Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

August holiday vacancy problem solved, some lovely tenants found

In June I posted an article about an August cancellation for our Breton Gite and although I had a couple of enquiries we still had the peak season vacancy a couple of weeks later on.

And then I hit upon a brilliant idea as to how to fill the diary .... we could go !

It's probably a bit worrying that going and using our own holiday home didn't immediately spring to mind when the original guests cancelled, but like last year we'd resigned ourselves to not going in the peak season as we'd not got ourselves organised as to when we wanted to go and had taken guest bookings for August instead. Paying guests also have the big advantage of helping to pay the bills unlike when we go which only serves to reduce my bank account balance!

Liz and the boys had planned to go to Cornwall with her parents and brothers family for the start of August, but as the vacant dates were at the end of the month that wasn't a problem, it only remained to find out if I could get a ferry crossing at a reasonable time and at less cost than the Lichtenstein national debt ... some ferry companies charge outrageous prices for the summer holidays, especially one that shall remain nameless but let's refer to it as "BF" ....

A bit of searching of prices and I was amazed with the deal I managed to get with Speedferries. We're crossing over on the 7:10 from Dover to Boulogne on Monday 21st August and then only wanted a paltry £20 for the car and the four of us. The return journey in the evening a week Friday later would have cost £39 but as I'd already pre-paid for 10 Speedferry crossings at £24 each last year I used one of those tickets instead. By the time we add on petrol and €15 tolls each way it'll come to around £150 for the total travelling cost, but as we're only booking 5 weeks in advance of travelling in the peak school holiday period, I don't consider that bad value at all. Other (unnamed) ferry companies can charge £400 or more so I'm very happy with this.

Incidentally Speedferries are currently doing another special offer of 6 flexible tickets (valid for a year) for just £26 each - £156 in total. Offer ends 23rd July.

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