Well, it’s that time of year again, where the sunny days and longer evenings turn our thoughts to the Summer and dreaming of travel plans and holidays! Our last family trip was last October to the Chianti region of Tuscany with To Tuscany and it seems so long ago. Whilst we don’t need sunny days and impending Summer Holiday’s to turn our thoughts to places we want to go (think a permanent case of Wanderlust), we do however need cash, and at the moment that is somewhat lacking in our lives – But since when did that stop me?
Being skint – or living on a low budget, can make you think that you can’t afford to go on holiday, but with travel being such a passion and education for us all, I could never use something such as a lack of dollar as a reason not to – It just means I need to be a little more Savvy with where we spend our money and how much we spend on travel! And so, after a couple of weeks of trawling through skyscanner and various other sites, I have completely outdone myself (high five mama) and managed to get us a week in France this Summer for only £350 – a complete bargain and totally affordable if you ask me!!!
So, “how did I do THAT” I hear you ask? Well, let me share it with you so that you too can benefit from a low budget holiday with the kids this Summer too.
A family holiday in France for £350…
I believe that finding a family holiday in a budget has never been easier (she says after an intense 2 weeks of researching), and it is partly down to being savvy and knowing where to look, and partly down to being open minded too. When we started talking about our holidays and what we could afford for travel and accommodation, we set a smallish budget of £500 for it (£100pp). For those who have ever booked package holiday, I know your jaw just dropped at that, and maybe some of you out there shook your head’s in disagreement at such a naive budget? but having done Italy twice for similar prices and Spain for under £400 too, we knew it could easily be done – and I was going to do it.
We usually save up spending money after, but this can be really flexible too on how much we take; we tend to find free things to do, beach days and pool, which all cut the cost but add to the fun! We also always tend to go self catering so that we can be flexible and cheap, and so with that, we never spend much more on food than we would usually do at home – relying on Lidl or local supermarkets for the majority of our food.
This year, when setting out our family bucket list for 2019, our only stipulation for Summer travel was “Beach”! It was either that or a lake somewhere in Europe and we all voted a beach holiday – deliberately not pinpointing it to anywhere in particular so as to keep an open mind and be flexible depending on what we could afford at the time. We also said that this year (in the Autumn) we would take the kids to Paris of a couple of days/a weekend, and so when we found ourselves looking at France as an option for the Summer, we realised we could save money by combing 2 of our travel plans into one trip – and boom – we did just that.
When I started looking for our Summer holiday, we had narrowed it down to Malta, Valencia or Majorca. It then hovered around Croatia for a while (on my top 5), but then we finally ended up with and settled on france!! I have never been or desired to go to France really (aside from Paris of course), so for me it almost felt like a little bit of a let down after imagining that I might have finally been going to Croatia this Summer. But, after chatting to people who have been and after researching it a bit more, I am becoming increasingly more and more excited about it (after all, we are going to be by a beach in warm weather, as a family and on an adventure – what more do I really want??).
The reason this holiday was so cheap, was because after not finding availability where we wanted to go initially and on the dates we had highlighted, I remembered our bargainous holiday at Lake Garda through Sun Holidays, and so thought I would have a quick nosey on there. I managed to find the codes on another website (see below if you need them), entered our deets and a few options around Europe (including France) and we managed to find availability for 3 nights/4 days in Vendee at a Eurocamp which was £15pp (£75 total). It was at this point we decided it would be fun to go a few days prior to make it up to a week and spend the first part of our holiday in Paris. We have budgeted £120 for a hotel or Air B&B for 2 nights (easily doable, but also flexible upto another £30 – £50) but right now we just can’t decide which one we want. We decided to use the ferry so we could have our own car and the ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe was £155 for us all with car (its a 4hr crossing).
Things we are excited for …
Aside from just about everything (Sunshine, baguettes, croissants and pastries hello!), we are really looking forward to going on a Ferry. We always fly when we go away, so this will be a new adventure for us all and a little more easy going I think too. We are also excited to have our own car over there with us, as it not only saves money on car hire (usually another £100 – £150 in europe at least) but it also means that we can take what we want with us. From duvets, extra clothing if needed, food, snacks and activities for the kids. I think the whole thing will be a lot more chilled than cramming into carry on luggage on the plane (even though we love that too!).
We can’t wait to kick off the holiday with couple of days in Paris, eating yummy things and seeing all of its iconic sites (as well as a few less famous but special to us places too). Neither Nathan or I have ever been, so I think it will be filled with excitement and awe for us all.
Finally, we are excited to go to a Eurocamp again (it was mint in Italy) and spend time sunbathing, playing in the pools and having our own little Caravan!!
I love travelling with our little family, having adventures and seeing new places together – It makes me so happy. And because we love it so much, we decided a long time ago that we would not allow a lack of money or having kids to ever be a reason to us not to travel of do things we want to. And with a week in France and seeing Paris too for only £350 for all 5 of us, it has proven once again that we will never have to miss out on what we want to.
I know that I will/can always find a way to make our travel ideas a reality, and whether we have to trawl the internet for a few weeks, or save a little longer, or even start an after school club (true story) or temporarily go without, travel is our passion and we will always find a way to take a trip and have an adventure together – somewhere exciting!
For the Sun Holiday code and details on how to book a Sun Holiday CLICK HERE
Please also note that since publishing this post, we received an email asking us to pay a further “admin fee” of £45 that we did not allocate into the orignal costing. Obviously 4 days in france for £120 is still decent for a family of 5, but it isn’t quite as bargainous as £75 and I have been feeling a little ripped off! ha!