Travel Money Diary | £491 Lake District glamping pod break

Today, we’re taking a look at a Travel Money Diary for a 3 night staycation in the Lake District.

But first, let me explain what this is all about.

What is a travel money diary?

Cheap Holiday Expert’s Travel Money Diary is where I ask holidaymakers to anonymously share exactly how much their holiday costs and how much they spend whilst on them.

The hope is to bring more transparency to this often unspoken side of spending and allow us all to think about how much we’re paying and whether it’s worth the cost!

Who is Cheap Holiday Expert?

It’s me, Chelsea! And this site is the place where I share all my top tips and tricks to help you save money so you can travel more. Or, at the moment, at least get a refund on the trips that you should have been on. You can also follow my my updates over on YouTube and Instagram too.

Woman holding Polish money out in front of her whilst standing in front of a grand building in a square in Warsaw

Fancy sharing your own travel money diary?

If you’d like to track your own costs for an upcoming trip and share anonymously, email [email protected] with the subject ‘Travel Money Diary‘ for the template.

But for now, let’s crack on with this week’s getaway.

BOX OF BORINGNESS

Just a quick one to say that these are real accounts of real people’s holidays meaning that they’re not my thoughts or experiences and therefore I’m not endorsing any companies or actions detailed.

I told you it was boring.

INFO & SPENDING HABITS

Age
29

Occupation 
Social worker

Salary
£30,000 – £39,999

How many holidays do you go on a year
1 long break and 3 city breaks a year

What type of holidayer are you?
Our big holiday is usually all inclusive – I just want sun, a beach and to chill out. City breaks are more budgeted and are based on where Ryanair flies for cheap and where we can get a decent hotel. 

What’s your general attitude to money when it comes to holidays?
Flash the cash. Or the credit card… Eeeek.

Do you usually have a budget when booking your holiday?
My husband gives me a budget and I’m the holiday booker. I’m pretty good at finding deals.

What’s your budget for this holiday?
As little as possible. Lockdown has taught us that we can be frivolous with our cash and our credit card balances are pretty scary as a result. However, we’re dying for a break after months of being key workers and a national lockdown.

Do you usually keep a track of your daily spends on holiday?
Kinda? We go with a rough idea of what we want to spend, and try not to go crazy, but that doesn’t always work out…

How do you feel about tracking your daily spends in a Travel Money Diary?
I think I’m going to be in for a bit of a shock about how much we actually spend!!

THE HOLIDAY

Blue lake surrounded by rugged mountain landscape. There's a blue sky and clouds in the sky.

Lake District, UK

2 people

3 nights

Destination
Keswick, Lake District, UK

Dates
September 2020

Duration
3 nights

Who are you travelling with?
My husband

Who paid for the holiday
Me – courtesy of my credit card!

Where and what did you book?
A glamping pod at Mosedale End Farm in Keswick

How much did it cost?
£90 each for the 3 nights

How did you book?
I booked with the farm directly through their website

How are you getting there?
We’re driving up in our car so it’s running costs only

Starting Total:

£180 / £90 each

DAY 1

12pm  Diesel – £45.20 / £22.60 each
We get on the road and fill the car up with diesel. I also do the air in my tyres for the first time in six months… Thanks lockdown.

2pm – Food and drink – £14.90 / £7.45 each
Pull into Tebay Service – AKA the BEST service station in England. Ignore the farm shop for the first time ever as it’s full of people who can’t social distance. Go to the hot food counter and order two sausage rolls, two portions of chips, a coffee and a cold drink.

6pm – Supermarket shop – £91.58 / £45.79 each
Finally get to the pod but then it’s straight to the supermarket for breakfasts/snacks/drinks for the week. The closest supermarket is Booths which is POSH and we get a bit carried away buying fancy cheese, bread and meats that we wouldn’t normally but – but that’s what a holiday is for right?!? I can’t believe the price when we get to the checkout though and as we leave we spot Morrisons across the road. Whoops.

8pm – Dinner – £0
All settled in we tuck into our fancy picky tea and have some gins. Let the holiday begin!

Total:

£151.68 / £75.84 each

DAY 2

10:30am  Breakfast – £0
Made breakfast at the pod from the food that we’ve already bought. I’m being ‘pretend healthy’ and have greek yoghurt with some granola and fruit compote I made at home before we came up here. 

