Holidays 2012

It’s been a long time but now the sun is shining (in my head anyway, I won’t bother looking out of the window) and holiday season is here once more. As ever money is tight so I have made the best on The Sun Holiday deals, Tesco vouchers and a cheap local campsite to plan 3 holidays to meet everyones needs.
First up is our annual weekend away with my brother and his family, camping in our tent. You may remember last year was a bit of an adventure, see here for an account of our windy weekend:  https://kyla40.wordpress.com/page/4/ or see picture opposite – a poorly tent!

We’re off this weekend to Holme Pierrepoint, the National Watersports centre in Nottingham. This is fairly local to us and costs £17.00 per night, per pitch for all 6 of us plus the dog. We’ll take the barbie and some beer, Mum and Dad will join us on Sunday for lunch (Mum has requested we take a TV so she can watch the Jubilee Flotilla, bless!) <

On Monday we pack away and get home in time for Bruce to DJ at the local pub for a Jubilee party, they want Karoeke which Bruce is not keen on at all but it’s local and it earns a few pennies whilst having a beer with friends and neighbours.

Next up is our Sun holiday in Cornwall, paid for with some cash and some holiday tokens from The Sun. We go first to spend the weekend at Parkdean in Mullion hopefully in a static van. This is near to Penryn where Bruce and kids used to live so we shall probably catch up with some old friends and then we’re hoping to visit a radio mast place called something like googlewilly, George has requested this and I have to say I am nearly as excited at the prospect of visiting a radio mast as I am of snail racing. On Monday we move to a holiday camp in St Minver and again we will hopefully get something with a fully working toilet and leak proof roof. This holiday is for the family, especially the kids, so I have purchased the Entertainment Pass which will hopefully keep them all occupied and in the evenings we can threaten them with Karoeke and Bingo if they don’t behave!! (I love a game of bingo and a sing song but it’s my secret).  Hopefully Fugly Car will get us there and maybe even back again and the sun will shine.

Finally, when all of the kids have gone to their respective ‘other parent’ Bruce and I will be taking the Transit van to France, with a mattress and camping cooker in the back.  Tesco vouchers have paid for the Eurotunnel and at the moment the Euro is weak which is great news for us.  Taking the Transit means we can ‘rough camp’ or stop in lay-byes and I can pretend I’ve got a camper once more, I’m quite excited.  I love the freedom of following the weather, freedom to do as I please and my bed in the back……..just need to give the “do I really need a Bog in a Bag?” question a bit more thought.

Hopefully many happy days ahead…………

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Pre-Holiday Budget

A recent newspaper reported that the average Brit exceeds their holiday budget by an average of around £300 – is that all?   We apparently underestimate the costs before we even go on holiday with women more often than not blowing their cash on clothes and beauty products (you don’t say!).  So out of interest I thought I’d add up the costs of our holiday so far:-

Clothes for 6:    (Ebay, Primark, New Look, Peacocks, Tesco)  =  £350.00

Ferry:      Car plus trailer    (P & O Ferries)    =   £145.00

Campsite Deposit: Camping La Barque  =     £100.00

Gas bottle re-fill:     (Kibworth garden centre)    =    £ 21.00

New number plate, defectors, GB stickers etc :   (K Tee Motors)  =    £ 38.00

Annual UK &European Car Break Down Recovery: (JS Insurance)   =  £ 85.00

                                                                                                                    Total:            £739.00

These costs don’t include the food I will buy on Thursday (£100 approx) or filling up with fuel (a staggering £85 to fill up our car at the moment).  I make savings wherever I can, for example I will be shopping at Lidl and will mainly buy lots of drinks for the journey, this will save up to 70p per drink compared to buying at a roadside services or cafe, so each round of soft drinks for 6 of us will save around £6.20 x 4 per day travelling = £24.80 per day!!  I will fill up with fuel using Tescos current offer of 5p off per litre when you buy tuna and multipacks of coca-cola , I will then combine these to give 10p off per litre and head to Tesco South Wigston where diesel is currently £135.9 per litre.

I made savings on clothes by shopping at the cheaper stores, for example I bought my eldest son an excellent Tee-shirt with a camper van motif from Primark for £3.00, he loves it.  I treated myself to a fabulous Maxi dress from Tesco for £20.00 but I have to confess to buying more than just a maxi dress for my holiday.

Other savings I have made include the Ferry booking with P & O Ferries; the trick is to keep searching on their website until you find the cheapest crossing.  You do this by entering your details including when you would prefer to sail,  then on the next screen it will list the outward crossing you have selected but not any others.  If you keep hitting the ‘earlier’ or ‘later’ buttons it will list the times and prices for each crossing.  For example the outward crossing is on the busiest day of the year and most of the morning crossings were between £200 – £300, I kept hitting the buttons until I came to the 12.40 crossing at £75.00 – a saving of at least £125.00.  I think £145 return crossing for a car and trailer in peak season is a great price but it takes just a little bit of time and searching to find these prices.

European Car Breakdown is another great saving – mine is an annual insurance covering homestart in the UK and I simply used comparethemarket.com to find the best deal.  At £85.00 with JS Insurance for the year it compares favourably with the RAC who want £134.00 just for single trip European breakdown.

With only 5 days to go I have loads to do, mostly things I forgot to put on the to-do list like collecting prescriptions, de-fleaing the cat and dog, washing the dogs bed ready to go for his Spa break at my parents etc.  The most important thing I have to do is to find the camera and charger and prepare it so that I can post our photos on this blog.  Ciao for now.