Thank you all for your comments and ideas to enable us to spend a couple of days in Aberdeen with the EFG at half term. I still don't know whether it will actually come off, but I hope to sort it out for sure today.
I have found that there is a Youth Hostel in Aberdeen, and there are family rooms that can be taken for a few days there. At various prices, so we can pick and choose how we want to spend our cash. I don't think that the YFG will be very keen on sleeping in a multi-person dormitory with people she doesn't know, so a room might be best for us. We can also self-cater there, which is an important aspect for us.
For the ride north, I think that we will be letting the train take the strain, as they say. It takes a lot of worry away from me, and it will be good to go on the train a couple of times with the YFG so that when she is a wee bit older, she can make the journey to see her sister on her own. With a Friends and Family railcard, the cost will be in the region of £120 or so, and it would easily cost me more than that for diesel if I was to attempt the drive! Apart from that, I don't really fancy driving nearly 500 miles in a day, twice in one week...
The last time we travelled on the train at the October half term, we made the mistake of doing the journeys on the Saturdays when we went to Burghead near Forres in Moray. We loved the holiday, but the train journeys weren't great because the trains were so packed with other holiday makers. Perhaps by travelling on the Monday and Thursday or Friday, we may be able to avoid the rush.
There are other options, as my sister has offered to get a cottage for the half term so that we can see the EFG. I don't know whether to stick to the original plans, or to go with her, or to let the YFG and UJ go with her. There was a plan that the YFG and UJ would go up at half term with my cousin and her husband, but that plan fell through when the husband couldn't get the time off work. I will be talking with my sister today to see what she thinks.
The slight spanner in the works is that I was offered a job yesterday! I won't have accrued any holiday allowance by the end of October, and apparently, all holiday for the year has to be booked by January 1st each year! Missed that deadline, then.
If we manage to go on the trip, I think that the days off will be allowed, as I did tell the interviewer yesterday that I had plans, but I will be taking them as unpaid leave. To someone who has been self-employed for so long, that makes sense - if you don't work, you don't get paid.
Watch this space......
Unconventional money saving
30 minutes ago