Bonjour mes amis!

That’s about as far as my French goes I’m afraid but we somehow managed to scrape by and have a cracking family holiday back in June regardless. As this is a personal finance blog I thought it would be interesting to share the financial details for you, so you can compare to your own experiences or maybe plan ahead if you wanted to do something similar.


pre-holiday budget


Pre Holiday Spending Cost
Accommodation & Ferry £623.3
Holiday Insurance £12
Car Euro breakdown Cover £21.25
Total £656.55


First of all we needed to book some accommodation (duh!) and a ferry over there. Luckily we live just over an hours drive from Dover so the Dover-Calais ferry is the easiest and cheapest option. You can probably get “Le Tunnel” for around the same cost but with a little one on board we thought it would be better to have the 1.5 hour break from being stuck in the car for her to run around (which proved to be a very good decision!). We spoke to people on the ferry with young children that had driven as far as from Sheffield so it goes to show this is possible from the majority of places in the UK as well, not just for us South-Eastenders 🙂

The accommodation was a caravan for 6 days on a Eurocamp site just north of Paris called La Croix du Vieux Pont (Note to future self: they did coaches to Disneyland Paris – so could be a good way to visit there on the cheap!), and then another 6 days on the coast just over an hours drive south from Calais called Domaine de Drancourt – lot’s of nice huge sandy beaches in this area.

Eurocamp offered the ferry (Euro tunnel is also offered) as a package deal and all of that came to £623.30 which is pretty good I think you’ll agree! Both campsites were lovely:

The man made beach/pool at La Croix du Vieux Pont

Our awesome caravan at Domaine de Drancourt


We also stayed at a friends house near Dijon for 3 nights but this would not have saved us any significant amount of money overall because we paid for a big meal out to say thanks for the board and lodging, and also the extra petrol to drive down there. But anyway, if you are going for a full 2 weeks in a Eurocamp around June as well you can probably add another £50-£100 onto the accommodation costs. The usual tips apply here, we just played around with dates to try to see what would work out cheaper, as long as you are flexible on what day of the week you go and come back you should be able to get a cracking deal!

We did discuss getting a hire car for the trip as we were a little worried our old beater would let us down in the middle of nowhere in the French countryside, but instead we opted to pay a little extra for European breakdown cover. Having done a quick search on this and finding a company that did it for £70(!!!) I rang up our car insurance company (Tesco) who said they could add it on to our cover to the end of the year for just £21.25. We got a bit lucky here… you can’t just add it on for 2 weeks, only till the end of your insurance cover period, but it just so happened that ours ran out in July anyway so it ended up being relatively cheap. If we’d got unlucky and our insurance term had just started, this would have costs over £100!!! Either way, something to think about if you wanted to get breakdown cover and haven’t already got it.

Holiday insurance was just done by going on Moneysupermarket and picking the cheapest deal that the basic but decent level of cover… Simples! (Oh wait that’s compare the meerkat isn’t it?! D’oh! 🙂 )


holiday spending budget


Holiday spending Cost
Fun money £1006.70
Petrol £200.56
Total £1207.26


I didn’t exactly track every last penny we spent here so can only really break it down into two categories, Petrol to get us around, and other spending money which I’ve decided to call “Fun money”.

In terms of petrol, we have a Diesel car which tends to be cheaper over in France, once you got off the Autoroutes it was just over 1€ per litre. To give you an idea of how much you will need, we covered 1700 miles on this trip(!!!), which is far more than really necessary if you were just going to go to the couple of campsites that were relatively near Calais, so it is likely you will not need to spend as much as we did here if doing a similar holiday. Conversely, if you plan to hightail it all the way down to the South in your own motor, then up the petrol budget according!

Fun money (i.e. all other spending) was spent on stuff like:

  • Ice creams
  • Other food shopping
  • Cafes / Restaurants
  • Beer and wine!
  • Hats/sunglasses/other little things we forgot to bring or broke while we were there
  • A few little toys for TFS Jr
  • Around 100€ on toll roads (admittedly not that fun!)

