We recently returned from our family holiday trip and because summer was brilliant in Berlin, we decided to stay at home and go on holiday later in the year – cue – Autumn.
I love travelling and my favourite places have been the Czech Republic, Poland, Ireland, Wales, France, Italy, America, Hong Kong, Bali, and Vietnam.
The crazy places have been India and Andorra!
The places that I haven’t liked have been the Dominican Republic, South Africa and Singapore.
We are a family of travellers and in the past five years alone, we’ve been to France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Wales, England, the Isle of Wight, the United States and of course, different parts of Germany. In some situations, we visited these countries a few more times again as we absolutely love Italy, spend our summers on the Polish Baltic Sea and go skiing in the Giant Mountains of the Czech Republic.
In 2012, we went skiing in the Czech Republic for the winter, England in the Spring, Tuscany, Italy in the summer, and Brandenburg, Germany in the Autumn.
In 2013, we went to London for the winter, Osnabrück (Germany) in the Spring, stayed in Berlin for the summer and where did we go for the autumn – The Highlands in Scotland!
It’s been five years since we last went to Scotland and then it was the holiday period in which our son (now to be known as “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I spent quality time alone together.
Believe it or not but I am what is known as “an older yummy mother” as such, it’s important to me that my time is utilised in as qualitative a way as I can, bearing in mind that I’m also a career woman. In that wise, my husband and I (now to be known as “The Music Producer”) also spend some adult time together alone when “The Tall Young Gentleman” is at summer camp in the Bavarian part of Germany, on a school trip with the American boy scouts or with his grandparents in Northern Germany.
Generally, the three of us spend our main holidays together as a family.
Now depending where we are going and when, accommodation can differ. When my husband and I travel alone, its glamour and champagne all the way, with “The Tall Young Gentleman” it’s a mixed bag of bed and breakfasts, hostels and hotels and whenever I travelled alone in the old days, I went as cheap as I possibly could. At one point, my hostel room was mixed with both males and females…..
This time around as I said previously, our family holiday was in Scotland. I am the Chief Organiser when it comes to our family time so of course; I had booked flights at the beginning of the year and started making enquiries about where we were going to go and for how long. In 2014, we are going long-haul to Asia for our much postponed honeymoon LOL! As a result, our 2013 budget had to be as cheap as we could possibly make it.
We decided to spend some of our holiday with my younger brother and his family in Cheshire, England.
I had booked flights with Easyjet at a return flight cost of about €300 for us all. In hindsight, it might well have been better to book a scheduled flight……
I’m doing a Masters at the University of Chester in which I commute from Berlin to Chester roughly every six weeks. My 1st semester course happened to coincide with the weekend that we were supposed to go on our holiday so I had to change my flight at a (luckily?) cost of €43.00 and leave two days earlier…..I was a little worried as this is the first time that “The Music Producer” and “The Tall Young Gentleman” would fly without me and while our son has a British passport, my husband has a German one….
A lone man travelling with a child from one country to the next, doesn’t look good so I wrote a letter giving him permission to take our son outside the country with a copy of my passport and Berlin residential documentation.
They were fine until they got to Britain. I was on tenterhooks and had my mobile phone on full alert in case the authorities wanted to see me as I was on the other side of the airport, but everything went well. Phew!
Our time in Cheshire was spent at the cosy English suburban home of my brother with children, Kellogg’s rice krispies, and chocolate éclairs flying all over the place, until it was time to take our second part of our journey to Scotland.
We were going to Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and Scotland is a pre-historic country rooted from the Celts, the Scots, the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings. Edinburgh as an energetic city, is one of Europe’s most visited and as tourists, we were no exception.
As Britain is my home-nation, I always try to keep an eye out for money-saving possibilities, just in case. As budget was a consideration for this holiday, I had whipped out the article that I kept about a hotel company called “Premier Inn”. I had never used them before and since Edinburgh has a reputation for being outrageously expensive – a budget hotel it had to be. However, not before I had tried my best to find a hostel.
I love hostels.
I am a hostel babe and I’m not embarrassed to tell you that my first point of call is always to investigate the option of a hostel.
Indeed, “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I are veterans. The trick is to go for a private room as the days of a dorm-bed for £2 a night (sigh!) are definitely over, as are the adventures that go with it!
Anyway, I searched and searched and searched. All I could find were party hostels, hostels that didn’t welcome children or hostels that had private rooms so highly priced that hotels were cheaper. Ditto B&B’s. I love a good bed and breakfast but I’m not prepared to pay £120 per night for it.
This isn’t London you know!!
So I had a look at Premier Inn. Their website tells us that they are a budget hotel brand across the UK and Ireland with an emphasis on comfort and quality. I can’t fault them on this as our room had a lovely double-bed, an ensuite bathroom with a bath and shower, a TV, free WIFI for 30 minutes, otherwise a general access to WIFI, a desk, spacious wardrobe, and I have to say, ample space to move around.
We did have a few teething problems at first though as I thought the bed for “The Tall Young Gentleman” wasn’t in the room and for a moment I thought he would have to sleep with us! His single bed was under ours but there were also no bed sheets and towels for him, and only one chair in the room.
On informing Reception, they promised to sort it out for us and when we returned from our day out, his bed was pulled out and made up as I had requested, and there were abundant towels and two more desk chairs in the room.
We had booked the non-smoking family room for 2 adults and 1 child and the room cost?
Wait for it.
A very reasonable.
£98 for 2 nights. That’s £49 a night!
In addition, a £2 booking fee and so all together, a round sum of £100!!
There are 7 Premier Inn branches in Edinburgh so be careful and do your research. We stayed at the Edinburgh Central (Lauriston Place) as we wanted to be within walking distance of The Royal Mile. I’d say about a 15 minute walk: give or take.
This wonderful price doesn’t include breakfast although the hotel does offer it and at least two children under 16 can eat for free if an adult books a premier breakfast too. Adults have to pay £8 for the hot and cold buffet. That would be £16 for my husband and I and honestly, Berlin spoils you. I just couldn’t contemplate paying €24 for breakfast!
So out we went.
The first morning we went to a sweet little café. On the second morning to a workman’s but more likely student caff, that “The Music Producer” didn’t like at all as everything served was plastic including the cutlery. It did have a view of “Arthur’s Seat” though! On our third and last morning, I relented and we had breakfast at the hotel.
We coughed up the extra dosh, had a buffet breakfast at the hotel and you know what, it was perfectly alright!
Premier Inn can be found on: http://www.premierinn.com/
This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my absolute own.
What do you think? Are hotels better than hostels? Are you a hotel magnet? Would you ever set foot in a hostel?
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