Don’t jet away, stay in the UK!
So you’ve decided you want to head away on a flatmate holiday, but your passport is out of date and your friend’s only has 2 months left. You’re both going to need to get a new passport if you want to head abroad anytime soon.
Don’t stress if you can’t afford to renew your passport and go on holiday right now. We’ve rounded up the cheapest cities to visit this April for less than the cost of a renewal.
Best cities to visit instead of renewing your passport
With the highest number of available budget hotels in April, as well as modest costs for accommodation, food, and public transport, Blackpool is the ideal location for your last-minute UK getaway.
Not only have we found out the top location, we’ve index the top 10 locations to visit based on cost and quality:
|City||Overall ranking||Number of budget hotels available this April||Average cost of available hotels (4 nights)||Average review score of available hotels||Average cost of an inexpensive meal||Average cost of a one-way local transport ticket|
When to renew your passport
As a rule of thumb, adult passports are valid for 10 years and child passports (under 16) are valid for five, so always keep an eye on your upcoming expiry date.
In general, any country that requires a visa will also need you to have at least six months of validity left at the time of your trip.
Cost of a passport renewal
Unfortunately, passport renewals aren’t that cheap and can sometimes be more expensive than the trip itself.
A renewal of a standard adult passport is £82.50 if applying online or £93 by paper form whilst a frequent traveller 50-page passport is also £93.50 and £104 respectively.
That means even a couple of renewals within a group will set you back £160+. Just think of what else that cash could be spent on!
Beware the April passport strikes
Even if you did decide you wanted to part with your cash to renew your passports, you might be waiting a while.
Passport office workers are set to go on a five-week strike between 3 April and 5 May in a dispute around pay and working conditions.
Currently, government guidance advises a wait time of up to 10 weeks once the office receives your old passport but there is currently no update on how strikes will affect these lead times.
With last May witnessing a surge in passport applications in the lead up to Summer, you may not see your passport return as quickly as you’d like.
The cheapest accommodation options
1. Blackpool — Five days away this April for £126
Top of the charts and the cheapest location for accommodation, you can visit Blackpool an average cost of £126 for a five day visit, leaving you £20 of cash each between the holiday and the cost of a new passport.
To save on spending money, you can also enjoy the beach and explore the piers all for free.
2. Liverpool — Five days away this April for £138
If you’re more in the mood for a city break, you can getaway to Liverpool for just £69 each this April.
During your time here you can window shop to your heart’s content, enjoy Liverpool’s many free museums, and learn all about the Beatles’ history.
With Student Beans, you can save 50% off a game at Junkyard Golf in Liverpool, if that’s how you’d like to spend your week.
3. York — Five days away this April for £140
The picturesque city of York has a couple of options left for April, which will only set you back £70 per person.
That doesn’t leave you too much room for spending money, but luckily there’s lots to do in York for free.
Enjoy a free walking tour of the city, admire York minster, explore the Shambles, and have a nosy round the Shambles Market.
4. Sunderland — Five days away this April for £112
Whilst sometimes over-shined by its North-East sister, Newcastle, Sunderland boasts plenty of attractive tourist spots (and you can visit the city for £112 for two people this April).
During your trip, turn to the local arts and book in to see a show at the Sunderland Empire. This April, the Empire is showing Disney’s The Lion King with tickets starting as low as £20.
5. Birmingham — Five days away this April for £139
Another big city to make the list of budget getaways is Birmingham, with accommodation vacancies in April only setting you back just shy of £70 each.
Birmingham is full of cheap eats and local foodie spots, so you’ll have no trouble keeping costs down in this department.
For activities, Birmingham is all about the retail therapy, so make sure to check out what student discounts we have available for your favourite shops. You can even treat yourself to a trip to SEA LIFE Birmingham with our student discount, if you fancied something a little different.
6. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne — Five days away this April for £126
Although Newcastle didn’t make the top five overall rankings, we wanted to highlight the bargain cost of £63 per person to visit this stunning city.
From free tourist attractions like the Baltic Centre and Great North Museum, to the infamously cheap drinks available in the Toon. Newcastle is a perfect location for a cheap last minute getaway this month.
Don’t forget, you can also get student discount at Junkyard Golf in Newcastle too if you’re mad on the mini golf.
How to save even more money with Student Beans
To make your staycation trip even more budget-friendly, make sure to make use of all of our exclusive student discounts to save money across travel, accommodation, and experiences:
Booking.com – Get 4% cashback on bookings and save 15% or more on stays until September
Trainline – Take advantage of Student Beans’ 20% off a digital railcard offer
National Express – If the coach is a more suitable option for your trip, you can get 15% student discount with National Express
Hostelworld – Secure 8% off hostel bookings with Hostelworld
Whistlepunks – Get 20% off 70-minute axe throwing session
Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club – Get 10% off tickets at Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club
We used TripAdvisor information on available hotels for two that were under £40 a night for 17 – 21 April, the average cost of these per city, and average ratings of these per city.
We also used Numbeo information on the average cost of an inexpensive meal and average cost of a single public transport ride, both factors found as an average per city.
To create the index, we ranked the below factors per city and assigned each ranking a value with the overall value per city creating its overall rank:
- Number of hotels available Mon 17 – Fri 21 Apr <£40 (AKA under £80 per person for the duration)
- Average cost of available hotels
- Average rating of available hotels
- Average cost of a meal at an inexpensive restaurant
- Average cost of a one-way ticket on local transport
All data was correct as of 30.03.23.