We’re all going on a (budget) summer holiday – part 1

When I look back on my childhood some of my favourite memories were of the summer holidays. I try my best to make sure my kids will have that same feelings when they are grown. While we don’t have lots of money we still manage to have an amazing time on a budget. Keep reading to find out where we went on holiday and some of omy top tips for saving money with a large family.

Day 1

We have to travel in 2 cars because we don’t have a 7 seater plus stuff. ALL of the stuff. If you want to read about packing wisely this is not the place. I take it ALL. The Mr set off first with our oldest boy to get our Aldi shop en route. There’s tip 1 do not under any circumstances take all the kids shopping with you on the way. It will be a nightmare and make you want to scream. Trust me I have made this mistake before! Unfortunately, this was the day that the Hubsters car decided to quit working. Not very convenient at all. Luckily (ish) it was pre shopping and he was not far down the road. While we sorted out recovery me and the 3 younger kids decamped to my mum’s which was just 5 minutes up the road. Recovery takes a long time and we were fortunate enough to be able to borrow another car so we could still get to our holiday destination. It was very late afternoon by the time we left but as we were traveling to West Wales it was just 1 hour away. We did have to ditch the shopping idea for that day however.

We stayed at the Woodland Vale Park, Ludchurch. We have stayed here twice before. This is the second time we have privately rented with Heidi and her caravan is just perfect. And very reasonably priced. It is luxury with all the extras you need for a holiday. The site itself has an indoor swimming pool, small shop, clubhouse and a park.

We unpacked and had a relaxing evening at the caravan. We had planned to cook most meals at the caravan but due to the circumstances we had to stop at McDonald’s on the way. The children were thrilled with that little development!

So tip 2 to keeping the cost down is aim to cook as much as you can in the caravan. We take simple things like dried noodles, rice pots and cereal. There is a large fridge freezer here so when we got to Aldi the next day we got chips, nuggets, burgers, jacket potatoes, salad, pizzas, bacon, eggs, sausages and foods to make for a picnic. Convenience over nutrition this week my friends but it’s all part of the fun. Tip 3 while we are talking about food is take a picnic on your days out. We ALWAYS take a picnic wherever we go. We do buy ice-cream as a treat though on the way home.

Day 2

While I got the children ready for the day the Mr headed of to the ‘local’ Aldi for supplies. It was a bit of a grey, damp day so we had one indoor activity planned and that was to visit the Blue Lagoon.

The Blue Lagoon is part of the Bluestone complex but you can visit the pool as a day guest. Now it is not a cheap activity for a large family but they do discount online bookings. However, we had a complimentary pass because at our previous visit a couple of the toddler activities were broken so we wrote a complaint. Which leads me to tip 4. You are not being cheeky if you have a legitimate complaint. If something falls short of the standard you expect and paid for it is reasonable to complain. That is how we got a complimentary visit.

We returned that afternoon to relax for a bit and get ready for an evening at the clubhouse. The disco was pretty quiet but we made our own fun. Although the 6 year old rediscovered his fondness for the tuppenny slots.

Day 3

We woke to a glorious day. Completely unexpected too! We all knew that meant a beach day and quickly got ready and packed a picnic. Tip 5 take a cool bag and freezer packs with you on the holiday. We have a small and a large cool bag. This is what we take to the beach: windbreaker, picnic blanket, towels for children, flipflops/beach shoes, change of clothes for the littles, picnic, body boards, buckets and spades and our new addition is a dingy. God knows how we’re going to carry that too. Most of it gets loaded on the pushchair and we do have 2 bigger kids that help carry. It is a bit of a mission to get everything there but when we are there we have everything we need and don’t need to spend any money. Except the ice cream of course! Tip 6 we have in the past, if money has been really tight skipped the ice cream shop and bought a multipack of cornettos/magnums from a supermarket.

We parked at South Beach car park in Tenby and took the short walk to the South beach entrance. This is a really cheap car park £3 for the whole day but it is a bit further to walk to the North beach/Castle beach. There are a few entrances with steps down onto the beach but there is also a slope for pushchairs. We set up not to far from the end of the slope because we had a shed load of stuff and also the pushchair to carry.

The sun was glorious, the views were even better. There was a little walk to the sea shore as the tide was right out when we arrived but the water was lovely and warm. Big little and little little were having the time of their lives. Little big was loving it too! Big big was a bit too cool to hang out with us so he went for a look around the shops. We built sandcastles, dug holes and buried dad in the sand. He was meant to look like a mermaid but I guess a sculptor I am not! The picnic was lovely, that was until a seagull swooped down and stole my sandwich literally as I was taking a bite out of it! Cheeky swine! I’m like Joey, I don’t share food! We had our ice-cream on the beach watching out for the gulls that were actually circling!

We didn’t realise the time it was such a great day so realised we needed to head into Tenby for some chips. Again little bit of a further walk but opposite the multi storey car park is a lovely chippy. Great prices and portions and very good food. We fed the 6 of us for £20. There’s a grassy area to the side of the chip shop and we sat on the picnic blanket under the shade of the tree and it was delightful.

We had a relaxing evening in the caravan playing card games. I knew they had cards there but tip 7 is to take card games, board games, jigsaws, colouring books. Take it all because if you don’t it will rain for your whole holiday and you will spend a small fortune trying to entertain the kids.

Tip 8 is mainly for parents of toddlers. Get yourselves one of these tot seats. I won mine on a local quid bid site, for, well a quid! It’s turns any chair into a high chair. This was so fab at meal times but also when we were cooking as he was safely contained and really liked it!

So that concludes part one of this blog and the first half of our holiday. Make sure you come back next week to see what we got up to the rest of the holiday and what other tips I have to share with you all or subscribe to get it straight to your inbox. Let me know your holiday tips in the comments.

Love and peace xx

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