Saturday, 17 January 2015

Our Budget Holiday - Step 1: Planning

It's been a long time (over a year) since we went on a proper holiday.  Yes we had a couple of nights away at a time in a hotel (normally a budget one), we went camping but not a proper 5 nights away in a caravan type of holiday.   And I am suffering withdrawal symptoms.

So I set about looking for something for February half term.  of course with it being February a lot of the caravan sites aren't open and the hotels are pricey but that didn't stop me.
   Yes we could have just had a couple of nights somewhere and had a biggie later in the year but who knows what 2015 will bring, and we'd like to get more use out of our tent this year (and maybe get a bigger one) so hopefully as weather improves we'll use that for our time away.

Hubby's work are a nightmare when it comes to signing off holiday and only agreed this weekend he could have the time off - but the Friday/ Sat/ Sun at the beginning not the end.

The next question was where to go.  Initially I wanted to go to London but the outlay on that was extortionate so I sulked.  I spent 2 days sulkily trawling the Internet and asking twitter for some inspiration.... then it struck.

We still have hubby's families Christmas presents here (don't ask) so lets kill 2 birds with 1 stone and go see them (but not for too long)..... that means a road trip to the Lake District (we've not been up there in about 2 years) and a trip to my old uni haunts and see how much everything has changed in 10 years.


Windermere was my prime first choice for accommodation and I was excited to see Park Resorts have taken over Fallbarrow holiday park.  A caravan for 3 nights (13th-16th Feb) was available and priced at £274.  Which I thought was quite reasonable.  Even more reasonable was the fact I have a railcard and managed to get 50% off this making a 3 night stay just £137.

Cost Windermere:  £137
Saved: £137

The next couple of day's weren't as easy.  We needed a night in Penrith and then I fancied one in Carlisle to show the boys the castle.   Fortunately both have budget hotel, unfortunately both seem to have sold all their really bargain rooms.

I ended up booked 1 night in Penrith Travelodge - £45 (ouch) and one in Carlisle Premier Inn (£39).  I could technically have saved £4/5 on the Carlisle one by booking a Travelodge (a Premier Inn is comfier in our experience) or the Premier Inn further out (but was worth it to be in a more central location).  

Cost Penrith - £45
Saved - £0

Cost Carlisle - £39
Saved - £0

Total cost for accommodation:  £221.
Total saved:  £137


We are really lucky in that before Christmas I wrote a feature on behalf of Transpennine Express and in return they are paying for our return tickets.

cost for open returns Sheffield - Windermere:  £0
Saved:  £75.50

Carlisle - Oxenholme (to pick up the Windermere train) on return leg:  Advanced saver booked online for £5 (saving £15.35)

Cost Carlisle - Oxenholme:  £5
Total Saved: £15.35

Granted we will have to pay bus travel on the days we are away (and I am dreading that as it is soo expensive) but I'll have to update on those costs.

Total travel cost:  £5
Total saved:  £90.85

Stay tuned for food, accommodation and travel updates as we go along - if you have any cost saving ideas (other than "google discount vouchers/ groupon etc") or own a business in one of the 3 areas (also Ambleside/ Keswick) and think you can help us have the best #BudgetHoliday possible please get in touch.


  1. I imagine Park Resorts are paying for your caravan after that mention.

    1. Hi 'green-eyed' Anonymous,

      No they are not, I operate a full disclosure policy on my posts (as you'd know if you read them). I wish they did that would make the holiday even better value. I had a discount code that anyone with a Friends and Family railcard can obtain. If they would like to get in touch and pay for it I wouldn't object. :)

      Just to make it clear Travelodge and Premier Inn are not paying for my stays either.

      Thanks for stopping by,