School holidays ripoff

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Holidays can be expensive, especially when you are restricted to travel within the school holidays. Our daughter is 11 so we have at least another 5 years of swearing at the PC each time we put in dates for school holidays and watch the prices increase dramatically.

I once priced up a cottage in the UK and thought to myself I had found a bargain as it was only £390 for the full week. But then I realised I had not reset the dates. I popped in the Easter Holidays (just 2 weeks different) and the same cottage for the same amount of time increased to over £875!! I understand to a certain extent why they charge more and it boils down to 1 reason and 1 reason only – because they can and there will always be someone who will pay the extra.

I myself am guilty of this. Before we were restricted to school holidays and our daughter was in pre-school we booked a 2 week break in a stunning 3 bedroom thatched cottage in Dorset and paid just over £500 per week (which we split with another couple) and at the time I had a serious chat with myself as this at the time for us was a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a holiday cottage in this country. Well, 8 years later and we are restricted to school holidays and I now find that if I could find a cottage of that specification for that price during the holidays I would snatch their hand off! We are lucky if we can find something for less than £600. Don’t get me wrong, there is accommodation out there for less than that, but when we come to choosing our family holiday and it’s our own hard-earned cash we have certain criteria that we look for when finding somewhere to stay and all these things bump the price up ie log burner, near the sea, parking, enclosed rear garden, amenities within walking distance. But why shouldn’t we be picky, I don’t want to go away for a week, be freezing cold with no central heating, mouldy wooden spoons (yep, that happened, thank you tiny stable conversion in South East Scotland!) and husband having to park his car miles away from the house.

So we are stuck with paying that bit extra. But once we have arrived all of this is forgotten. The wine is opened, Mia gets her bed in the best spot possible and our daughter gets her paints and paper out and starts to dabble in some seascape art. We fall asleep before 10pm, we awake before 6am, we walk for miles, get caught in rainstorms, slip in rock pools, bring half the beach sand back with us each time we return to the house, we (well, our daughter) gets stuck in sinking sand and we can’t find a pee-stop for over 40 miles. But I don’t care, because I love this country. We are so lucky to have such a varied landscape, we personally are less than an hour from the sea, just under 2 hours away from 3 National Parks, 30 min drive into Wales and within a 1 hour drive of 3 major cities.

You can keep your foreign travel. Mia is a part of our family and we love travelling with her. There are so many dog friendly places now that there is no need to leave her with my mum and dad whilst we go out exploring. The UK offers amazing scenery and a vast array of history. We love the UK, whether it’s the islands and locus of Scotland, the beaches or Dorset, the hills of Snowdonia or the bustle of Liverpool.

So get out there, visit the UK. Travel from John o’ Groats to Lands end in your car because you can.

Happy travelling

xx

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