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As much as it pains me to say it this is increasingly the case.

 

I have set myself a budget of £1000 (excluding spends of course) to get myself, SWMBO and little Miss Blue (aged 7) to the south of France (LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON region) from Lancashire and back with our CR-V and caravan in High Season (End July - Early August - 2 1/2 weeks)

 

I am really struggling to do this on anything resembling a 3 star site. This is also with Tesco Vouchers for the tunnel so that is taken care of.

 

Spent the last 2 days trawling through all the campsite search engines and yes there are sites that cost around £300 for 2 weeks in August but they are quite basic. A fairly decent 3 star site with reasonable facilities all seem to fall around 500 Euros. Fuel to northern Spain last year was around £500 for a similar trip, but OK this may be a little cheaper this year but the Euro difference almost negates this. Add in your toll charges and bang goes the budget.

 

OK we could stop a little further north but I don't see the point of going all that way if you can't guarantee to get good weather.

 

As much as it pains me it is almost looking better value to forget the caravan and just book a static on a site down there and save a little of the stress. Or putting all my Tesco vouchers together and booking a package deal with cosmos or something.

 

Finding it all a little depressing when booking a holiday is normally fun :(

2011 Volvo V50 drivE - Bailey Ranger 500/5

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You are not kidding there I have just booked 3 sites for 3 weeks and working it out at the current Euro rate it come to about £800 for 3 Adults, just like yourself the tunnel is taking care of by Tesco voucher. but I suppose it is still cheaper than a 2 weeks package holiday.

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to be honest, i don't believe it's ever been a cheap option to take your caravan abroad for a 2 or 3 week holiday. 20-25 years ago when our two children were young and we went to the type of site which catered for their holiday needs it certainly wasn't a cheap option. we sat down one time with our neighbours who were confirmed package holidayers and compared what they were paying with what we were paying and ours worked out marginally more expensive. it's always been more about the type of holiday that caravanning gives us than a cheap holiday.

these days it certainly works out cheaper for just the 2 of us - out of season, taking advantage of all the 3 weeks for the price of 2, 7 days for the price of 6, etc. etc. - than doing something similar in a static or gite, at the same time of year and in the same places, even with the offers available for them.

i'm sure it works out even more expensive these days than all those years ago, what with the euro and prices going up, but it's maybe a question of priorities. we used to do without other things throughout the year to save so we had enough for our annual 3 weeks in france as we all got so much out of it. and we did do the package holiday thing for a few years once our boys outgrew the caravan. we've been very glad to get back into caravanning now that their needs no longer have to be taken into consideration, and i can't actually see us ever doing another package holiday apart from city breaks or long haul.

 

sue

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If you just book through the Caravan Club and use their European Sites book.

 

-- you will find it works out cheaper

-- as you pay in £ and the prices were set last July

-- well before the pound fell through the floor

-- I think you are getting about €1. 34 instead of the €1. 02 that you would be paying now if you paid direct to a site. .

 

The Caravan Club has said that their published prices would remain. . till the next book [2010] comes out. .

 

We booked all our sites in January and the club has placed no currency surcharges on us. .

 

Maurice

Volvo S60 D5 (now sold 😥) new Vauxall soon
Happy to meet, Sorry to part, Happy to meet again
48 Year Member of The Caravan Club

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Was it ever a cheap option? I don't think so. OK some years are better than others but every holiday we have been to in Europe has been as much as a package holiday seems to be. It also depends on what the motivation is for going abroad with the caravan. If it is 'just a holiday' there may well be cheaper alternatives. If on the otherhand its about travelling and exploring then cost is not such an important consideration. If all that people with caravans do is travel to their destination as quickly as possible and then stay in one place I could see that staying in a mobile home could have its advantages and perhaps is worth considering.

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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You are right, the journey is as much the holiday as getting there. I think I was just on a downer when writing topic this morning.

 

After a sunny day and an afternoon washing the caravan in lovely spring sunshine ready for Easter outing I do feel a little more upbeat. Just going to have to face facts it will cost more this year. We do want a couple of nice sites so will pay the extra.

 

I use Britannia Rescue for touring abroad via CSMA club and it is cracking value which I hope will never need to use.

