Froogs’ final thoughts on her frugal holiday

 Hello Dear Reader,


It’s incredibly windy here again. We watched, in awe, at the sailors in small racing boats and wind surfers airborne above the waves. Out of the wind has been incredibly warm and we’ve been out an about on our bikes again. 

 Now some people who’ve followed me on my tiny tour de Carnac, would not want to holiday like this. They would want meals in restaurants, room service, clean towels every day but that is not for me. We don’t eat out at home, we don’t go on mini breaks, we don’t stay in hotels and we don’t do ‘treats’. I set out to live a consciously simpler life, where I have and do less but appreciate more of what I do have.

 What I have had the most of this week, and I’ve relished it, is time. I’ve sat on the steps of my caravan and watched a blackbird feed her babies. I’ve laid on my back on the picnic table outside at dusk and watched the bats coming out of their roosts. I’ve pulled over at the side of the road to watch windsurfers. I’ve lingered for ages over coffee, lunch and supper. I’ve sat ever so quietly with my head on DB’s chest and just listened to his heart beat. Life has gone so very slowly this week and I’ve loved it. 

 I’ve cycled in the wind, rain, heat and sunshine but have taken each journey slowly and gazed at the beauty as I’ve gone by. I’ve got off my bike on more than one occasions to stick my nose into roses, mimosa and got down to ground level to identify flowers.

 I’ve walked on windswept and empty beaches, collecting shells and have conversed in clunky rusty French with an old gent who has made his living from oysters for all his life. I’ve shut my eyes and chewed and savoured on food that still had a pulse and the flavour embodied the sea itself. I’ve washed it down with wine so chilled that the condensation ran down my fingers.

 I’ve stood and stared and wondered.

 I’ve even managed a tiny chat with locals in the launderette – I was chuffed with that! My French improves by tiny steps each time I come here. I’m not worried if I make mistakes……someone will soon correct me!

 I’ve bought no souvenirs, no tourist tatt. I’ve spent eight euros in total on one box of rose wine. We ate out on the day we arrived (ten euros between us), ate freshly prepared oysters for eight euros each (£6.40) and we’ve cooked for ourselves for the rest of the time. 

 We’ve eaten really well and eaten steaks, oysters, scallops, squid, salad, fresh bread and fruit. We changed £150 into 181 euros and we’ll have enough left at the end of our trip to stock up on wine.

 Holidays should be rare, saved for, savoured and remembered. They should be special and longed for. They should be annual and once only per year………if they were frequent, then they wouldn’t be special. If we had weekends away, city breaks, restaurant outings nilly willy then what do you do for a treat? What do you look forward to if you do all those things any way? If you do all of those things, what makes a holiday special?

 I never went on holiday anywhere until I met Dearly Beloved, it was certainly something I never did with my parents and unfortunately couldn’t afford to so with my own children. I now reflect on how incredibly wealthy I am that I have a week away every year. I reflect on the luxurious food I’ve eaten, that I’ve been warm and dry when the weather wasn’t so good.

 I’ve reflected on my incredible loving relationship with DB and how lucky he and I are to have a week to ourselves. It’s amazing just to have hours of silence and just read together. I can cycle for miles, not discussing the route before hand, knowing he’s somewhere behind me.

 Our week’s holiday including the ferry, insurance, diesel, mobile home rent and spending money has been just under £1000. That is an enormous amount of money, that in all honesty should have gone to pay off another K of my mortgage capital. We had to save hard for this holiday and if we hadn’t been as careful as we had been, then we would not have been able to afford it at all.

 My souvenir of this holiday will be the blog pages I’ve written and the photographs we’ve taken. The greatest part of my week away will be those just before going to sleep conversations where we reminisce about our week in Carnac.

 It’s just been a proper old fashioned ‘rent a caravan by the seaside’ kind of holiday but I wouldn’t have it any other way………..other than having my son and daughter with me, but they’ve long grown out of going any where with mum.

 I’ve got a lot to thank DB for. Thanks for dismantling pallets so we saved money on kindling, thanks for chopping wood so we didn’t need to run any central heating, thanks for having the fire lit early so I could dry the washing on wet winter days, thanks for taking a flask and sandwiches to work every day, thanks for turning the lights out and taking short showers. Thanks for selling stuff on ebay so we had money for car tax and insurance. Thanks for being my very own money saving expert.

 I’ll end with some un-frugal food, but still cheaper than eating out. Arm and a leg Auray strawberries from the market, with egg custard. Big plate of salad with a goat’s cheese pizza.

Every year, I think this is the best holiday ever! Again, this is the best holiday ever. A holiday is important, it’s worth saving for and gives us something to look forward to. There are ways to have a cheap holiday: go in low season, self cater, enjoy the simple pleasures of bike riding and walking, take books to read, craft to do, card games, free wi-fi. You don’t need much when you enjoy what you have, and on any holiday, the most precious thing you have in abundance, is time. This week will top up my ‘lucky to have what I have pot’  for another year. Thanks for sharing it with me. 


a l’annee prochaine , merci  d’etre avec moi pendant me vacance  xxx


Love Froogs xxxx

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31 thoughts on “Froogs’ final thoughts on her frugal holiday

  1. Thank you for the holiday reports. I feel as though I have been on holiday with you. I have finished my decorating and just waiting till Monday for the new carpet. Then, like you, I can get back to quilting. Have a safe journey home.

    Love Dianne – Hereford.

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  2. You have had such a wonderful week, memories to last you through the dark days of winter.

