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Holidays

Any ideas for a cheap but lovely holiday?!

25 replies

ScummyMummy · 26/05/2002 19:28

My sweet man and I haven't been on holiday since our 3 yr old boys were born and I'm desperate to go away (en famille) this year. Major problem: not very flush at the minute so it needs to be cheap. Minor problems: a bit scared of flying (but prepared to overcome it!), not too keen on traditional package holidays where you lounge by the hotel pool all day (a bit of this would be fine!), no car and hiring one seems pricey... Other than that very open to suggestions in Britain or abroad.

Any ideas for a holiday for a skint family of 4, anyone?

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manna · 26/05/2002 20:14

you can pick up really cheap holidays on the internet if you can go at the lastminute. I don't know about your work situation but they have week long holidays in greece / spain etc for under £200 pp. I don't know if kids are even cheaper. Some of the holidays are under £100 for june. Try www.teletext.co.uk or cheapflights or some such. A package holiday to somewhere like greece would mean plenty of beach activity for the kids, browsing around etc. and you can hire cars by theday, or even mopeds? After all, how many times have you seen entire greek families loaded on to one moped speeding down hill at a dangerous rate?

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Marina · 27/05/2002 09:25

WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) organises families to go and help - not just in the UK, but in France and further afield. I think with three year olds you'd have to pick your destination carefully but I hear these inexpensive changes of scene can be a wonderful experience. I have never been as I am too much of a slacker, I must immediately point out.
Or could you borrow a family tent and head for Normandy? There is a delightful campsite, the Cote de Nacre, just west of Ouistreham, where the Portsmouth-Caen ferry docks. Bus Verts de Calvados run 2-3 times a day along the coast road between Ouistreham and Courseulles, so you don't need a car - and the same buses provide services to Caen and Bayeux for some culture/shopping.

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Joe1 · 27/05/2002 10:14

Scummy, we are in a similar position with one thing and another although we do have a car. We are going to buy a tent and camping equipment so we can go for the odd weekend for inexpensive holidays. But with a tent and hiring a car for a few days it probably still wouldnt add up to much. Also alot of the camp sites now have big tents as well as caravans which will also be cheaper.

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Rhiannon · 27/05/2002 10:28

I went camping at the weekend it was sheer hell. R

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Enid · 27/05/2002 10:55

God, Rhiannon, it must have been hideous. I went out on Sunday and it was hellish even in my nice warm car!

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tigermoth · 27/05/2002 11:44

Scummymummy - first off, rack your brains - get our your address book - have you or your dh any friends or relatives who you could visit - and, most importantly who you would want to visit? Even better - do any of them have holiday homes, caravans etc?

Do you have any friends or relatives who might want to swap homes with you? Perhaps the area where you live would be a highly attractive destination to a county cousin or a friend from abroad? I used to live in a flat in Peckham. The American friends who visited me thought the pie and mash shops were enchanting and were happy to hop on the 53 bus for trips all over London. I then visited them in the lush suburbs of New Jersey.

Ask favours, make enquiries, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And, if you want to make your visit to the chosen friend/relative shorter than a week, you could combine it with youth hostelling. Or just go on a youth hostelling holiday.

The YHA website shows you pictures of all the youth hostels and gives you heaps of info. Don't know much about YHAs abroad, but this could be worth investigating.

Many British YHAs are designed to be family friendly. Some have camp sites attached. There's a lovely stately-looking YHA in Salcombe, South Devon for instance. The area has great beaches as well as lots of toddler-friendly attractions. Prices are about aprox £11.00 - £16.00 per adult per night - toddlers might go free, or, if not, the cost is much less. And it's self catering, so you don't have to spend loads of cash on eating out.

Anyway, if I think of more suggestions, I'll post again.

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tigermoth · 27/05/2002 11:44

PS Rhiannon - you were brave!

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bossykate · 27/05/2002 13:51

brilliant idea, tigermoth. yesterday's observer had a feature on hostels which have participated in a star rating scheme. some of them have 4 stars - but still have family rooms, self catering etc and are of course v. cheap. the url mentioned in the article was www.visitbritain.com.

another idea would be to get on the nct house swap register. people have mentioned it before on this site - so a search may yield some useful info. have just checked out the nct sites and found nothing...

just one thing. having been away recently with ds, i have to say that ime a holiday with small kids is, well, not much of a holiday frankly. i wonder if another idea for you would be to get kind grandparents or other family/friends to take the little darlings of your hands for a few days, then you and dp can have a real break - at home if you want, an extremely cheap option!

good luck!

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Joe1 · 27/05/2002 14:33

We were thinking of going to Newquay as dh surfs but put if off due to the weather and he probably would have nearly drowned in 10ft+ waves. You were very brave going camping Rhiannon, we will definately pick our weekends carefully.

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Rosy · 27/05/2002 15:05

We joined the NCT register to go "down south" for a week to go to our friend's wedding (flights for the three of us, plus having to stay in the hotel, just for a weekend seemed really expensive, but is really cheap for a week's holiday). Where do you live Scummymummy? As someone already said, someone might want to visit friends or family nearby, even though it might not seem like a particularly popular holiday destination. (We're going to Leeds in autumn for example). What happens is you submit your form, with £25 fee, then you get a copy of the last newsletter, and just start mailing people. Also, they now do e-mail updates every 2 weeks, which has messages like "Dora & Brian are still looking for a swap for this summer, some time during the school holidays" so you know which you'll have more luck with. I'll dig out the e-mail address if you're interested. (You don't have to be a member of the NCT by the way, anyone with a child under 13 can join).