 

I have the 2007 Caravan Club Europe book so will have a good read through as that is a good tip re sterling value there.

2011 Volvo V50 drivE - Bailey Ranger 500/5

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a bit of sun on your face makes all the difference doesn't it? i can't wait for our trip - mid may to end of june - and to be sat in the sun, glass of wine in hand, pondering on whether to go to the pool or the beach, decisions, decisions.

i'm sure you'll have a lovely time blistering blue, and it will be worth every penny, some things are beyond price.

 

sue

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Hi BBlue

 

Sorry to add to your worries/costs but whenever I see people mentioning Britannia Rescue I feel duty-bound to warn of our experiences.

 

In 2007 we used BR via CSMA as our European Breakdown cover for our trip to Italy with our caravan. Despite having the car, and its autobox, serviced just before we went we were unfortunate to experience 2 breakdowns.

 

First breakdown near Lake Como when out touring for the day with car only. Electrical fault on car on Friday lunchtime. After 4 hour wait breakdown truck arrived and transporte car to dealer in Lecco. Dropped off car only to be told by English speaking manager that about to close for 4 week summer holiday but arranged for another garage to repair car on the following Monday. Left with car outside closed garage for return of breakdown truck. Two more hours wait and many phone call breakdown truck driver arrived on a MOTORBIKE!!! I think he was hoping to drive the car to the other garage but by then car had been on hazards for so long that battery was flat. Driver, who spoke no English, then went away and returned with breakdown truck and took car away. We were left for another long period on pavement in unsalubrious area surrounded by our belongings we needed from car until finally taxi arrived and transported us back to camp site. On following Monday taken to garage by taxi to retrieve car.

 

On way home 4 weeks later car broke down on motorway in Belgium. Major breakdown transmission warning lights on, gears slipping and so much transmission fluid on carraigeway that a fire engine had to come out and sand it. Although in very dangerous position in area of roadworks and in pouring rain BR's useless foreign agents took over 2 hours to get to us. When I complained to them about having to stand in rain behind crash barrier they asked if I had an umbrella and when I said "no" suggested we sit in the broken down car on hard-shoulder. After 2 hours breakdown truck arrived and took us to depot. Car taken to local dealers and we and 'van taken to local caravan site. In loading 'van breakdown man wrecked 'van handbrake by releasing it by forcing it down without releasing handbrake. After nearly a week local dealer announced that car repaired -"only an oil leak??" Surprised at this verdict but keen to get home so picked up car and restarted journey homewar. Only 10 miles on just as we joined the autoroute again transmission failed and again ended up on hardshoulder. Again long wait for breakdown truck. We stood on the verge expecting someone to hit our unit at any time - a passing lorry did demolish our warning triangle whilst wandering onto the hardshoulder. Finally picked up and transported back to camp site again. I asked for car to be taken to a different dealer but it wasn't. Next day, surprise, surprise major autobox failure was diagnosed.

 

We asked for a hire towcar but none was available so we had to leave car and 'van behind and a hire cars were provided to get drive home in. Car and 'van arrived back in UK nearly 2 months later after frequent failed delivery dates. Car due to be taken to garage and 'van to a depot for a local breakdown truck to bring to our home due to access problems. On delivery day phoned enroute to work by Dutch delivery driver to say that he was looking for our home to deliver car and 'van but was lost. My wife went to meet him and led transporter to our home. Van was hanging off back of transporter, covered in dents and front fairing was smashed to pieces and awning rail damaged on rear corner. Cable on transporter then jammed and wife had to organise friends to help manhandle it off 'van - took 3 hours. £1000+ damage to 'van. It took until the following Easter to get BR to pay for repairs to 'van. BR denied all responsibility for additional damage to car from putting it back on road when had damaged gear box. I had to bear full cost of new auto-box £3000+. Final insult when I sold 'van soon after the repair it was found to be damp and we lost a LOT of money on the sale - I believe the damp was from damaged awning rail sustained whilst being transported home by BR and subsequently awaiting repair but I could not prove this.

