About three years ago I realised that by putting in a little effort, I actually could save enough money each year to travel. Instead of frittering away ALL my money on clothes, I started putting away as big a chunk as I could at the beginning of each month. I'm by no means a big earner but by being strict and using sites like AirBnB and Skyscanner I've managed to visit lots of new places on a fairly tight budget.
This year I was set on going island hopping on a yacht in Greece - not exactly a budget holiday but something I knew would be an unforgettable experience (and unforgettable experiences are worth much more than savings in my opinion.) I had done a little research and found boat holidays like this to be predictably very expensive, round about £1000 plus. Then I came across MedSailors and it was all angels singing and golden light.
For a week sailing in September, we each paid less than £500 and that included all breakfast and lunches and a trained skipper. You can also bring whatever drinks on board you like. Basically, it's a great deal and I really wanted to get a big group together for the trip. Unfortunately, getting big groups together is not easy, so it was just three of us in the end.
We were lucky because we were put on the lead skipper's boat with just three other guests so in total there was only eight people on board compared to twelve on other boats. We all got on really well and by the end of the trip we were all mourning the loss of our boat family.
The trip started from Athens and made its way in a loop to Perdika, Ermioni, Spetses, Hydra, Poros, Agistri and then returning to Athens. There was a lot packed into the itinerary and while we loved it all, we felt it passed by in a bit of a rush. Saying that, we would absolutely do it again, maybe in Croatia next time...
Here are a selection of pictures from the hundreds I took.
The best waffles in Greece.
One of many delicious lunches.
Quad biking around the island.
Sculpture trail in Spetses.
Inside our very messy cabin.
Sleeping on deck.
Before we jumped off a cliff...
Beautiful, clear water.
The third best sunset in the world.
Told you it was a good one.
Greece has so many incredible shops.
The sailing race from Hydra to Poros.
Nick, our skipper, acting casual as the boat tipped 90 degrees and we all clung on to whatever was in reach.
Para-sailing in Poros.
The biggest steak in the world.
Hands down, one of the funniest nights of my life.
Getting our Ancient Greek on.
Lady Gaga costume in progress (came top three in the competition *cough*)
Back in Athens.
The week was incredible and as all brilliant holidays do, it passed in a blur. Despite being followed around by a rain cloud (it rained most evenings) we actually had great weather and it was still very much hot in mid September. We quite enjoyed the storms in the evening - who doesn't love a bit of lightening?
It's hard to pinpoint a favourite moment, like I said, the night in Poros was so much fun and I nearly laughed my face off but I also really enjoyed the quad biking in Spetses and Hydra was so beautiful. Greece is a gorgeous country and it's so nearby. Flights and holidays in general are really affordable and I definitely plan on returning. We managed to do the whole trip; flights, the boat and three days stay in Athens for around £1000. When you consider that most boat trips alone cost that (without food included) it actually was a great deal.