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This week's Woman of the World is a 45 year old accounts manager from Manchester, who enjoys idyllic UK mini breaks with her husband and dog
Welcome to Travel Money, woman&home’s weekly feature where we talk openly and frankly about vacations and how much they cost. Each Sunday someone reveals where they went on their most recent holiday, how much they spent on it and how they paid for it. We’ve asked a cross-section of women, from those who planned a blow-the-budget once-in-a-lifetime trip, to those who travel on a shoestring. But they all have one thing in common: fastidious tracking of every penny spent.
“A stunning mini break in the Yorkshire Dales, for just £440”
Age & location: 45, Manchester
Job & salary: We have a combined income of £28,000. I’m a part-time accounts manager.
Family make-up: Married with two sons aged 16 and 21, plus a dog.
Travel habits: We try to do three cottage mini breaks each year.
Saving period: No saving needed – it wasn’t that expensive.
The trip: A two-night mini break in the Yorkshire Dales for £440
We live in busy north Manchester so we love to go to places where there are few people, hardly any dogs and barely any wifi/phone signal. Minimal housework is preferred too!
We chose to go to the hamlet of Heggersdale, not far from Kirkby Stephen. We brought our Manchester Terrier with us, and stayed in a dog-friendly cottage with gorgeous views.
Biggest splurge? A £35 bottle of Bollinger champagne
We bought this to celebrate our friend being a kidney donor match for my husband.
Biggest bargain? The whole holiday
The price we paid for the cottage was actually for three nights, but as we had to work on the Monday we chose to only stay for two. It would have been even better value had we stayed for the full three nights.
The cost breakdown
We stayed at Fellview Barn, a semi-detached cottage in the hamlet of Heggerscale, not far from Kirkby Stephen. I paid a 20% deposit on booking and then the balance six weeks before.
Flights & transport: £50
We filled up the car en route, but as it wasn’t too far to go the journey didn’t cost much at all.
We didn’t do any experiences that needed paying for. The surrounding area is so gorgeous that we mainly just walked around close to the house. On one of the days we walked to a local viaduct called Smardale Gill.
Food & drink: £60
We arrived late on the Friday so had a dine-in-for-two meal in the cottage. We ate breakfast in the cottage both mornings we were there. We took all food with us as we didn’t know if there were many shops, but on the Saturday night we had a takeaway from a local restaurant.
Added extras: £0
It was February and thick with snow so we just took our normal casual clothes plus walking clothes.
Health/medical costs: £0
Travel insurance: £0
Miscellaneous expenses: £10
Even though we took firewood for the open fire, we ran out so had to buy more as it was quite chilly in the barn conversion.
Total cost: £440
The travel editor’s verdict?
A spectacular simple staycation
This week’s Woman of the World isn’t a fussy traveller – and we love that. She had a very reasonably-priced getaway that no doubt recharged the batteries a little without having to schlep half way across the world. It’s good for the environment, the soul and the wallet.
But having to pay for three nights and only use two of them is a bit of an oversight. Finding short-stay self-catering accommodation can sometimes be tricky, but with the rise of sites like Airbnb, there are some excellent options available to book for any number of nights you want. Next time, we’d suggest this gorgeous stone-built cottage just five miles from Kirkby Stephen, or this beautiful barn conversion in Soulby. We’ve got lots of staycation inspiration here, too.
Top travel tip
We’re spoilt for choice for fantastic staycations in the UK, so try swapping your summer holiday in Spain for a week in Britain and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. We love the self-catering options by the Landmark Trust, where you can stay in ancient castles restored to their former glory or sleep in historic homes that once belonged to prominent figures in history.