Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'Am I really destined to holiday in the UK this summer?'
In The Red
Saturday 28 March 2009
Have you noticed, it isn't freezing any more? This bodes well for lots of things: my heating bill, my biscuit-consumption, and my state of mind, which tends to wobble after months and months of vitamin D deprivation. It also, however, raises the daunting spectre of summer, and in turn the temptations of the Summer Holiday.
I didn't have a proper holiday last year. Instead, I went to Reading Festival and ended up spending almost as much as I might have had I leapt on a yacht and sailed to Cannes.
Music festivals are immensely expensive. Not to get in – that's fairly reasonable – but to survive. Once there, you end up forking out £5 for a pint of cider, and even more for a sandwich. And the worst thing is, you're normally trapped in a field, flanked by portaloos on all sides, without a hope in hell of getting to the shops.
So, this summer, I'm determined not to repeat my mistakes. My options, so far as I can tell, are thus: number one, stay at home and just skip work. I've done this before, and it's OK(ish). But it isn't very refreshing and it certainly doesn't do anything for that nagging envy one gets after several weeks' worth of celebrity-frolicking-in-the-Bahamas style tabloid coverage.
My second option is to try again, to go to a festival, and to be prepared: take my own baked beans, and my own barrels of alcohol. This is currently competing with option number three, which is to go away, properly, and experience another place.
Obviously, the frugal thing is to stay in the UK. With Ryanair now charging for every on-board intake of breath, it would seem that the days of cheap flying are over – and anyway, everything overseas has shot up in price since the pound toppled.
And yet... somehow, the prospect of two weeks' rainy English coastland just doesn't appeal. To my shame – and this is actually so embarrassing I'm not sure I should admit it – I've never, ever been on a British holiday. This sounds terribly spoilt, but the thing is, for my entire adult, holiday-booking life cut-price travel deals have been the norm. I am of the Easyjet generation. I expect to travel for 99p (+ VAT).
Of course, this isn't normal, and it probably wouldn't have continued for long anyway given the state of the polar ice caps, so it may be for the best to get used to local breaks.
Which is why, probably, I'll be booking a trip to Devon. I say probably, because I'm still not entirely convinced. In the back of my mind, somewhere, lurks the hope of a cheap trip to Spain.
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