With regards the last point, be prepared to pay around 15€ per 250 miles driven on a toll road. The upside of this is that they are so clear compared to our Motorways, I think we had one 15 minute traffic jam in the whole time we were there. If you don’t have small children in the car or can break your journeys down into smaller and more manageable ones, then I would recommend using the normal roads and seeing more of the towns and villages en route. We did this once on the way back up to Calais on the way home and it was much more fun, and stopped at Le Touquet on the way through for some lunch. However with a couple of 5 hour (with no stops) journeys facing us, there was no way we were going to voluntarily increase the travel time, baby TFS is very patient traveller, but not that patient 🙂

We also purchased about £100 of booze to bring home with us while we there, just because, well why not? The wine is still a lot cheaper than over here if you stop in at one of the discount wine stores. I haven’t included this in the budget because this is not really a cost of the holiday and you may either spend zero all the way up to hundreds of pounds on this sort of thing, so that is of course up to you!


le total

As anyone with a sharp mind of a calculator handy has probably already worked out, the total we spent on this holiday was:


Not sure about you but I think that is pretty good for a 2 week holiday, but as always let me know what you think in the comments below? I am sure there are some frugalistas out there doing it for much cheaper, maybe house sitting/swapping and eating with the locals for next to nothing in exchange for some work in the vineyards? Sounds like great fun actually but not so sure that works with a 1 year old in tow! 🙂

Either way, let me know!


other random tips / thoughts

  • To drive in France you must purchase certain equipment which includes:
    • A reflective vest for every adult travelling (must be kept in the glove compartment)
    • A couple of breathalyzers
    • A warning triangle
    • Headlight reflectors (stops you from blinding users on the other side of the road at night)
    • First aid kit
    • GB sticker/magnet for the back of your car
    • We bought ours on Amazon similar to this one (<– affiliate link) for about £25 which did the trick
    • In fact I’ve just thought I didn’t include that in the budget so you can stick £25 on top of the figure above as I can’t be bothered to go back and change the whole post now… 🙂
  • It was very very hot when we went in June – 30-35 degrees celsius! – and staying in a caravan was pretty tough going as it was like a little oven on stilts on many evenings. If we went again we’d consider upgrading to a caravan with Air Con just in case we got such great weather again. So bear this in mind when booking!
  • On the other hand you can also go more basic and stay in a tent, which should be much cooler in the evening in hot weather, but you have the obvious downside of being more exposed to the elements if you get unlucky with the weather.
  • You generally get what you pay for. Don’t expect a luxury caravan for the price above! They were generally functional and I genuinely thought they were nice, but there were a few things a little bit broken or looking dog eared. Anything that we really needed though was fixed promptly after asking the staff, who were extremely helpful and friendly, and also gave great advice on what to do around the surrounding area. Well done to Eurocamp staff!
  • Both the campsites mentioned have many other holiday “homes” that aren’t available via Eurocamp so definitely search around for other operators (and obviously other campsites if you don’t fancy any of the two I mentioned) to get the kind of site and accommodation that suits.
  • There is LOADS to do for kids. Our daughter is happy just toddling around and looking at the floor, at birds in the sky and passing dogs (Oh to be that easily amused again! Haha! I hope this stage lasts for a long time), but for the slightly older kids there is all manner of kids clubs and activities, so I think we’ll definitely be coming back and doing something similar for the next few years at least.

That’s all I can think of for now… again please do leave your comments if you have any further tips/tricks I’ve missed?

Also there are a few more snaps below for your viewing pleasure…

MERCI et Au Revoir! 🙂


Nice lunch by a lake and castle

Swimming pool at the first campsite – exciting!

Check out the rustic / improvised door knobs at my friends house. Very Mustachian 🙂

Apparently this is what people sell at car boot sales in France. Weird

Always nice to finish with a sunset pic!