the most lush parts of the country. For a full list of the best locations around the UK and other useful tips, check out www.fishinguk.co.uk

    4. EMBRACE PUBLIC PROPERTY. Public Property is there to be enjoyed. With hundreds of public parks, beaches, libraries and museums at your disposal, there is no reason why you can't enjoy what your taxable pounds have paid for.

    5. BACK-YARD CAMPING. Kids don't need to go all the way into the countryside or up the coast for a camping trip to be worthwhile – you can go as far as the back yard and they'll be happy. If you don't have a tent, making one is easy. Hang a sheet over two stable objects – these can be trees, kitchen stools or even boxes. Place some comfy bedding below your shelter and you've got yourself a campsite! Mix it up by roasting marshmallows on the barbeque, telling ghost stories – regular camping activities. And if it does happen to rain, at least you can get home in a matter of seconds and stay dry.

      For another great camping option, take a look at our Camp In My Garden blog, which showcases a unique garden camping concept.

    6. EXTREME WINDOW SHOPPING. Get a group of your friends together and head off to completely opulent car, boat or art show, where everything is too expensive to purchase (so it's not like you can over-spend), but the complimentary champagne tastes like the nectar of the Gods.

    7. WATCH A FREE SHOW. Put your bargain hunting caps on and scour your local pubs, clubs and community centres for free activities. You'll find there is everything from gigs, to comedy shows, bingo and speed dating for free, or under a tenner. Sometimes you've got to be persistent, thorough and on the button, leaving no stones unturned (be it in the local paper or on the net), but great deals are out there, hiding in the shadows. AllGigs is a good place to start.

    8. DO SOME VOLUNTEERING. There are hundreds of abandoned, abused and lost pets around the nation, dying for some love, attention and interaction. If you've got a spare weekend and you're looking for something worthwhile to do that isn't expensive, give some of your time to the RSPCA or a similar facility. The list of things you can help with rage from taking dogs for walks, to helping with baths and feeding the animals. It won't cost a penny and you'll be making a huge difference.

    9. TAKE A PERSONAL 'TIME-OUT WEEKEND'. At any given time, most people have a list of tasks and chores that constantly slip through their fingers - squeaky doors that need oiling, broken appliances that need fixing, paperwork that needs filing. There comes a time when everybody can take a weekend to stay at home and get it done. You don't need to go out or spend any money - you just need your home and your unfinished chores. That said, for one hundred pounds you can stock up on some healthy groceries, a bottle of wine and some DVD's, so that you can reward yourself once the tasks are done.

  • Don't

    1. SPEND THE WEEKEND WATCHING TELEVISION. If you make the entire long weekend about watching all the classic movies that have escaped your view over the last decade, you'll get bored. If you're sat in front of the television for too long you'll start to feel isolated and useless – unless it's pouring rain outside.

Last Updated: April 2012

Clayton Truscott

Clayton Truscott

Clayton is a comfortable traveller, having grown up in a small city that was far away from everything. He spent lots of time in the car as a child, driving up and down the coast of South Africa on surfing trips with his family. After studying abroad in the United States and spending a year working in London, he moved to Cape Town, where he completed a Master's Degree in Creative Writing. He now works as a freelance writer for various travel, surfing and action sports publications.