Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'A taste for seafood could break my holiday budget'

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The Independent Online

So, it's settled. I'm going to Penzance. Hooray! I've even booked my accommodation. This, you understand, marks a whole new departure for me: my first adult holiday, staying neither in a tent, nor in a youth hostel – and it's booked. Booked, and within budget.

True, I've had to abandon my first choice of destination – I rather fancied the idea of renting a cottage in St Ives – and my budget is to be stretched to an absolute maximum (accommodation for the whole holiday is to come to £250 per person, a hefty though not horrendously impossible amount). But still, it's done. Done, dusted, and accounted for.

We'll be staying in a little cottage by the harbour – which, judging by the website, is going to be absolutely beautiful. Quite how we've managed to get such a decent price, I don't know.

Virtually every other one I had looked at was pushing £600 per week – well, that or they were booked up months ago. The company, Cornish Traditional Cottages, sounds sensible enough – they've been going some 40-odd years and were more than helpful when it came to recommendations, bookings and so on – so, fingers crossed, all should be well.

All that's left worry about, then, is transport. Penzance, of course, is miles away. I couldn't have chosen a further-away spot in the whole of Cornwall. Train travel remains inexplicably expensive (how can it cost so much when easyJet gets you to Turkey for a quarter of the price?) – too expensive, really: well over £100. Car rental's not much cheaper – though the fact that it's any cheaper at all is rather baffling given how much more comfortable it promises to be.

Not to mention, with a car we'd get to keep it for the week and pooter around Penzance at our leisure. I can't really see what other options we have. Coach, possibly, or hitch-hiking (desperate measures). Is it too far to cycle? Probably.

And, of course, there are the inevitable living costs to be considered. One of the reasons I opted for a cottage rather than a B&B was for its self-catering facilities, but I know – I just know – that the temptation of eating out at least some of the time will be too great.

And why not? One of the things I'm most looking forward to is the seafood, though I'll have to exercise more than a fair bit of restraint if I'm to stay in budget. So there we have it: holiday booked, within budget (just), but a whole host of new dilemmas to be considered. Plus ça change.

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