One of the things we find most difficult about Nath being a student is our low income! We love the flexibility of life, we love the investment for the future and I know Nath loves learning but occasionally we just want a bit more dough in the bank (who doesn’t)! Don’t get me wrong, we are very independent financially and have lovely things, rarely miss out on things, eat great food, buy nice clothes, go to soft play and other kiddies things and even still go on holiday but it takes
a little bit a lot of planning and budgeting to pull it off sometimes. Overall we don’t mind too much as we both know that in the long run it will mean so much more to our family than these couple years of being a bit skint and I love the memories we are making and the adventures we find ourselves on.
A few weeks ago as we travelled home from Prague, I asked Nath where he fancied going with the kids in the summer…Being a cautious Colin and being aware holidays aren’t cheap he didn’t think we would be able to afford a summer holiday outside of the UK this year. “PFFFFFTTTTT Nonsense” I thought, he obviously under estimates me and my ability to pick up a barg! This fuelled me to say “Oh don’t be ridiculous, I bet I can get the 4 of us a week away under £400, we are deffs going away!”…. He of course agreed as long as that’s all I was spending. Commence #missionCheapHoliday…
Last night we booked a week away at Lake Garda (Italy) for the 4 of us and the total? £402 – Okay I was £2 over budget but only because I didn’t account for booking fees, but come on…how many families can have a week away in the summer, in Italy for £400??? Here’s how, I’ll share my secret –
1. Keep your ears out for a deal and don’t be afraid to tell people you are looking for —– on the cheap:
This is exactly what I did, When you are on a budget you can’t expect a 4/5* hotel all inclusive by the beach, your looking more at camping or an apartment self-catering, once you come around to this idea and think of how much fun it will be with the kids your ready to go.
I firstly found out about Eurocamp which at the time had a big sale on and so found we could get accommodation for under £200. Then on Saturday some friends were telling me about the “Sun Holidays from £9.50” offer, to which I just laughed my head off, I’ve never bough the Sun and probably never would (no offence if you buy it by the way) probably not even for a cheapo holiday. It turns out the codes are on NetMums though hahaha (Thank you NetMums) and so after playing around with dates we found one that worked for us and at a location that looked rather nice with a kids club, 2 pools with slides and a generally gorgeous location. It was £30 pp for 7 nights and then we paid £49 extra for cleaning and laundry (I am on holiday after all)!
2. Book Flights yourself:
I rarely book us a package holiday. I’m all for Groupon deals (and others) and know they offer some great package deals, but I have found that if you book flights and accommodation independently it often saves a lot. I always use “Skyscanner” and again tried a few airport options and found flights from Stanstead for £56 each return. I originally found them for £46 but as we went to book Mr Smith noticed I was a day out on dates HAHAHAHA Whoooopppsss!!!
3. Don’t go over your budget:
Ok so I broke this by £2 BUT its £2 im talking like £40+ over if you have set a budget its because you don’t want to or can’t afford much more than that. If you shop around and can be flexible (we can as the kids are 4&2) then you WILL get something great!
I know we still have to pay for travel and food, but our argument is we would be spending money on fuel and food at home so that won’t make a huge difference to expenditure come June. Why not get yourself on Netmums and see if you too can have a little break on the cheap, its such a great feeling!
I am so unbelievably excited to be going to Italy to explore a new country, the kids are so excited to be going on a plane again and chilling or rather going nuts by the pool every day and the hubs is excited that I only spent £400 hahaha ooooo we better get saving some spending money …
Nicely done! Just shows you don’t have to book a package holiday to go away! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it so much more knowing how much you could have spent going somewhere else 🙂