In my first post I stated that we are hoping to stick to a budget of 100 Euro per day (not including fuel and tolls). This may seem a lot but for 6 of us it would be easy to get through double that amount; French campsites tend to charge for a pitch and 2 people with each extra person being charged between 3 and 10 euros each plus all 6 of us, including 11-year-old step daughter, eat adult portions so no getting away with an odd child meal here and there. The whole holiday should cost no more than £2000 inclusive, to be totally honest its money we don’t have but Tescos’ Credit Card at 0% for 15 months with no commission and no cash advance fee for ordering currency will be our flexible friend for the duration. I’ll worry about it when I get back, as well as the prospect of losing my job, Bruces business not working out and the general day-to-day domestic dramas that seem to blight our lives – which is why we all need a holiday!
Here’s my top ten tips for making those Euro’s stretch a bit further whilst camping in France:
- Switch off the data thingy and voice mail on your mobile phone. These can run up excessive charges although my service provider caps it at £50. Additionally, if you are likely to make and receive calls check with your service provider for bundles.
- If eating out find out where the locals eat and avoid the tourist traps. Even in St Tropez you can shave a few Euro’s off your bill if you head away from the Harbour and into the back streets.
- Another one for those who eat out – Plat Du Jour, the dish of the day often represents excellent value for money and might tempt you to try the local cuisine.
- Shop where the locals shop or find Lidl’s or similar.
- Try to avoid toll roads and use the N roads that often run parallel with the motorway. It will take you longer but you get to see a bit more of France and they cost nowt.
- Ice-creams and drinks – we buy in bulk – 6 ice-creams can cost less than 2 Euro in a supermarket but more than 2 Euro’s each at a beachside kiosk. The same with drinks. Drinks out are a real treat for our family.
- Wine – it’s cheap – buy from the supermarket and drink lots.
- Fill up with fuel at the supermarket and avoid motorway services.
- Use Municipal Campsites where possible. These are campsites provided by the town to encourage tourists and are therefore often very much cheaper than privately owned sites, Camping A La Ferme is almost always another cheaper alternative.
- Look up free things to do and create adventures such as camping by a lake with your inflatable dingy, days on the beach, museums, exhibitions and art galleries, going to towns during their festivals, water gun fights, walking, cycling, making kebabs for the campfire or barbie or just chilling out with a good book and bottle of cheap wine (my favourite adventure!!)