French Fun Focus – Save Money On Your Next Holiday


Welcome to the first of many Focus related posts. Saving money does not need to mean staying at home and watching life go by. So I took my wife and car on holiday (when that was still allowed) to a holiday home in France. Let’s have a focus on french fun. Bonn Appetite. I promise that will be the last time I attempt any needless french references. Maybe.

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Before taking the car on a long journey, give it a quick check first. Check the tyres for proper inflation. Make sure the lights work, and are clean. If taking the car abroad, you may need to fit headlight beam deflectors since much of Europe drives on the right. There are plenty who offer a number of travel kits that make this process very simple. Even for some lazy whatsit like me. So my wife tells me. Ensure the car has been properly maintained before setting off. A little bit of effort to avoid ruining our holiday. Also, the fines for not doing this can be very expensive. On extreme cases they can even see you without a car. Keep life easy and cheap to get to the holiday, so we can spend more while we’re there! See, there is a point to all this.

Taking the car offers more flexibility and simplicity than getting a passenger train or plane. We are fortunate when we do these trips as the destination is not too far into France. This means I don’t have to fill up the car while we’re away. Filling up on the continent can be expensive, especially when most of the journey relies on motorways. Driving economically on the motorway pays dividends, and comes very naturally after a long day of travel. Fortunately, with my fuel saving driving tips, I can get around 400 miles to a tank if I’m careful or if someone asks to slow down. The latter happens a lot. I should probably start listening at some point.

One point about the train journey that may help. I’ve noticed a few drivers switching the engine on as soon as the train is stationary. This to me is a waste, as it may still be a few minutes until the doors open and we can drive off. Better to look through the windows of the car in front. When the car in front of that sets off, that’s when we fire up our engine. Simple tip that saves money with next to no compromise, and we don’t hold anyone up. Instead we aid the environment and the air we’re breathing. A definite win win. We haven’t even left the train yet and we can already afford an extra croissant.

We end up in a lovely, quiet part of France called Le Touquet. It’s around a 50 mile drive from the channel, and should be well within anyone’s fuel range. Situated towards the north west corner of France, sandy beaches, refreshing walks and friendly locals await. A very easy recommendation, especially if you don’t like long journeys but still want to feel like you’re having a ‘proper’. holiday. As a bonus, the supermarkets also stock enough wine to keep anyone happy. Great news for the wife, and therefore great news for me!

Most of the car’s we see on the continent are relatively small, as are the parking spaces. Clearly this is the way forward. The Focus fits right in, both literally and metaphorically. It’s size is ideal for driving round the small roads, and soaking up the culture. The not so secret to a good holiday car is a car that comes with few worries so we can concentrate on the holiday. The focus is one such example.

Fortunately, the Ford has a large enough boot to make the most of the French produce. One really can stuff a surprising amount of snails, croissants and wine in the boot. It’s size means that even though I’m now driving on the ‘wrong’ side, I have no worries about setting off in junctions, or overtaking. The winding roads through the villages are right up the Focus’ street. When we’re abroad, we don’t want to be worrying about our vehicles. We just want to able to enjoy the roads and the scenery. I can also enjoy the fact that if I have the windows down far enough, I can’t hear the pleas to slow down.

I highly recommend looking into taking our own car onto the continent as an alternative to booking trains, booking taxis, and having to carry our luggage around. It can be cheaper and more convenient overall. As long as you don’t worry too much about parking, and can spot the speed cameras, it can take an element of stress out of a holiday. Saving money by taking the car on holiday is definitely the way to make progress. When we are allowed to again, obviously.

Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts?