5 August 2007

Frugal travelling

H and I are off on a trip up north soon and as we want it to be a frugal trip, I need to start organising it now. We are taking the tilt train to Townsville. Luckily my sister and son will be staying here to look after the animals and chooks so home is all sorted.

Here is the Tilt Train site:

We'll leave at 8pm and I'll pack a Thermos of hot chocolate that we can have while we watch a movie and settle in for the night. We don't have a sleeper so I'm taking two pillows and a patchwork quilt that will fit over both of us. They will all be rolled up and packed into an overnight bag that I'll carry. H will be looking after our other luggage - which is one of those pull-along bags on wheels. At 7am the next morning we'll be at Mackay. Our breakfast will be an apple and cinnamon muffin each, tea and some cut up fruit. I'll prepare all our food just before we leave. We'll each take a bottle of water that can be refilled on the train from the public water dispenser - ie free. LOL!

Okay, so far, so good. Our frugal travel is on target. I'll pack a container of cashews for snacks and a few pieces of fruit, oh, and I intend buying a block of Lindt dark chocolate from the local IGA - it will be $3. That will supplement the cashews and fruit.

We arrive in Townsville at lunchtime so my guess is my sister-friend Kathleen, will have something prepared for that. We're going to visit her so we can see her new home, just built, brand new and still shiny. We have a few friends up there so our activities will involve visiting them, wandering along the famous Strand and maybe having a coffee or a cold drink at one of the cafes on the beach.

Our trip back will start on Sunday afternoon at 2.45pm. We'll have our water bottles full, more hot chocolate and tea, and the rest of the Lindt chocolate and cashews. I'll just buy the makings for some sandwiches, some fruit and get one of the loaves from the neighbourhood organic baker. Those sandwiches and our tea will fill us up for dinner on the train. Our trip ends at 7.30am, so we'll have breakfast with the family when we arrive home.

I think we'll be well and truly satisfied with our little picnics along the way and if it all goes to plan, it will be a very frugal trip, although we will take Kathleen out for dinner the night before we come home.
I've forgotten if I've told you about the prices for our train trip. My ticket was $520 and H's was $24. Actually his was a bit more because the return trip was booked out for pensioners so he had to buy a normal return ticket. All up it cost us around $700 for both of us. And yes, I know we could fly for a fraction of that but flying creates huge amounts of greenhouse gases so it's something we don't do anymore.

We're really looking forward to our trip. We've driven the road up the coast many times but neither of us have travelled it by train. Neither of us have been on the tilt train either, so we're looking at it as a bit of an adventure to enjoy together. We still have to watch what we spend though, so this planing phase is an important part of the trip. It reminds me of the trips I used to take with my parents when I was young - all organised and planned beforehand with little spending along the way.


  1. Oh Rhonda that sounds like a splendid adventure.
    I miss train travel my dad was a train driver till his retirement 10 years ago.
    I hope you and H have a great time when you go and please take lots of pix to share the adventure with us.

  2. Wow, that sounds like a great trip! Enjoy!

  3. Sounds like a fantastic holiday! We always take our own snacks/sanwiches and drinks. Mostly I have no choice as my son is on the "failsafe" diet, but I also resent paying for something that I can bring from home for a fraction of the cost. Or more commonly something that looks nice, but the taste is totally disappointing. Enjoy your trip Rhonda :)
    ps: Lindt chocolate is the best!

  4. Being organised and taking your own food is the best way to go ~ no over priced, prepackaged, tastless food!! Your trip sounds great :)

  5. It sounds wonderful. We would really love to take our children on a train trip one day. We'll have to see though - paying for 5 sure adds up! :-)

    I remember planning out our trip to Darwin a bit like that. We drove up but I packed a lot of food for the trip and it saved us HEAPS! We quite enjoy taking sandwiches when we're doing a long drive. They're quick and easy to make, easy to eat and give the kids something to do while we're travelling. And they don't make too much mess in the car! That way when we do have a stop - they can spend the time running around on a playground rather than sitting down eating.

  6. I started doing this when I needed to live more frugally, but found it a real luxury. Previously, travelling for work had been on expenses and I'd eaten dreadful food and had vile tea but not had to pay for it myself.

    When I set up my own business, I needed to keep costs down so made a flask of peppermint tea and made all my own food for the train journey to London and back - a full day.

    Instead of feeling hassled I felt really pampered! No horrid train food (which is awful in the UK, no queuing - it's great! I always make my own food and drink now. :)


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