Last year, I made a promise to myself that, as a family, we would travel as much as we could afford to during 2017. I’ve been reflecting on 2017 over the past few days so I thought I’d share a little update with you to see how we got on.
If you’re interested in know why we chose to spend a good proportion of our spare money on travel during 2017 then you can find out why here but the result of our decision was that we spent a lot of time hunting for bargains and saving money where we could to be able to afford to pay for our travel plans. It’s not a decision we took lightly because there are plenty of other things we could, and possibly should, be spending our money on but the memories we’ve made as a family this year will stay with us for a long, long time.
We may not have our new living room carpet (we were so close to having the money for it when we used the savings for Milan) and there may have been times throughout the year that we had to be super super frugal but it was worth every single penny we spent!
New York – April 2017
This was our splurge holiday but even then it wasn’t ridiculously expensive as there was only Miss Frugal and me travelling. We could have got it cheaper but Mr Frugal was slightly concerned about us travelling all that way on our own and for some reason, he decided he’d feel better if we were travelling with British Airways as they’re an airline he trusts. Sounds odd, I know but we got a great deal with them and stayed in an amazing central hotel.
We shopped, we went to a New York Knicks game at Madison Square gardens, we saw all the sights, we tried on jewellery in Tiffanys, drank lattes in just about every Starbucks in New York and generally had an all-around amazing time.
Milan – May 2017
This was our super bargain holiday and actually the holiday we booked using our living room carpet savings! It cost just over £400 in total for the four of us for four nights including a stay in a 4* hotel with breakfast. It was VERY hot with temperatures that were uncomfortable for the majority of the time although luckily, our room had amazing air con.
We did the San Siro football stadium tour, we shopped, we got the train to Lake Como and we generally baked in the much too hot sun. The heat coupled with the fact that we got a family room with us all squished into one space meant that there were quite a few squabbles. We had a great time but definitely learned that we need more space for family holidays from now on.
Isle of Wight – July 2017
This holiday was booked a good 10 months in advance as we were travelling with some very good friends and although it rained – a lot – we still had a brilliant time!
The Isle of Wight is a beautiful place and the fact that we were enjoying it with friends made it even better! We had a 3 bedroomed very large caravan which made getting our own space much easier which meant everyone got along much better than in Milan.
Nice and Monaco – October 2017
This was my favourite holiday of all from this year! It was another Easyjet bargain so it didn’t cost us anywhere near as much as you’d expect! Even now, just thinking about it makes me so happy because we laughed so much as a family and it was exactly what I would have wanted out of a holiday.
Our hotel was amazing, everything went smoothly and for the whole time we were there, the kids got on amazingly which believe me is rare. One moment really sticks in my mind though, we were sat on the beach club settees while the kids played in the sea and I walked down to take some photos and heard them laughing. Now obviously they laugh a lot anyway, we all do, but genuinely, the delight in their faces and in their laughter actually gave me a bit of a lump in my throat.
So, we might have had to scrimp and save to pay for our travel this year but honestly, I’d do it all over again. We’ve genuinely made the most amazing memories, discovered new places and had some great times together as a family and that’s priceless to me.
I know my days are numbered as far as the kids actually enjoying spending time with us so I’m making the most of every single moment and I urge you to do the same, however you choose to do that. For me, it’s travel and I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings us.
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