About Me

We moved out to Portugal to live a frugal but better , simpler and peaceful life, our house is a very basic, semi ruin, up in the hills outside Figueiro Dos Vinhos, where we work our land, enjoy life with each other and our dogs, and hope to make the smallest carbon footprint we can,

Monday, 10 October 2011

Guest Post.

Kerri Ware from Economy Car Hire posts for us...

Some Tips for a Frugal Trip to Portugal

The cost of everything seems is always on the rise with no mercy. Even the price of everyday essentials like bread, milk and veggies make your eyes pop lately. But even with the cost of living at an all-time high, none of us seem willing to sacrifice our break away; that one period of the year when we can escape the daily grind and forget our worries. The dark side of a relaxing break is usually the price tag though. The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way; your holiday doesn't have to cost a fortune. We have put together some tips to help you  have a frugal trip to Portugal so that you won't have to sacrifice  your highly anticipated holiday and you can still have a great time without squeezing the living daylights out of your pennies!

Where to rest your head
Where you rest your head on holiday is usually a pretty big part of a trip away. Some yearn for a 5* luxury hotel but they are not only  outrageously expensive; they can on occasion be a disappointing experience too. Plus, will you even use the amenities or wear the bath robe provided? Why not consider some cheaper accommodation options such as a hostel or camping or caravans. After all, isn't the essence of a holiday the new  experiences you get to encounter and the new people you can meet along the way?  You can tick both of these off the list by staying somewhere that maybe you wouldn't normally consider. Not only will the bill be
 considerably cheaper, it will give a better feel for the area in Portugal that you choose to visit. Camping is a great way to enjoy the  outdoors and you will have the benefits of a kitchen if you stay at a  hostel. You'll note the word 'youth' has been dropped from the title these days - the majority are totally family friendly!
Another very worthy option to consider is a home swap holiday. With some research you can find some great places to stay for free with the  all the comforts of home, except in somebody else's house. In turn, they stay at your home and look after it whilst you are away! This is the ultimate way to be frugal when it comes to accommodation.

 Satisfying a rumbling tum
Eating tends to be the next big expense on your trip to Portugal. On  the plus side, this expense is one that is easily reduced. Wonderful weather, beautiful backdrops and delicious local delicacies equal one  thing, the perfect combination for a picnic. Bypass the cafĂ© lunches, head to the local supermarket and load up on some cheap local food to  eat outside at lunchtime.You can also keep your eyes peeled for the fruits of nature during  your excursions and get your foraging fingers at the ready. You may be  lucky enough to spot some wild fruit growing, like berries or figs but  maybe more. Be sure to check you're not on private land before picking though. They can be a yummy addition to your picnic, or make for a tasty  breakfast the next day. The local produce is delicious and you can probably throw together a  delicious meal together in the hostel kitchen just as well as at that overpriced restaurant down the road. light up a candle and create your  perfect ambience. Eating well is usually one of the best parts of a trip away for most  of us so by all means, do treat yourself, but try to eat like you do at home with some occasional treats and you won't break the bank.

 Getting from A to B

The best and cheapest way to get around is of course on your own two  feet and a great way to see sights that you may not have otherwise seen. Sometimes that isn't always practical though. On holiday, lift sharing   isn't going to be an option either. Taxis or transfers can be costly and if you anticipate several  journeys having your own transport could work out more cost effective  for you. Car hire in Portugal is worth considering but be sure to  research what's included, book in advance and go for the smallest vehicle you can to get the most from your money.

 Out and About

There's plenty to see all over Portugal but the cost of entry tickets can add up, especially for a family. With that in mind, your first  stop should always be the tourist information centre where you might  find leaflets with money off coupons or multi attraction passes which will knock a percentage of the price off. Avoid the souvenir shops and opt for something a bit more authentic to remember your time here; pick a shell from the beach or get that stunning sunset photograph blown up when you get home.
Don't go overboard and scrimp on every inch of your holiday in Portugal, after all it's the one trip of the year we all look forward  to but at the same time, a little frugal living can go a long way and  help to save some pennies without sacrificing on your enjoyment.