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WideWebWitch · 27/05/2002 18:00

Rosy, I'd like details please! also trying to go away cheaply this summer with my 2 sisters, ds, dp and bil and would like to swap houses rather than pay to stay somewhere. We've got a 2 bed loft apartment in London, a 3 bed house in Devon by the sea or a 1 bed flat in Bath between us if anyone's interested! Rosy, please ask mumsnet to give you my email if you don't want to post details here. Thanks. Scummy, you don't live somewhere wonderful we could swap with do you?

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bundle · 27/05/2002 18:07

wow, www, didn't realise you were such a woman of property

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bundle · 27/05/2002 18:08

oops, just realised they're probably not ALL yours!

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WideWebWitch · 27/05/2002 18:09

Bundle, no they're not! That's all the property between us 3 sisters.

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bundle · 27/05/2002 18:15

do you always go away together? we're going to n.france with sil, her partner & their wee one this summer for first time. they like good food, wine (like us) so hopefully it'll be a hoot. any tips???

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aloha · 27/05/2002 19:09

Good friends of mine went youth hostelling (in their 40s) with their three children and several friends and their children. This way they could take over a whole hostel between them very cheaply. The kids had a fantastic time together so the adults could open bottles of wine and relax. They heartily recommended it!

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Rhiannon · 27/05/2002 19:31

Holiday Inn Express is good value at £42.50 per family of four per night including breakfast. Have a look at www.sixc.com. R

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Rosy · 28/05/2002 16:04

WWW - I saw your message about going to France, but as all the NCT properties are in the UK, I didn't think it would be any use to you. The name of the woman that runs it is called Denise Tupman, and her email is [email protected] She's pretty prompt about replying to you, and the bumph is self-explanatory. And if you're looking for somewhere nice to go, we went to Gloucestershire last year (not a houseswap) and it was lovely. I hasten to add that I haven't actually done any swaps yet, but all our arrangements are going well so far.

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anoushka · 28/05/2002 16:24

hi scrmmymummy we are going to wales i dont know were you live but we got a house in swansea well a small village about five miles out side to be exact it is a four bed house with all the mod cons eg tv, video, microwave,in august for the hundred and fifty that is in august we have gone out of peak and got a realy nice one for less there web site is www.homefromhome.com home you like that

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anoushka · 28/05/2002 16:26

sorry that was suppose to be three hundred and fifty for a week

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Rhiannon · 28/05/2002 16:59

You could try Miles and Son (.co.uk)for property in Swanage. We have booked a 3 bed cottage for £270 at beginning of July right in the town centre. R

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ScummyMummy · 28/05/2002 19:16

Thank you ever so much, everyone. There's some great ideas here. In particular I will DEFINITELY bear the youth hostelling in mind for future occasions- thanks tigermoth and bossykate. My partner was a bit put off by the idea of sleeping in bunk beds but I think we could stand that for a short break and it's good to know that accomodation can be so cheap in such good locations. Camping would be great also but I think it's potential is really maximised with a car. I also appreciate the NCT house swap suggestion but unfortunately I really did pick my username on this site as a reflection of the state of my flat! The thought of getting it into a fit state for visitors gives me a panic attack! I thought the organic working holiday sounded interesting too, Marina, but four lazier lumps than us lot I have yet to meet...

But fear not- galvanised by your certainty that it can be done, we have booked a holiday to Ilfracombe in Devon for a week at the beginning of July. Only £160 for all of us in a 2 bedroomed ground floor flat with garden, 300 yards from Hele Bay beach and not too far from the town centre. Hurray, hurray, hurray change my user name to clottedcreamandcrabmummy! I can't wait!

And, if any of you need a weeks holiday in central London in a really manky untidy flat at the beginning of July feel free to email me. I know of a vacant property that just might suit...

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ScummyMummy · 28/05/2002 20:09

My wee sister has just pointed out that clottedcreamandcrabmummy has a revolting ring to it! Dirty-minded spalpeen that she is...

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emsiewill · 30/05/2002 11:39

A friend of mine went youth-hostelling in the South of France last year - in the summer holidays, for 2 weeks, for her, her dh, 11 yr-old ds and 5yr-old dd it was £600 for everything - train travel from Cardiff - Cannes, 14 nights in a family room with breakfast included. I thought it sounded a brilliant bargain, and she also said that the hostel she stayed in was in acres of its own grounds, and v family friendly - and family filled. It's definately something I'm bearing in mind for when dd2 is a bit older (and not so much of a nightmare - but that's another thread!)

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Dumbledore · 13/06/2002 21:40

Went to Alcudia, Majorca about 3 weeks ago with DH, DS (4 1/2 yrs) and DD (14 months) - booked via Sky Holidays (internet company) on the Friday and went the next day - the whole holiday only cost £400 for one week.

The accomodation was fine, small but very clean and very well maintained and was in an excellent location (approx 200 metres from Beach and a very short walk into the town - 5 mins top) called the Ses Delies.

Alcudia was OK - a bit Blackpooly, but the kids loved it and it really caters for the family, plus the weather was gorgious (80 degrees most days).

We flew from East Midlands (which is a great airport - small, no queueing, parked 5 mins from the airport).

Take a look at Skys website - www.skyhols.com or phone 01293 410746.

Good luck

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