Thrifty Holiday Spending

Holiday season is looming. There’s more European travels on the cards. Yippee! Now we’re retired there will be much more time for wandering far and wide. That was one of the aims of giving up work. But of course there’s much less money now that wages aren’t coming in. As well as earning a bit from some side hustles we’ve got to keep the costs down as well. I had plenty of practice as a single mum with wanderlust. I became a bit of an expert even managing big savings on February half term ski trips. So here’s a post about thrifty holiday spending and some of the things we’ll do to save those pennies and pounds, this time from an oldie’s rather than a parent’s perspective.

  • Finally we are not confined to travelling in school holidays and can take advantage of off peak and low season fares. Trips to France will be midweek day crossings using Brittany Ferries so that’s even cheaper. This also negates the need for an expensive overnight cabin. And yes, that would have been a need rather than a want. Long gone are my days of sleeping in a recliner seat or under a restaurant table! We’re a member of the company’s Club Voyage too which saves us money on crossing too, sometimes as much as thirty per cent after annual membership costs.
  • As I’ve mentioned before we can’t take a whole bunch of food with us to Europe anymore. So holiday saving starts before we go with emptying the fridge. Our meals get weirder and weirder before we go away.
  • We shopped around for holiday insurance but with pre-existing medical conditions savings weren’t great. However every little helps. We were, of course, careful to make sure that the cover that we purchased was adequate for our needs.
  • There’ll be no extensive new holiday wardrobe .  I’ll make do with what I’ve got already.  After all I’m going to be meeting a whole load of strangers who’ve never seen me in my old clothes before!
  • We’ll be using our Starling bank account. There are no fees on our debit card when we’re abroad. These can add up if you’re not careful.
  • We’ve made sure that we have phone contracts where calls and enough data are free abroad. We’re both with different providers so there’s a greater chance that at least one of us will have signal.
  • We’re going to places where we make our own low cost entertainment.  Beaches, mountains and free attractions all feature heavily.
  • Yes, diesel for the motorhome is increasingly expensive. But once we’ve pitched up we walk and cycle to get around.
  • We often make use of the Aires network in Europe where we can park up for free or low cost. We can also empty the loo and fill up with water at a lot of them. I’ve been using them for years. They’re convenient, safe and cheap.
  • Of course we eat out but limit this. We save money by cooking mostly for ourselves, sourcing food from local shops and markets. Some things like seafood that are treats at home are much cheaper abroad. There’s little savings to be had too, like buying ice cream in multi packs for our tiny freezer.
  • We’re not big souvenir hunters while we’re away. We might bring back some special ingredients or alcohol that is cheap to buy abroad but don’t fill out boots.

So that’s my list of thrifty holiday spending tips. Just to say that being careful with money on holiday has never limited the fun I’ve had.

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  1. I love your thinking on new holiday clothes. Yes, dress in what you already like! Eating up before you go to not waste and planning once home surely will save a bit for meals on your trip. Enjoy and thanks for the tips.

    • Or dress in what fits! A lot of holiday clothing didn’t and I thought that it was going to be a bit of a waste buying things that were too loose for me further down the line. Ever the optimist!

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