Holidaying On A Budget in 2012 – A Guide To 5 Holiday Destinations That Won`t Break The Bank

Holidaying On A Budget in 2012 - A Guide To 5 Holiday Destinations That Won`t Break The Bank

by David Redmond on 3 Apr, 2012

Currently many people are struggling to find the money for a good quality holiday that in previous years they could have afforded. Instead, they are happy to go on a budget holiday that at least allows them to get away from the rat race temporarily. With increased airfares due to escalating fuel costs, flying with a budget airline doesn’t even guarantee a cheap flight these days. The spending money you need for dining out, car hire, excursions and souvenirs means it can be difficult to stay within your budget.

With the above in mind, here are five potential holiday destinations that won’t break the bank:

St Malo, Brittany, France

For a family of four, it may be cheaper to travel to France by car and sea rather than having to pay for flights, although it may take you longer to make the journey. Brittany Ferries provides a service several times a day from Portsmouth and Plymouth to St Malo and Roscoff in Brittany. They even operate an overnight service, with the crossing taking approximately 9 hours. Bringing your own car with you on holiday means you won’t have to hire one when you arrive in France, which will save money.

There are some beautiful towns to visit, such as St Malo, Dinard and Dinnan, along with a spectacular coastline. One of the cheapest forms of accommodation around St Malo is to hire a large six-berth tent, which will come equipped with electric lights, a fridge, towels, bed linen and proper beds for a good night’s sleep. There are a number of tent-hire companies available. Temperatures in Brittany are similar to those of the UK, so it is best to travel in the spring, summer and early autumn.

Estepona, Andalusia, Southern Spain

A good thing about visiting this part of Spain is that it has around 300 days of sunshine each year, so you can fly there outside of the summer season and still enjoy the warm sunshine, with temperatures as high as the upper 20 degrees centigrade. From the UK, there are numerous three-hour flights throughout the day into Malaga, where you can hire a car and quickly get on to the motorway and head west along the coast to Estepona. There is hotel accommodation to suit all budgets, together with a wide choice of self-catering options. You may wish to consider an all-inclusive deal, which can often prove more cost effective.

If you can drag yourself away from the beach, there are many places to visit such as the Alhambra Palace in Granada or the cities of Seville, Jerez or Cadiz. In Jerez, you can watch the famous Spanish white horses perform. You can dine out in one of the restaurants in the many “white villages” situated in the hills above Estepona.

Wierre Effroy, Nr Boulogne-sur-Mer, Nord-Pas-De-Calais, France

A great thing about visiting Nord-Pas-De-Calais is its close proximity to the UK. You drive your car on to a transporter at Folkestone and a train takes you on the thirty-minute ride under the English Channel to arrive in Calais. For a family of four or five people it is a cheap journey as you just pay for the vehicle, not the number of passengers. There are trains running two or three times an hour. It is better to book well in advance to get a cheaper fare.

When you drive off the car transporter in France, you are on the motorway within two to three minutes and will arrive in Wierre Effroy in about 25 minutes. In the locality there is a choice of staying in self-catering accommodation known as gites, quaint country inns, guesthouses or small hotels to suit your budget. There are some lovely places to visit, such as Le Touquet which is a 45-minute drive away on the coast and is where many Parisians spend their summer holidays. You will be surrounded by beautiful countryside to explore. Temperatures are similar to those of the UK.

Bruges, Belgium

A cheap way of travelling to Bruges is on the Eurotunnel. The car journey to Bruges along the motorway network takes around three hours. A wonderful time to visit is in December for the Christmas Markets, which consist of dozens of stalls selling food, drink and gifts. Bruges is an ancient city with many beautiful buildings to admire and museums to explore. It has a canal system you can hire a boat to travel on, although in the winter time the canals are often frozen over.

Bruges is very compact and you can comfortably meander through the streets, stopping for a coffee at one of the numerous cafes. If you are staying in one of the many hotels, some of which cater for visitors on a tight budget, you may find there is no need to get back in your car until you leave. Bruges is also renowned for its Belgium chocolate, so why not spend some of your euros on this local treat? Another “must do” is to take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city, which is an unforgettable experience.

Ile d’Oleron, Nr La Rochelle, Western France

Travel to St Malo with Brittany Ferries and then it is a five-hour car journey to the beautiful island of Ile d’Oleron, which is south of La Rochelle. There is a 3km causeway over to the island, where there is a choice of campsites to stay at. You can choose a site which has tents to hire that come fully equipped with proper beds and electricity and are located within walking distance of the beach.

This part of France is rather warmer than the UK, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees in the summer. You will not go hungry while touring on the island as it is renowned for its stalls selling watermelons by the roadside. You could hire some bikes to visit some of the pretty villages on the island or just sunbathe on the beach. This is a peaceful and relaxing place for a budget holiday.

About the Author

David Redmond

David Redmond is a Partner of Don Gilliard Finance Group. He is a fee-only, independent financial advisor and financial planner. For over 15 years, he has been helping individual investors and their families realize their investment goals.