WHEN the pandemic plunged summer vacation into chaos, stays started selling like hot cakes.
Today, a cabin stay in Cornwall costs as much as a luxury trip to the Maldives.
So why not swap this cottage for an inexpensive hotel, often with breakfast included?
Sophie Swietochowski tracks down the best bargain alternatives.
Weekend in Caernarfon, Wales
A spectacular 13th-century castle draws history buffs to this pretty port town.
Poppy Cottage is a short drive from the fortress, open to visitors year round.
But the Caernarfon Premier Inn takes pride of place on the waterfront.
Stay here and spend the money you would save on renting bikes at Beics Antur Bikes.
THE COTTAGE: Two nights’ rental at Poppy Cottage starts at Â£ 602 for two on August 13th. See sykescots.co.uk.
THE HOTEL: Two nights in B&B at Premier Inn Caernarfon from Â£ 279.46. See premierinn.com.
Public holiday break in Inverness, Scotland
For many years tourists have come here to scour the wonderful waters in search of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster.
Nestled in rugged countryside, The Cottage is close to riverside restaurants, galleries and a theater.
Get closer to the action and book into the Mercure 4H hotel overlooking the River Ness, at a fraction of the price.
THE COTTAGE: Three nights’ accommodation at The Cottage from Â£ 1,095 for two on August 27th. See lastminute-cots.co.uk.
THE HOTEL: The 4H Mercure Hotel Inverness offers double guest rooms for Â£ 474.15. See mercury.accor.com.
Couples Retreat in the Peak District, Cheshire
Head to the Peak District for a real slice of British countryside.
The pretty Ollerenshaw Cottage is surrounded by secluded hills and has its own patio.
But with green spaces on your doorstep, you can forgo the patio and head to the Travelodge in Macclesfield.
It is a short drive from the Peak District. Here you can hire a boat on the canal and admire the view of the Pennines afloat.
THE COTTAGE: Seven-night self-catering accommodation at Ollerenshaw Cottage starts at Â£ 1,076 for two on 15th August. premiercottage.co.uk.
THE HOTEL: The seven-night B&B at 1H Travelodge Macclesfield Central starts at Â£ 320.43. See travelodge.fr.
Weekend in New Forest, Hampshire
The unspoiled forests of New Forest National Park that border Southampton are teeming with scenic hiking trails.
Callan’s spacious courtyard is on a quiet side street in the park.
If you drive for 15 minutes, you can cut your costs in half at the Premier Inn at Southampton.
You will always have nature at your fingertips as well as attractions like the SeaCity Museum and the City Art Gallery.
THE COTTAGE: Two-night self-catering accommodation at Callan Court Apartment starts at Â£ 927 for four on August 27. gÃ®tes.co.uk.
August Bank Holiday in Brighton
Narrow lanes dotted with pastel houses and small shops selling local artwork have given Brighton its original reputation.
With upscale restaurants, antique shops and a long pebble beach, there will be plenty to keep you busy for a weekend at the quaint Cottage of Crow Gardens.
If you are on a budget, head to the 3H Ibis hotel near the seafront which offers a buffet breakfast.
THE COTTAGE: Three nights’ accommodation at Crown Gardens Cottage starts at Â£ 1,618 for four on August 27th. See lastminute-cots.co.uk.
THE HOTEL: Three nights in a family room at the Ibis Brighton City Center hotel with breakfast from Â£ 752.80. See ibis.accor.com.
One week stay in the Lake District
Mountain hikes and boat trips attract vacationers here.
Kingfisher Lodge is right on Lake Windermere.
Nine miles to the south is Kendal, filled with chic cafes and bakeries.
Here you will find a Travelodge near Sizergh Castle.
THE COTTAGE: Seven nights of self-catering accommodation at Kingfisher Lodge starts at Â£ 1,447 for four on August 27th. To book, see sykescots.co.uk.
THE HOTEL: Seven room-only nights at 1H Travelodge Kendal start at Â£ 657.93 for a family room. See travelodge.fr.
Couples getaway in Stratford-upon-Avon
Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon boasts cobbled streets and exquisite tea rooms.
Stables Cottage will leave you feeling immersed in village life.
But with pubs, pastry shops, and museums on its doorstep, the Travelodge is also a great option.
THE COTTAGE: Seven-night self-catering accommodation at The Stables Cottage starts at Â£ 2,067.60 for two on August 19th. See Luxurycottage.com.
THE HOTEL: The seven-night B&B at Travelodge starts at Â£ 581.43. See travelodge.fr.
Seven day stay in Cornwall
With hundreds of sandy beaches, it’s no wonder Cornwall is sold out this summer.
Newquay is a great place for families and there is still availability for July and August including 8 Pentowans.
But the Premier Inn near Wadebridge costs less than half the price.
THE COTTAGE: Seven-night accommodation at 8 Pentowan starts at Â£ 3,842 for four on August 13. See sykescots.co.uk.
THE HOTEL: The seven-night B&B at Premier Inn Wadebridge starts at Â£ 1,090.36 in a family room. See premierinn.com.