Earn points on your staycation in six easy steps

Family staycation
Anna Brech
by Anna Brech
6 August 2021

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside. And in the hills, around lakes and up a beautiful mountain or two. 

With travel rules still being ironed out, many of us are opting to stay put and explore the home turf on our doorstep this summer. And while at first glance, a staycation may seem less exciting than heading abroad, it’s also an invitation to revisit some overlooked gems. 

Hidden neighbourhoods and wild outdoor landscapes – including National Parks – are ripe for discovery here in the UK, paving the way to fun family breaks that get even better with Virgin Red in the mix. The new rewards club from Virgin allows members to earn points at each new level of a staycation escape, meaning you can build up your rewards pot merely by booking a train journey, sorting accommodation or stocking up on holiday accessories.

Want a piece of the action? Here’s our step-by-step guide to earning points the fun way – buckets and spades at the ready...

Step 1 – getting there: earn points on British train trips


Choo-choo your way to a world of rail-based delight, with 3 points for every £1 you spend on a nationwide train journey with Virgin Red. Travelling by train is a great way to appreciate the beauty of Britain from a fresh perspective, and it can be really fun for kids, too. It’s also a good alternative if you’re looking to cut back on motorway mileage – not to mention skipping those tailbacks on the A30 to Cornwall. Grab some snacks, a pack of cards and a riveting book or two; it’s time to get your trip on-track. 

Step 2 – places to stay: earn points on Booking.com

Next up: finding a place to stay. Here again, Virgin Red has a starring role to play: members have the chance to earn 12 points for every £1 spent at Booking.com. Unlock the door to the platform’s huge range of hotels, villas, apartments and resorts across the UK (or beyond) and let those Virgin Points flow in. Browsing for a holiday bolthole – be that a boutique city retreat or a bucolic country estate – has never been so tempting with Virgin Points as part of the bargain.

Step 3 – family activities: earn points on bikes from Halfords 


Step three is all about arranging the right helping of staycation activities. You want enough in your itinerary to be adventurous – but not so much that you can’t relax. Cycling strikes a nice balance, especially when Virgin Red has 2 points to earn for every £1 spent at Halfords

With bikes and kit for everyone in the family, you’ll be gathering points in a flash; and no, it’s not cheating to go electric. Follow local cycling trails to explore the area you’re staying in at your own pace, with lovely views and perhaps a glass of bubbly after (check out how to earn points on a Virgin Wines case, including a bottle of Brut).

Step 4 – holiday accessories: earn points on Ray-Ban sunglasses

Don’t laugh at the back – Britain really does have sunshine (well sometimes, anyway). And when those rays come out to play, you’ll want to be well-prepared. Sun cream is a must  and so is a pair of flip-flops (remember, you can earn Virgin Points at brands such as Boots and ASOS in the process). But to really ramp up those staycation style points, opt for a fresh pair of shades. Shop online for iconic Ray-Ban sunglasses and earn 11 points for every £1 spent with Virgin Red – with the right pair, the sun can’t fail to come out, right? 

Step 5 – dining in style: earn points on a Fortnum & Mason hamper


Nothing says a quintessential British summer like a picnic, and no-one does picnics better than luxury food brand Fortnum & Mason. The Piccadilly London store counts the Queen among its clients, and is famed for its beautifully curated hampers. Treat yourself to delicacies from the Fortnum & Mason Foodhall: think cocktail olives, delicate wisps of smoked salmon or cocoa dusted truffles, with delicious wine and bubbly to go with. With Virgin Red, you can earn 3 points for every £1 spent at the brand, which makes splashing out on a special holiday hamper all the more enticing. 

Step 6 – the wow factor: earn points on Virgin Balloon flights

Last but not least, the perfect staycation is not complete without a wow-worthy event or activity in the offing. A sunrise ride on a hot air balloon is one such experience, with Virgin Red members able to earn 6 points for every £1 spent with Virgin Balloon Flights. Hop right into the magic of an airborne adventure for stunning views of the landscape below and the thrill of a once-in-a-lifetime outing. It’s a peaceful and spectacular way to travel – just imagine those Instagram shots. 

Find out more about Virgin Red, the new rewards club from Virgin, right here