11am – Hand sanitiser – £6 / £3 each
Drive into Keswick and realise I’ve forgotten my hand sanitiser. Go to Boots and begrudgingly buy more.

11:30am – Fudge – £10 / £5 each
Holy sh*t, a fudge shop. It smells outrageously good. Have to buy three bags. Just have to. It’s good to support local businesses, right?

12pm – Lunch – £34.85 / £17.43 each
Lunch at a The Royal Oak which is a lovely pub we stayed at years ago. We both have a huge main course each and drinks.

1pm – Ice cream – £5 / £2.50 each
Found a really cool little shop serving gelato! How could we resist?! One giant scoop each.

1:30pm – Exploring – £0
Drove down to the lake near town with the intention of going for a walk around it. Realise that there’s literally nowhere to park as the place is PACKED. Started to get annoyed and then realised that we were part of the problem – haha! Drove back to the pod to go and look at nature without anyone about. Spend the rest of the day exploring the farm – including feeding the chickens on site! – and just chilling out. Very wholesome.

7pm – Dinner – £33.15 / £16.58 each
Go for dinner at the nearest pub, The Mill Inn. We order but there ends up being a huge 1.5 hour wait on food! When the food finally comes, we have a main course and dessert each. The food was delicious at least – I had a really good steak and Diane sauce – and when the bill comes the manager has taken our drinks off! Result.

Total:

£89.00 / £44.50 each

Boats sitting on the waterfront in Kewswick, a town in the lake district. The sun is setting and in the distance, across the water, you can see land.

DAY 3

9am Breakfast – £0
Breakfast at the pod – yoghurt and granola again.

9:20am  Picnic- £4 /£2 each
Today is the day we’re going on a hike so we’ve made ourselves a picnic, supplemented with a couple of extras from the farm’s honesty pantry – they had a little fridge and selection of snacks you could purchase including homemade sausage rolls and sandwiches. We buy one sausage roll, two bags of crisps, a homemade flapjack and a bar of Dairy Milk.

9:30am – Walking – £0
Start walking up Blencathra which google calls a ‘hill’ – it definitely looks like a mountain from here though.  We’d wangled free parking by talking to the pub manager from the night before, who said that we could park there as it’s the start off point.

10:30am – Picnic time – £0
I come back down because quite frankly, I figured mountain rescue have enough to deal with. It’s really muddy and I didn’t realise I was attempting some kind of agility course. Husband carries on. I walk back to the car, and go back to the pod for a hot shower, a brew, and to eat the picnic I’d made in bed. This is a much better use of my day.

4pm – £51.70 / £25.85 each
Meet husband at The White Horse Inn at the end of his walk. He destroys a pie and chips with a beer and I have a lamb dish. We both have sticky toffee pudding. A thoroughly uninterested teenager hands us a bill for £51.70.

7pm – £0
Snacks, a couple of drinks, and a police documentary on telly. We’ve been really lucky tonight and we can stargaze as it’s a clear night with no light pollution where we’re staying. I see three shooting stars and wish for a rich relative I don’t know of to die and leave me all their money.

Total:

£55.70 / £27.85 each

The top of a large hill, called Blencathra. It's cloudy near the top and in the distance you can see a paraglider.

DAY 4

9am Breakfast – £0
Finish up the last of the yoghurt, pack up and hit the road.

9am  Diesel – £14.80 / £7.40
We top up the diesel to get us back home and manage to avoid spending thanks to the many, many snacks we still have leftover from our supermarket shop.

Total:

£14.80 / £7.40 each

Woman driving a car on a road

TOTAL COSTS

Accommodation – £180 / £90 each
Diesel – £60 / £30 each
Food and drink – £245.18 / £122.59 each
Extras – £6 / £3 each

Total:

£491.18 / £245.59 each

FINAL THOUGHTS

Absolutely lovely little break, but for me it’s a reminder that I can often get us something abroad for cheaper or the same, and then I wouldn’t have had to drive everywhere!!

That said, I definitely could have planned things a bit better in terms of taking booze and snacks from home, but meals out are part of the fun of holiday.

I do love it up in the Lakes, but think I’ll be giving it a wider berth during Covid, as it was pretty busy and I felt a bit put out for the locals.

The outside of a Molesdale Farm Glamping Pod. Below the wooden pod sits a wooden toilet and they're all surrounded by green bushes and wildlife.

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