Tips How to Save on a Trip to Isle of Wight UK

Isle of Wight 5 budget travel tips

Bored with mainland holiday resorts, why not consider the Isle of Wight? This unique island is easily reached by ferry from Portsmouth or Southampton and it’s the ideal choice for budget-conscious travellers.

In fact, if you follow our tips you can plan a break on the Isle of Wight that’s delightfully cheap and satisfying.

1. Plan Ahead

Like any destination in the UK, the Isle of Wight is busier during the summer months and school holiday times. It’s easy to suggest that you should visit at different times if you want cheap accommodation and travel, but we’re not going to do that.

Families are simply not able to book during term time. However, booking ahead or looking for last minute deals can dramatically cut your costs. Book as early as possible for the best cheap hotels and budget accommodation.

Try going at the start or end of the season or opt for a short or long weekend break. With a little forward planning, you can get a great deal but do try to reserve rooms at least a year in advance if you want to be on the island for Cowes Week in August.

Saling boat in regatta England

2. Drive on the island

While local bus services and a basic train route cover most of the island, it can be difficult to reach some of the smaller villages or secluded beaches like those at Sandown or Bonchurch.

Even if you plan to stay in larger towns like Ventnor, Shanklin, Cowes, or Ryde, you’ll be restricted by bus and train timetables. Plus, the cost of using the bus regularly can mount up, especially if you’re travelling with family or friends. Your holiday budget will go much further if you drive. If you don’t own a car, it’s well worth renting one.

Rent a cheap car in Portsmouth or Southampton and share with friends if you’re travelling alone or as a couple. You’ll keep costs down and its a cheap and easy way to discover the island at your own pace.

Alternatively, take or rent a bike and keep fit while you explore from The Needles to Dinosaur Island or from Ryde to Carisbrooke Castle.

Couple on a rental bike UK

3. Look for cheap or free attractions

Pick up a ‘what’s on’ leaflet from a newsagent or while you’re on the ferry. You’ll find all the latest listings and prices for attractions on the Isle of Wight. There are lots of places where you can picnic or simply enjoy the scenery with the option of paid features. Appuldurcombe Farm, Wroxall near Ventnor is a good example.

Enjoy a cheap day out in the beautiful grounds or treat the kids to a visit to the Owl and Falconry Centre. There’s even a Little Owl playground for tots. The island is known for its beaches and they’re some of the cleanest in the UK. And, of course, they’re free!

12th Century Lighthouse on the Isle of Wight

4. Stock up on basics

Because it’s an island and a major tourist destination, you may find that it’s cheaper to buy certain products before you arrive. Stock up on sunscreen and aftersun if you plan to spend days soaking up the sun at Colwell Bay or Lake or if you’re hoping to enjoy a taste of the luxury yachting lifestyle with boat trips.

Prices in restaurants and bars reflect demand during busy periods like Cowes Week or the Isle of Wight Music Festival – well worth visiting the supermarket and creating your own stylish picnic.

5. Choose accommodation according to your needs and budget

If you want to be pampered and cared for, choose one of the island’s luxurious spa hotels or boutique style establishments. However, if you plan to visit the beach at St. Helen’s or Bembridge or if you like to stroll on Shanklin sea front between trips to the Donkey Sanctuary, your accommodation needs may be simpler.

Shanklin town on the Isle of Wight England UK

Look for cheap hotels and bed & breakfasts for a traditional seaside break or think about renting an apartment for a budget stay with friends.