Thursday, 9 August 2018

Holidaying On A Budget

As with most things these days, doing things as a family can only really happen here in the Baker Bunch household if it is on a budget.

Sometimes I wish there was this huge pot full to the brim of "free" cash floating around for us to dip into and use as and when we please, but there isn't - unfortunately - and if we want to do anything at all then it has to be on a shoestring.

Take holidays for example - I've mentioned a fair few times already within the pages of this blog at how much jetting away somewhere warm and sunny would simply be amazing and is very much needed for us all right now but it's just not something that is within the realms of our reality right now.

So a holiday here in the UK it would have to be.

And actually, this would be all well and good, especially with the amazing weather we've had this year, but, as a recent day trip to the East Coast proved - sometimes even that isn't guaranteed to be budget friendly at all.

Imagine this scene...

You spend a fabulous few hours lazing on the very warm British sand, splashing in the sea with your two year old and being chased by your twelve year old as he gleefully dangles washed up sea creatures from his hand at you, but then lunch time passes and before anyone realises the time everyone is more than just a tad peckish.

Then that "let's wait for the tantrum" moment at trying to remove your toddler from her beloved morning at the beach, very surprisingly, doesn't arrive (phew!) but that simply must mean she really needs some grub which poses another tantrum risk - the we-can't-walk-too-far-because-she-will-throw-a-hungry-tantrum risk.

To avoid this situation you grab your things and find the closest chip restaurant and sit at a table inside because the seagull attacks outside are simply too much to cope with on top of potential two year old dramas.

Right, so eveyone is seated, is ready for food, the toddler is comfortable and looking happy so you reach for the menu and - * g a s p * - it's almost ten pounds for one portion of fish and chips...and then there's the drinks on top...

But both children need the food so you bite the bullet and, full bellies and near on forty (!!) pounds later you leave with two happy kiddies but an unhappy bank balance.

~ The End ~

Now forty pounds may not be a lot to everyone, but forty pounds on one meal is certainly not holidaying on a budget by any stretch of the imagination, so how on earth would we manage a much needed week away, even in the UK, without hitting bankruptcy?!

Well it got me to thinking, what tips could I use in order to keep a holiday -  one at home or abroad - on a tight budget...

 - rather than eat out all of the time during self-catering holidays, hit the shops and stock up with food from the local supermarket so you can rustle up quick, cheap breakfasts or lunches yourself without spending a fortune in restaurants

- shop around for the best prices, deals and discounts - saving from the very beginning of a trip away is always a bonus, meaning more spending money whilst on the holiday

- all inclusive deals abroad may work out cheaper in the long run than half-board or self-catering when you take into account how many drinks, ice-creams and snacks the kiddies may ask for each and everyday so it's probably worth doing a little bit of research before booking

- take a look at the deals places such as have to offer - there may be that perfect holiday just sat there, waiting for the computer buttons to be clicked

- choose venues with a lot of activities to do onsite that are already included in the holiday's package price - pools, poolside games, kids clubs, evening entertainment - because having all of this at hand means there is no need to spend more on extra activities and no need to travel further away (more expense!) to source things to do

- any tours, trips or excursions you want to do, plan and do them yourself rather than paying for (often expensive) tour companies to take the lead on them - discovering a new place at your own pace and own price range may be more enjoyable anyway

~ and (of course!) ~

- avoid enjoying the beach too much and leaving looking for food right to the crucial moments just before the children really, really need it as this could save you a lot of money in emergency-food-buying when you could use the extra time to explore and be able to opt for a £2.50 jacket potato just a five minute walk away from those £10 fish and chips...
(lesson learnt the hard way over here)

Happy budget - friendly holidaying!

* sponsored content - words & images 100% my own

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