    I really believe that we all need a break and saving for it really makes you appreciate it even more. The way you holiday en france is the way we used to do when OH was well enough to travel. We took most of our food with us buying pate, butter, cheese, fruit and wine to bring back with us. We also used to bring back plants like lavender.

    I do miss those trips I would go again in a flash……..

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  3. I am glad you shared your holiday.
    We have been going to European campsites since 2005 when my children were 5, 8, 10 and 13.
    For the past four years we have been to campsites outside Barcelona.
    We rent a mobile home and are careful.
    I thought our £4,000 budget for two weeks was extravagant however when you break it up it is just over £650.00 per person for two weeks.
    WE have so many happy memories just being together that it is worth every effort.
    This year we can only afford 11 days but each day will be just as precious.

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  4. Thank you thank you thank you.
    It feels like we've been away with you: loved the photos, the descriptions, the simplicity of it all x x x as usual you make being frugal sexy! Missing you, and can't wait to catch up x x x

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  5. Bliss.
    I have really enjoyed reading about your fab holiday and appreciating the simple things in life.
    You are such an inspiration and always remind me to keep in touch with the things that matter.
    Peace, quiet and time to smell the flowers.
    Glad you have had such an amazing time with your lovely soul mate. (he sounds such a lovely guy).
    You are truly blessed. x

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  6. Bliss.
    I have really enjoyed reading about your fab holiday and appreciating the simple things in life.
    You are such an inspiration and always remind me to keep in touch with the things that matter.
    Peace, quiet and time to smell the flowers.
    Glad you have had such an amazing time with your lovely soul mate. (he sounds such a lovely guy).
    You are truly blessed. x

    Like

  7. Totally agree Froogs, our hols are always self catering, we don't eat out. We spend oodles of time on the beach, in the sea,going for walks, reading, just being together and always have a magical time. We went on holiday with other relatives one year it was all shopping and restaurants – yawn !!
    In fact when my lovely inlaws bung us some cash to go to a nice restaurant on holiday we usually scoff fish and chips on the beach 🙂
    Glad you had a lovely time.
    Twiggy x

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  8. This was a beautiful series of posts. Thank you for sharing all the little details and sensations with us. You make a very good case for a special annual holiday and it's obvious you have the gift of appreciation in abundance!

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  9. What a lovely holiday! Girls at work (when I was at work) used to go on about their holidays – you know, hotel fabulous, room great, bathroom etc etc etc. I wouldn't have given tuppence for it. So long as bed is comfortable and sheets clean, somewhere to lay your head with nice hosts, that's all I need.

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  10. I've loved all your holiday posts Froogs. I'm sure you have enjoyed it all the more because you saved so carefully for it.
    This last post was very special and heartfelt . The best holiday souvenir.
    Jacquie x

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  11. I haven't had many exotic holidays but I do love a break. Over the last few years I have become a cruise freak. I don't travel on a high end line and always with a deal. If I am careful I can travel around $100 (AUS) per day. This includes all meals, a cabin, insurance and lots of rest.

    I care for my parents. Mum has many problems and dad has dementia. This year I have had two short breaks. One was 2 nights to sail to Sydney and 4 nights to celebrate my son's 21 st. I drink every moment of these breaks in and am so thankful for them. I guess if I were in your situation I would be crossing the channel but for me this is a great option.

    Thank you for sharing a brilliant week. It did sound so lovely.

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  12. It's been brilliant sharing your holiday.

    We have ours coming up in a couple of weeks, a similar amount of money that has bought us 5 nights in a hotel and flights to and from Guernsey, hotel parking and money to eat out for each night of the week.

    It seems a huge amount of money to pay out for those few days, but quality time together is what fuels the fires of frugality for the rest of the year and sets you on the path of freedom for your soul and your future.

    Some things are worth spending money on.

    So glad you enjoyed yours.

    Sue xx

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  13. I enjoyed following your posts and loved the photos. I completely agree regarding holidays…..they should be special & memorable and saving carefully always ensures that anything, not just holidays, are appreciated more. I have become distant from a once close friend now as she & her boyfriend are always (and I do mean always) just jetting off somewhere.

    It's obviously up to them but the amount they spend is obscene to me. And it's taken all the romance & mystery out of travel for me. I got completely bored of our conversations…..hearing about the latest holiday which inevitably ended with “and we're off to the Maldives next month!” Yawn.

    Anyway thank you for reminding me how it should be. And so glad you had a brilliant time.

    Like

  14. I enjoyed following your posts and loved the photos. I completely agree regarding holidays…..they should be special & memorable and saving carefully always ensures that anything, not just holidays, are appreciated more. I have become distant from a once close friend now as she & her boyfriend are always (and I do mean always) just jetting off somewhere.

    It's obviously up to them but the amount they spend is obscene to me. And it's taken all the romance & mystery out of travel for me. I got completely bored of our conversations…..hearing about the latest holiday which inevitably ended with “and we're off to the Maldives next month!” Yawn.

    Anyway thank you for reminding me how it should be. And so glad you had a brilliant time.

    Like

  15. I have been reading your blog for many months now, and I am now de-lurking in order to say how much you have made me feel homesick this week! I never feel homesick lol! It's been great to read your posts, look at your photos and I am very envious of the wonderful holiday you've had. You are so lucky that your DB shares the same values as you. I hope you have as safe journey home and I look forward to reading your next post, as you are so inspiring.

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  16. I love that you put your vacation in terms of TIME. I think that definition could work very well for me too. Thank you. It was lovely to follow along as you blogged on vacation.

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