Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Jetsetting for the Thrifty!

This holiday is eye wateringly expensive when compared to our usual jaunts to France in the motorhome where our only additional spend over and above normal everyday living costs is the price of the ferry crossing.  There’s been the airfares for both transatlantic and internal flights and accommodation costs in an ski area where quite frankly the property owners have their guests by the short and curlies in terms of the prices that they can command.  Then, there’s skiing itself – not the cheapest sport to participate in.   Even carbon offsetting all our travel comfortably fell into the three figure sum category, food for thought indeed about the impact of our touristic adventures.  And I  haven’t even disclosed what we’re doing in our second week, a holiday highlight indeed, but one which has made the piggy bank squeal!

So here’s how we’re keeping the costs of our travels down  without feeling like we’re scrimping.  After all we aren’t exactly roughing it when we have the luxury of our very own hot tub!

  • Apart from buying ski gear for Louis from Lidl and our french favourite, Decathlon,  we haven’t treated ourselves to pristine new holiday wardrobes.  We’ve made do with what we’ve got, as have our friends.  John is boasting that his ski jacket is about twenty years old and its colour scheme has come back into fashion!
  • We’re self catering and stocked up on food and drinks on our way to the condo before we hit the ski area.  Eating out this week is limited to just one occasion where we’ll be meeting some of John and Julie’s other friends who’re cross country skiing in the same area.  PS:  Food prices in the US are now humungus , for example $10 for arborio rice! We had to modify our menu plan to keep costs affordable and you’ve guessed it there’s now no risotto.
  • Spending on  little trinkets here and there can eat their way through funds nicely.  Instead I’m taking lots of photos that serve as very special mementos of our trip.  So there's no way I'm going to buy this beautiful incandescent picture by Tom Gilleon, on display at the Moonlight Basin lodge with its very cool price tag.
  • I don my cold weather clothing to trudge over to the nearby ski lodge to use the free Wi-Fi there  rather than forking out the $49.99 weekly subscription at our apartment.
  • Shopping around on the Internet prior to going away saved money on ski and boot hire, ski passes (pre-bought on the website Liftopia).  I’ve even managed to hire a car for one day with free fuel for much less than the price of a tank of petrol in the UK.
  • We’re sharing dishes when we eat out.  The portion size is huge here.  Luckily I have a small boy who shares my taste for calamari and was prepared to forego his kid’s meal of burger and fries during our microbrewery lunch.
  • We avoid expensive  pre-booked seats on planes and stick to our luggage allowances.  This does not stop me being highly envious of those wealthy individuals who can afford the luxury of a bed on a plane!
We could have said, blow the expense!  There’s still plenty more in the coffers and now we’re on a roll, why not spend it.  But Mr Lovelygrey and I work hard for our money and like to use it wisely.   And I’m sure our experience will be no less rich because we’re not wearing the latest ski jacket or exceeding our luggage allowance on the way home with impulsively purchased souvenirs.

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