Saturday 20 January 2018

The foreign holidaymakers

'I find your money goes further when you're away'

Shania and Paula Wilkins at their home in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Picture: Michael Scully
Shania and Paula Wilkins at their home in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. Picture: Michael Scully
The Spanish resort of Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca

Ray and Paula Wilkins are jetting to Torrevieja in Spain with daughter Shania (13) and her first cousin Sarah (12) on holiday.

Return flights for four from Dublin to Alicante with Ryanair €1,100 + Seven nights' holiday home rental including airport pick-up and drop-off €400 Total €1,500

Dad Ray, who runs personalised sports gift website, says: "As a teenager, 18 or 19, I used to love going off to Tenerife on sunshine holidays. Then you get married and take on a mortgage, and your priorities change.

"Nowadays holidays are a luxury. So when you get the opportunity to go on one, you want to make it the best you can. This will be our third time going back to Torrevieja in Spain. It's a very family-oriented place. I find your money goes further when you're away than it does in Ireland. In Spain, a family of four can eat out for €20. Over here, you're probably looking at 50 quid.

"Staying in Ireland puts too many restrictions on you. One summer, we went to Galway on a mobile home holiday, and it never stopped raining for the week. If you were guaranteed good weather, I think we would definitely consider holidaying at home more.

"But there's no point booking a holiday and being stuck inside for the week. Where we can afford it, we've always gone away.

"Going away gives you quality family time together. There are no distractions: only you and your family.

"It also gives the kids something to look forward to. Whereas you can't get them out of the bed from one end of the week to the other to go to school, when the morning of the holiday comes, they're standing at the door with their bags saying: 'Are we going yet?'"

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