Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

The Staycation Challenge

This is a collaborative post.

Finance company The Scottish Friendly recently compiled a Disposable Income Index. The information was taken from an independent survey revealing how much money people have left after paying essential bills. As well as finding out whether people had money to spend or save, the survey looked at people’s holiday habits. They found that 19% of people were opting for more staycations, whilst 16% were looking for cheaper holidays.

The Staycation Challenge

Scottish Friendly wanted to show me how easy it is to save money each month, by discovering affordable days out in my local town. So they set me a challenge of having a fun family day out with a budget of £100. We live in an absolutely beautiful place and we frequently get out and about into the hills. However, when it comes to days out I have to admit we often head out of town towards Birmingham.

Thursday Photo 132

Checking for affordable days out was a bit of a revelation to me. We often head to a nearby National Trust property such as Croome because we’re members so entry is free. But this time I wanted to think outside the box. As I needed to schedule the day out into our timetable, I decided to go for something indoors.

We are lucky enough to live very close to the fabulous Malvern Theatres. Despite being located in a small town, Malvern Theatres host some amazing productions that usually play much larger venues. It is also set in a stunning location at the foot of the Malvern hills.

The Staycation Challenge - having a family day out in our local town with a budget of £100

Due to the quality of productions at Malvern, I don’t often think to go there because I have it in my head that ticket prices will be restrictive. Amazingly though, I managed to get pantomime tickets for just £13 per adult and £8 per child with a £3 booking fee. So for four of us to see Sleeping Beauty, it came to just £45.

With prices like that, we were well inside our budget. So we decided to treat ourselves to lunch at a lovely local café called Abbey Road Coffee. The café serves healthy, tasty food at lunchtime and it’s just a few minutes walk from the theatre. We managed to get lunch for four, two coffees, two hot chocolates and two slices of cake whilst still staying within our budget. Then we strolled down past the beautiful Malvern Priory to the theatre.

The Staycation Challenge - having a family day out in our local town with a budget of £100

Sleeping Beauty

This year’s pantomime was Sleeping Beauty, starring Gillian Wright who plays Jean Slater in Eastenders. The show was lively and engaging with well known songs that everyone enjoyed. There was plenty of interaction between the performers and the audience and a variety of dance styles.

With our remaining few pounds from our £100 budget, we treated the girls to some snacks during the interval. As there was a huge queue for the kiosk, my husband popped to a local shop to pick up the sweets from there, meaning we stayed within budget.

The verdict

This has definitely made me think more carefully about where we go for days out in future. There are loads of things on at Malvern Theatres that I know the girls would love. I’m already eyeing up The Very Hungry Caterpillar for Lia’s birthday in May.

I’ll also look more carefully at what’s on in the area in future before instinctively heading straight out of town on days out. We saved a fortune by not having to buy train tickets or pay petrol costs, meaning that our £100 went a long way. It’s great to be able to support the local economy too.

Please note this is a collaborative post with Scottish Friendly.


  1. January 8, 2017 / 9:04 am

    That sounds like a great day out and even better when you don’t need to factor in travelling very far. The panto must have been brilliant, I need to take my boys to one this year. 🙂 x

  2. January 8, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar is showing at a theatre near to us in May too. I love the theatre – O has been a couple of times but I would love to take him more often. Sounds like a great day x

  3. January 8, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Oooh that sounds brilliant Nat! What a great day out for you all. The pantomime was amazing value. Lou x

  4. January 8, 2017 / 5:05 pm

    This sounds brilliant! How fantastic for you all! Lovely photos too!

  5. Agent Spitback
    January 8, 2017 / 10:10 pm

    I like the Staycation challenge. I would probably struggle on that amount here where I am. The pantomime tickets are good value, I must say.

  6. January 9, 2017 / 6:34 am

    That is a very good value pantomime! No wonder my son’s school goes there for its year 7 trip rather than the more local theatres. My daughter is always asking for theatre tickets, but I reject the idea as being too expensive – I’ll take a look at Malvern Theatres from now on!

  7. January 9, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    Hi Nat, that sounds like a fun challenge and if you are saving money to boot that makes it an excellent challenge. With another recent tax hike here, we are saving money where we can and every penny counts. I remember sneaking sweets from the local sweet shop into the cinema as a youngster, they tasted so much better that way too.


  8. January 9, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    I definitely agree about looking closer to home. My SIL wanted us all to go to a panto in a nearby town because it had a famous person in it, but it was really expensive in comparison to our local one (with no one famous in it!). And do you what they loved it, because they don’t care about famous people. The quality of acting was amazing and it was lovely to support our local theatre. We will definitely be going this year x

  9. January 11, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    I like the sound of the staycation challenge – what a good idea for helping you to explore your local area a little more. So glad you enjoyed the pantomime and managed to have lunch too 🙂

  10. January 22, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    Sounds like a great day out! We love Malvern too, so pretty;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.