Dreaming of the beach

 I’ve just been reading all the fascinating comments left on the ‘Carry On Abroad’ blog entry from people who’ve retired to all kinds of exotic places, not just Spain, which has long been popular, but Mumbai in India, Thailand and the Philippines. Wow. What an amazing experience that must be. And the encouragement I took from the comments was that while there might be challenges and it might not be for everyone, most of you are all having a great time. Good luck to you and keep the comments coming.

An exciting exotic retirement contrasts hugely with the grey English skies outside my window. Where has the freak February sunshine gone? It’s naughty, but I have to confess that the lousy weather and tales of retirement in the sun have me dreaming of going on holiday. But if you’re living frugally, how can you? Even staying somewhere in the UK costs almost as much as going abroad these days. At least there’s only the two of us – I don’t know how families manage. Holidays must cost a fortune when there are children too, especially if you can only go during school holidays.  And according to Age Concern one in five pensioners haven’t been on holiday in five years.

Camping is one faint possibility. DJ likes walking and has been trying to get me to go camping with him for years, but I can’t say I’m keen. I’ve got a dodgy back and don’t relish spending the night sleeping on bumpy ground. I went to Glastonbury a few years ago – I’m sure purists would say it’s not proper camping – and took an inflatable mattress with me! But maybe I should give it another chance.

An alternative could be staying with friends or family. I remember when I was ten and we’d just moved house and my parents were pretty skint, Philip, a family friend who lived in Norfolk, did us a great kindness – he stayed with a friend and let us borrow his house by the seaside for free for a week. What a kind thing to do. I remember it was so clean and tidy – we were terrified we’d drop something on the immaculate carpets!

Of course we could just take a week off work at home and potter around doing things. DJ & I did that a few years ago – we pretended to be tourists in London, visiting Kew Gardens, Greenwich, the Cabinet War Rooms and going on tour buses, but it wasn’t all that cheap and it’s not quite the same as getting away from it all and relaxing on a beach somewhere.

Then again, there’s the guy who’s walking to India without any money and plans to work in exchange for food and help along the way. A wonderful idea but not sure my control-freak nature could handle that though!


Are you going on holiday this year or are the costs simply too much? Any ideas for a frugal break?

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3 Responses to Dreaming of the beach

  1. Christine says:

    go youth hostelling – they allow for families nowadays

  2. Christine says:

    House Swap – pick a place where you can get to places of interest with no travelingCaravan holidays – go out of season and choose one near the coast so that you have things to do that cost nowtChoose a campsite in uk with pitched tents again go out of season and choose one near coast or places of interestGo camping with pitched tent in Europe – pick somewhere close to an airport visited by cheap airlines and go out of seasonTravel by National Express coaches – the fares are good Book your train ticket a month in advance – try for two singles which are often cheaper there and back and go out of seasonYou should check the buses locally when in UK – there are often good weekly tickets or day tickets for families so that you don\’t need a car Remember that OAPs will have travel throughout England if you live in England from April to match the Scottish and Welsh tickets which means that if you pick your place you can travel free once you are there. Also remember that the senior citizen railcard does not often come the cheapest as you can often pick up special offers that are cheaper than those offered with your card!

  3. Unknown says:

    We bought a 2nd hand caravan 2 years ago, and take this away on holidays here. We usually have meals in it, using a pressure cooker. We take the dog, and he is very happy, especially after several walks a day, good for all of us. We go exploring the local sites, leaving the dog behind [after his walk]. We found that this is quite a cost effective way of getting away from it all. We have a TV/microwave/toaster and take essentials with us from home. We try to take enough clothes with us so as not to use a laundromat. The last place we stayed at did not have washing machine facilities. If there are facitilies, always stay with your clothes in the machines, one place we stayed at, I left the clothes in the dryer and went off, and when I returned, the clothes were still damp and someone had removed them and used my money in the dryer to dry their clothes! Take a book and read while they are washing/drying.If you rent a cottage, take your own sheets/bedding; I don\’t like duvets, and this way we know where the bedding has been!Diane in Lincolnshire

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