This episode of the Your Recipe for Financial Success podcast was published on 5th November 2020. You can listen again by heading to our Episodes page, or on your favourite podcast player.

In this episode, Julie, Emma and Becky have been on their holidays! Find out where they went and how much they spent. Can you do any better?

Episode Highlights

This episode may not start off sounding like a personal finance podcast, but that’s until you realise they have had a holiday – on a budget!

Julie, Emma and Becky want to add some spice to your finances and show that a holiday doesn’t have to cost the earth. So, what are their top tips for a budget holiday?

  • Collect vouchers from newspapers to earn a cheap UK getaway in a caravan
  • Take as many essentials with you as possible, including; food, drinks, towels and washing up liquid. You may even be able to save a bit of cash by taking your own linen!
  • Make the most of onsite entertainment, board games and walks in the surrounding area for fun activities
  • Stay close to home to save on travel costs. You don’t have to go far to have a relaxing break!

The grand total of their budget holiday for three cost £372.02, which works out as around £124 each! Not bad!

The actual accommodation cost £124.45, with the rest being made up of petrol costs, food, drinks and a £28 bottle of Prosecco!

Hopefully we have inspired you to go on your own budget holiday? Let us know where you go and how little you managed to spend on our Facebook page.

If you would like to get your teeth into any more financial recipes, check out our other podcasts on our episodes page.

 

Rediscover the conversation

Julie Hunt
In this week’s episode we are going to be talking about holidaying on a strawberry shoelace.

 

Emma Knights 
As you’re chuckling away to yourself that Becky, why don’t you start off by telling everybody about when we first arrived and about our holiday.

 

Becky Campion
Well, it’s a bit of an interesting story.

We arrived on Friday evening, and the park that we were staying at were doing contactless check in because of the coronavirus so we went and checked in all happy.  The lady on reception said to me all your keys and your welcome pack will be in your caravan waiting for you.

We merrily drive round to the caravan where we thought we were going to be staying and got out of the car. We carefully checked the map to check that we were walking to the right caravan, checked the number on the front of the caravan and yep, we were definitely at the right caravan. BUT the lights were already on in the caravan. And there were people already in the caravan, that we were supposed to be in.

So, not quite what we were expecting! We double checked the map to check and yes, we definitely were at the right caravan. So we made our way back to reception, where we explained to the lovely lady on reception what had happened.

They managed to find us another caravan for us to stay in for the weekend, which was very nice, because of the mix-up they even upgraded us.

 

Emma Knights 
Julie do you want to tell us a little bit about what a Sun Holiday is and what you actually have to do?

 

Julie Hunt 
Okay, well, I guess to start with a bit of background really, I’ve been going on Sun Holidays for years and years. When I first got my house back when I was 18 years old, which was a long time ago, I didn’t have any money at all but wanted to go on holiday and my mum was like why don’t you go on a Sun Holiday and at the time, I was like ‘what’s the summer holiday?’

Back then you collected 10 tokens in January by buying 10 days’ worth of Sun newspapers, cutting out the tokens, and then you then basically attach them to a little slip and you’d send it off in the post with all your tokens and your choices of your top four resorts that you would like to stay in and top four choices of dates. Then you’d wait patiently for your holiday confirmation to come back in the post to tell you whether or not you’ve been successful and whether you’ve got a holiday or not.

Obviously things have changed slightly, and now you can do it all online and you can find out immediately whether you’ve got a stay or not. But the idea was really for £9.50 per person for four people, so essentially just under £50 – you could go away for either a Monday to Friday, a four night break or Friday to Monday so a three night break. And that’s what I dragged the girls on.

Now obviously when we booked this, we hadn’t planned on this being the highlight of our summer but I believe it could have been the highlight holiday of the year.

 

Emma Knights 
I think it was the only holiday of the year.

 

Julie Hunt 
Well there is that as well.

 

Emma Knights 
But it was really good. So, where we actually went was a park called Cayton Bay. Becky, do you want to tell us a little bit about what we did whilst we were there.

 

Becky Campion 
I can indeed, so we arrived quite late on the Friday night so by the time we got unpacked and got ourselves settled in and we had a cup of tea (and a pizza takeaway) it was time for bed. On the Saturday we woke up to pouring rain so we spent the afternoon playing board games. I taught Emma how to play Chinese Chequers.

 

Emma Knights 
I think I now have a little bit of an obsession with the game. As soon as I got back, I was online looking where I could buy a board so I can get practising ready to beat Becky next time.

