The only way my partner was going to let me out of the house this summer for a long weekend in the highlands was if I promised to do it on the cheap. So I decided to rise to the challenge.
We’ve been saving for a deposit on a new house for what seems like forever now, so it was essential for me to not blow our budget on my selfish need to escape the rat race once every six months. So I’m writing this blog post to say thank you to her for her patience and understanding, but also to prove just how easy it is to shave a substantial amount off a break like this if you want to.
I started by looking at my van insurance policy, I was going to be using the vehicle for the first time in ages and was surprised by just how much the MoneySupermarket website said I could save. That move alone freed up nearly £200, but I decided to go a bit further and see what I could do to free up some more cash.
I went on eBay and shifted all my old rock climbing gear – the stuff I had either grown out of or just didn’t need for this particular adventure – and managed to raise an extra £270. I was looking pretty good for my trip and only needed to find an extra £130 to meet my budget for the weekend – something I managed to do quite easily thanks to some savvy behaviour the year before that meant I was due some cash back on my mobile phone contract!
Of course, raising the money was one thing, but spending it wisely was another. When you get to my age, a day spent hiking, rock climbing and kayaking needs to end with a bath and a good meal – so camping was not something I wanted to do for the whole trip. However, if you’re given the chance to take in the beauty of places like Glencoe and the Kyle of Lochalsh, you’ll want to spend at least a couple of nights under the stars and in the bosom of nature.
So, I decided to split the trip into two, for the first few days I would take the very cheap option of a tent – and spend some time taking a few relaxing walks and simple activities – then follow that up with three days of tougher pursuits with the promise of a comfortable (but affordable) room in a B&B at the end of it.
So all in all, it’s worked out just fine. I get my adventure in the highlands at no extra cost to the family and my partner is happy to have me out from under her feet for a week. She’ll be even happier when she realises I had enough left to buy her a little thank you gift on the way home from that craft jewellery store she loves in the Lake District!