www.hastingsonlinetimes.co.uk     Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Cheapskate on holiday (postcards from the edge!)

Believe it or not Summer is on its way. A time when, traditionally, we book our escapes and wave goodbye to any savings we may have accrued over the long Winter months. However this year, before you go down to the travel agents and hand over your hard-earned cash stop and ask yourself these questions:

What do I want from a holiday?

If your answer is to get a suntan and to drink not-so-cheap Retsina/Chianti/Rioja then yes, you do need to book a holiday in Greece/Italy/Spain.

However, if what your heart really desires is peace and quiet or a simple change of scenery then look closer to home.

I know the weather hasn’t been wonderful and the feeling of a little sun on one’s shoulders can be an amazing tonic, but spending more than you can afford and hanging around in an airport departure lounge (undoubtedly spending even more money – I’ll come back to this) is not what I would call peace and quiet….ok it is a change of scenery but not an altogether pleasant one.

Consider Camping or Glamping (camping without having to for-go the GHDs)

For the ultimate in peace & quiet and a change of scenery try http://www.glamping-uk.co.uk/

Even if the initial cost isn’t considerably cheaper, especially if you opt for some of the really luxurious Glampsites, you will save money on all the extras. The new clothes that, for some bizarre reason, we all buy to go abroad – the natives must think we all have shares in Debenhams (there are other high street retailers available!).

The obvious duty free, which is a Brits-abroad-must, on the outward and homeward journey. I kid you not, last time I flew I bought a litre of Tequila because it was less than half price, this would be a bargain except for the fact that I hate the stuff! We are programmed to buy in these places as there’s nothing else to do. Even the airport versions of High Street shops seem more tempting when trapped in a large inescapable Mall. Be warned though, if you do fly this summer, do not leave buying your lotions and potions until you get to the airport as a) shops such as Asda, Superdrug etc are 25-30% cheaper and there are always 2 for 1 deals to be had and b) its quite conceivable that you won’t be allowed to take them on board the aeroplane unless you rapidly decant the liquids in to transparent plastic bottles – which you should buy from Superdrug or Poundland, as again they are more expensive en-route!

Or, what about something entirely different?

Home-Swap holidays http://www.guardianhomeexchange.co.uk/.
I have to be honest, for a housework-a-phobe like myself this sounds like more hard work than it’s worth but I’m sure for some it’s an amazing way of seeing interesting places, in the UK and abroad. If you’re comfortable allowing strangers in to your home then why not? You can even swap cars for the duration of your stay, a fridge full of local delicacies – anything you like, although I think you have to keep your mother-in-law, sorry!

Is there somewhere I have always wanted to go but can’t afford it?

Why put up with five years of holidays you don’t particularly want to go on when you know you will never be content until you have visited the Taj Mahal/The Victoria Falls/Sugarloaf Mountain? There isn’t a law that states that you must go on holiday every year. Save for the holiday of a life-time. In the meantime have picnics, go to the beach (it is quite close!), have BBQs, have a holiday-themed party or a spa day. Do whatever it takes to make you feel like you’ve relaxed and be really excited about the amazing trip you are saving up for!

 

Posted 14:12 Tuesday, May 15, 2012 In: Cheapskate

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