 

Becky Campion
You know, I won’t allow that.

 

Julie Hunt 
And apparently, I’m never allowed to play happy families ever again.

 

Becky Campion 
Definitely not you were far too good at that, I think when I had two families and Julie had won the game with eight families that it was time to call it quits.

 

Emma Knights 
Yeah, it’s funny how we only actually ever played one round at that game didn’t we?!

 

Becky Campion 
So we had a bit of a games afternoon on the Saturday, and then we got some tea from the restaurant on the site. They were very kind and did it as a takeaway for us, so we didn’t even really have to leave the caravan. Which was perfect for me as I didn’t have to get dressed up, so no complaints there!

I think on the Saturday evening we watched some very educational programmes, didn’t we? Anyway, there was one on there about Kaiser Wilhelm. Excuse my bad German! And the other one was on Prince Phillip. So, you know, we were very educational on our crazy Saturday night! On the Sunday morning, thankfully it stopped raining so we went for a walk on the beach to blow the cobwebs away.

The beach was only about a five-minute walk from our caravan so that was perfect. We went for a walk on the beach and blew the cobwebs away, which was very nice. We even saw the helicopter come in but we’re not quite sure what it was doing. We still haven’t figured that out. Fortunately, it didn’t have to land on the beach so hopefully, whatever they did wasn’t for any rescue mission.

 

Julie Hunt
It didn’t have to help get you back up the hill back did it Becky?

 

Becky Campion 
No, I managed to drag myself back, l was puffing and panting when I got to the top though! We stopped off for a coffee on our way back to our caravan because I felt that I had earned it from my walk on the beach and back up the hill.

Then we headed in to Whitby. We had a little potter around, we stopped off for some lovely fish and chips. We walked up the 200 odd steps to the Abbey, then we headed back to the caravan.

 

Julie Hunt 
Oh, don’t forget the glass of Prosecco we had!

 

Becky Campion 
I had forgotten! How bad of me, and a bit of people watching outside of course!

Then on the Sunday night when we got back to the caravan, I think we had another game of Chinese Chequers, but it was all three of us this time.

Then we went for tea again at the restaurant on the site where we were staying which was very nice. So we did that, and then we had an early night when we got back.

 

Emma Knights 
We had a few glasses of gin, didn’t we?

 

Becky Campion 
Oh yeah. Well, after the Prosecco I wasn’t going to mentioned the gin as well!

 

Emma Knights 
I suppose it puts us in a bit of a bad light!

 

Becky Campion 
We had a few drinks, not too many but a little tipple. On the Monday morning, we were up bright and early. We actually sadly had to pack up and come home. We came home via Flamborough head, and then we made our way back to sunny Norfolk, or not, as the case would be when we got home.

 

Emma Knights 
Unfortunately, we arrived home to rain, but never mind. You might be wondering what our lovely weekend away, has got to do with money. I’m sure you are thinking well that sounds great but what does it have to do with money?

 

Julie Hunt 
I mean, have we changed from a financial services and finance podcast to Becky, Julie Emma’s weekends away podcast!

 

Emma Knights 
We’re talking about holidays on a budget, and how much this cost us, so you’re going to have to keep waiting a little bit longer to find out how much these four days and three nights away cost us.

We’re going to tell you a little bit more about our holiday first. So Julie do you want to tell everybody a little bit about what we took away with us to try and make this holiday a little bit cheaper, rather than spending money on things that we didn’t really need to buy.

 

Julie Hunt 
Of course, I can Emma. So we took a few kitchen essential like tea bags, coffee, washing up liquid, hand soap, toilet rolls (because they don’t get provided in caravans at the moment), gin and tonic (obviously highly important items!) Towels, tea towels…. I can’t think of what else we took away with us. Oh! sweets and biscuits – all the essentials!

 

Emma Knights
It’s just the things that we had at home so we didn’t have to go out and buy them especially.

 

Julie Hunt 
Definitely so it was all things that we already had we took with us so and obviously with the towels and tea towels they went in the washing machine and have been reused already!

 

Becky Campion 
Very efficient washing service Julie!

 

Emma Knights 
Not going to lie, my things have only just come out of my suitcase.

 

Julie Hunt 
Oh my. I have washed and dried! In fact, I’m wearing my jeans from the weekend today. So, over to you, Emma, do you want to tell us how much our break away cost us?

 

Emma Knights 
So, are we going to get a little drumroll here? The grand total for our weekend away was £372.02, which works out as around £124 each!