 

So BR on Continent a good deal - NOT IN MY EXPERIENCE. In 2007 we were unfortunate enough to suffer another breakdown in Italy. This time we were with Red Pennant. They provided us with hire TOW cars to continue our hols. The first car was driven from Stuttgart to Rome for us. A Land Rover Disco was sent over to Calais for the UK leg of our journey home. Car was returned to us a few weeks later - some hiccoughs admittedly - the windscreen was broken enroute, but RP covered this and all other costs.

 

In the UK BR are good but I would NEVER again use them on the Continent.

Kia Sorento Titan TDI (07) & Bailey Senator Arizona (06-5 Series)with Alko ATC, Powrtouch HD motor mover and Alko shocks

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The longer you can go for the cheaper it works out pro-rata. That may sound daft but once you've paid your ferry and fuel, it's no more expensive to buy food and drink, the only extra is camp site fees and you'd pay them wherever you were.

Nissan X-Trail Tekna + Coachman Festival 450

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In the UK BR are good but I would NEVER again use them on the Continent.

 

Ouch that is not a nice story. Although to be honest I only have the Britannia as extra insurance to cover moving the caravan. My CR-V is a company car and it comes with breakdown cover throughout europe. They will always fix the car but not what you are towing, so hopefully BR will do that.

2011 Volvo V50 drivE - Bailey Ranger 500/5

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Guest iancjc

when I added up our french holiday for 2009 I was surprised at the cost.

 

we used a mixture of booking direct, the cc and alan rogers.

 

Total cost for 25 days including tunnel out and spain - portsmouth back is just shy of £2,000 (this includes an estimate of towing fuel of £300) plus red pennant

 

To put this in perspective our last school holiday in a eurocamp mobile in 2005 was £2700 for 18 nights. .....

 

this puts the cost per night for us at £80 or £16pppn which I reckon is decent value - still better value than the UK as we spend very little when at the beach for the day or playing in the sun.

 

I guiess you pays your money and makes your choice

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Booked through CC. 7 of us going via Portsmouth to St Malo 9 nights. It is just over £1000, cant remember the exact figure. We are having 3 nights at Chichester C & C C site on the way home. Its a hell of a lot cheaper than a package holiday.

Regards
Ian

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We've got three trips booked, a total of fifteen weeks which I don't expect will cost more than £3000 for the pair of us but if I get my act together for next year two longer trips might be more cost effective. ..and the C&CC insurance will cover us for 183 days. I just found those norfolk Line ferry offers too tempting to resist!

Mine: Fiesta; his Mondeo Estate; ours Bailey Olympus534, DD1's Poppy the cocker but she comes with us!

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We've got three trips booked, a total of fifteen weeks which I don't expect will cost more than £3000 for the pair of us but if I get my act together for next year two longer trips might be more cost effective. ..and the C&CC insurance will cover us for 183 days. I just found those norfolk Line ferry offers too tempting to resist!

 

I think you also have to take into account what your living costs are when you are at home ie. you buy food etc. and depending on vehicle use at home you also have to put fuel into it.

When we go abroad with the van we work out our food and fuel bills at home and then knock them off the holiday cost.

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We waited and waited then saw the Condor offer with Camping Cheques for a ferry to Cherbourg which was £192 return in July/August.

Found a site the other side of Quimper which works out at around £150 for 12 nights with H/U.

We dont need the all singing and dancing sites at £500 p/w but if we still had the kids coming with us we would have to have taken that option.

I agree though that it does'nt seem to be good value any more but if you love France as we do you go anyhow.

Have a great hol.

2018 Kia Sorento.            Elddis Capiro 554.

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No, it's not cheap - and I don't think it ever has been.

 

I think part of the problem, nowadays, is thinking in £. This is about holidaying in France so we budget in Euros. It doesn't solve the problem of the lousy exchange rate but it does help with planning how much currency to take etc.

 

We work out the fuel costs (diesel prices in France are available on line) and then budget 45 Euros per day (there are just the two of us) to cover living expenses; site fees and ferry/red pennant etc are all extras.

 

So, this year's plan for 2. 5 weeks in the Loire Valley works out at 1275 Euros (including site fees and diesel) plus about £375 to cover red pennant, ferry, Bristol - Dover return diesel and an overnight stop near Folkestone. Add that lot up and it's the thick end of £1650, so it's not surprising that it's a struggle to get two weeks in the South of France for £1000 . .. there again, perhaps we're doing something wrong :o

The older I get, the better I used to be

 

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We have booked through the CC and for 14 nights in Southern France, including breakdown cover and insurance is costing £970 for 2 adults. That is using the overnight crossing from Hull to Zeebrugger ( including all meals).

 

It's not cheap, but as we only have one main holiday abroad each year, we save up and accept the cost. We try to buy Euros each month throughout the year for our fuel and spending money, and I am looking forward to the holiday already :)

 

Graeme.

BMW X6 M50D + Buccaneer Schooner 2017

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No it's not cheap but when my third, fourth and certainly my fifth child came into the world I thought our holidays abroad were over until we went to France four years ago and have been every Summer since and planning to this year.

Don't think of the cost (I know that's difficult ! ) just think of our last two British Summers and to me, that is the main reason why we all go. :D

650-6 Argente (with appropriate cracks)

Toyota Prado (Landcruiser import)

5 kids, wife, cats & dogs in tow

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I've got to say that having booked via the CC this year I would have second thoughts on doing it independently again, becuase a fortnight (well, 13 nights) plus a portsmouth-caen return, and red pennant has come in at £850, I feel that is pretty reasonable, and as mentioned, would be even more effective if I could get longer off in the summer.

 

Probably won't be as cheap next year, but the that is what budgeting is about.

 

Back to the OP I feel that based on experiences heading to the Ardeche & Provence in the last two years that the £1000 budget would always be a bit optimistic, popular holiday areas in peak season will always demand a premium.

"Scars are souvenirs you never loose"

2010 Swift Charisma Freestyle 550 + 2007 Nissan Pathfinder Aventura.

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Hi there. Taking a caravan abroad as never been cheap as some of the members have stated. Package hol's are ok, if you want to stick to one place, or your not bothered too much about your accommodation, or don't mind sitting in airports for hours and be cattled on to the plane. We had 5 years of it and when our children were growing into their teen's and as soon as they out grew hol's with us, we went back to touring abroad. IThey did love their caravan hol's when they were younger, but throught they wre missing out. It come down to choice: Christine

Edited by chistine

Christine. Lunar Lexon CSL, Landrover Discovery, MGF

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Like others, I don't believe caravaning abroad has ever been that cheap a holiday but you can't beat the friendliness of most campsites, especially when compared to package holiday hotels. when we only had 2/3 weeks for our main hols we often hired tents or caravans (from people like Eurocamp) to avoid the time/cost/hassle of towing to the southern parts of Europe - sometimes we even put the car on the motorrail in France so we arrived fresh the following morning. Appreciate this costs but, what the hell, its was the main holiday :D

now we have all the time we want to get where we are going, wouldn't consider a package unless its long haul where taking the van is difficult.

Bessacarr Cameo 525 towed by SsangYong Rexton 2.2 auto in Brown.

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ivan, i'd forgotten all about motorail. i remember the one and only time we used it, we were dumped out of the train at some unearthly hour in the morning at a station in the middle of no-where, having had very little sleep on those fold-down bunk things. we were all in our shorts and holiday clothes from the south of france, this station was in northern france and it was freezing. we all felt like refugees, bleary eyed and shivering. happy days though.

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I have just done a cost comparison, 2 weeks in a cottage in Devon or Corrnwall that will sleep 7 is anything from £650 to £ 1400. We actually paid £1050 3 years ago. It rained nearly every day as well. So going to France works out about the same sort of money, and I could have saved myself a lot more money if I wasn't taking the Portsmouth - St Malo route.

Regards
Ian

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we've found that by booking with the caravan club as a package we get some really good discounts. This summer we're going peak time because of the children's holidays (end of July start of August). Crossing Dover Calais, 3 nights at Eurodisney, 13 nights in the vendee and 1 night on the way back home. Added to this we've included Red Pennant cover (which we've used in the past and is definatel;y worth the money) and the whole lot was just under £750. I know we've got fuel on top of that and the entrance to Eurodisney but still I think is a responable price for over two weeks summer holiday abroad.

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