So just to give you a bit of a breakdown of what the different things cost, the actual accommodation at Cayton Bay cost £124.45, but that did include all of our bed linen and entertainment passes so we could go into their entertainment centre.

We could have made it cheaper if we wanted to by taking our own linen, but obviously we thought as its a weekend away for a special treat we would let someone else do that part for us. Without the bed linen it would have reduced the accommodation cost to just £84.50.

Julie very kindly drove us there in her little Ruby, and the fuel for the weekend cost us around about £50. That’s about how much it costs to fill up your car isn’t it Julie?

 

Julie Hunt 
It was about one tank of petrol and much to my husband’s horror my car was actually a lot more efficient than he thought!

 

Emma Knights 
So, we spent just over £10 pounds when we went for our little shopping trip at Tescos. Obviously, we could have made our weekend much cheaper if we’d have bought things and cooked meals ourselves but again, it was a special treat.

We still ate out and did things as well. So, I’m going to collectively tell you the rest as I don’t think you need a breakdown of how much each meal cost! In total we spent £197.57 on food and drink so over 50% of what we actually spent was on food and drink. We ate out every meal so we didn’t do any cooking ourselves so it was a nice treat for us really.

 

Becky Campion 
It was very nice indeed and that bottle of Prosecco goes into that £372 pounds as well.

 

Emma Knights 
Yeah, the bottle of Prosecco alone was £28. So, if you imagine if we’d have all had a soft drink or something else we could have cut that down a lot and obviously we stopped at Costa and had hot chocolates and coffees a couple of times. So, all of those things if we would have wanted to, we could have made them ourselves and taken our takeaway cups with us and took a drink out with us when we went out and about instead of stopping.

There’s lots of things we could have done to make it cheaper, but from our point of view we thought £125 pounds each was a really reasonable amount.

 

Julie Hunt 
I’m happy about that, definitely!

 

Emma Knights 
Do we have plans to go again girls?

 

Julie Hunt 
I think we should go again next year. I think we should go to Kent next time.

 

Emma Knights 
What’s in Kent?

 

Julie Hunt 
Some sand dunes.

 

Emma Knights
That sounds like a plan, if we can get Becky up the sand dunes that will be a good start. It’s quite flat in Kent compared to Yorkshire so we should be okay.

Julie Hunt
As I said Sun Holidays normally comes out every January so it’s a good time. This isn’t a plug for the Sun and I do believe other newspapers have done them in the past but I believe that the Sun has been consistently the one whose done them over the years the most.

Normally they come into the newspaper about January time. Once you’ve actually done one with them, you may get an email or a letter in the post and they normally let you have a couple of tokens for free to get you started. That means you need less tokens from the papers and you actually get your holiday booked quicker than people who haven’t ever done it before!

I know that I’ll be booking again this January, and I think it’s definitely worthwhile. In fact, I’ve got another one lined up in a couple of months’ time.

 

Emma Knights 
Where’s that one to?

 

Julie Hunt
Cornwall.

Very good. I’ve included the heating in this one!

 

Emma Knights 
Bonus, but it plenty warm enough though everybody so don’t worry. It just goes to show that even if you’re living on a budget and you don’t necessarily have a huge amount of cash, you can still go away and you can still enjoy yourself.

Just because you are living on a shoestring, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make these nice trips.

 

Julie Hunt 
I thought we were living on a strawberry shoelace!

 

Emma Knights 
Same difference.

 

Becky Campion 
I think also the other way you could also cut down by staying nearer to home to cut down on fuel costs, I know when I did my first Sun holiday, my first car was never going to make out the county so I went to North Dean’s in Great Yarmouth.

Those of you from Norfolk will know where that is. For those that don’t it was just up the road so the car made it, and obviously my fuel consumption was a lot less.

 

Emma Knights 
It’s very good point there.

 

Julie Hunt 
And also, another thing which we didn’t use at Cayton Bay was the public bus service just outside the resort which would have taken you into Scarborough or Bridlington which are the nearest two towns. So again, we could have done trips which didn’t involve the car as well.

 

Emma Knights 
Anything else you’d like to add today Becky?

 

Becky Campion 
When’s the next game of Chinese Chequers booked in?

 

Emma Knights 
Well, if you’re going to provide the board as I haven’t got mine yet, I’ll play you tomorrow!

 

Becky Campion 
Okay then!

 

Julie Hunt 
I think I’ll leave it to you both, unless anyone wants to play Happy Families?!