Going on vacation can be quite an expensive affair. However, it does not have to be if you follow our handy tips. By stretching your budget as far as you can, you are able to have the holiday of your dreams without going broke. Read on for some great family budget holiday tips.
How to have a family holiday on a budget
1. Examine Your Children’s School Schedule
Going on holiday out of season costs less money but these dates seldom align with school holidays. These days, pulling your child out of school for a term-time holiday that hasn’t been authorised by your headteacher may land you with a local authority fine. So what can you do?
Communicate with your children’s teachers. Find out if there is a period during the year where your children would not be missing much of their essential academic work. For example, the last few days of a term are often pretty quiet at school.
If the school seems amenable, consider taking them out for a few days for a break. Look for a time when they already have a Friday or a Monday off, so you can take advantage of the long weekend. However, make sure to stay away from bank holidays, as you are likely to pay a premium if you go during these times.
Also, remember that you don’t have to go away for five or six days. Even just a few days can help to rejuvenate your family and bring you all closer together.
2. Look For Value
Some locations are much more expensive to travel to than others and there are a number of reasons for this – distance or popularity for example. If you are looking for a good deal, consider heading to Spain where you are sure to find some value-for-money accommodation and there are great theme parks in the area that your family is sure to enjoy. In addition, Portugal, Morocco and Bulgaria are also great choices for holiday destinations that aren’t overrun with tourists.
Also, if you really want to save money, think about staying in the UK. It is a lot cheaper to head to a destination closer to home rather than going out of the country. And, there are lots of great things to see and do on a UK staycation.
3. Get a Good Deal On A Flight
Pay attention to the days of the week when booking your flight. If you leave on a Tuesday rather than a Friday, for example, you may save more than 30% on the cost of your airfare! Also, try to avoid heading home on Sunday. You could pay almost 50% more for your flight if you do! And if you are going on a trip within the UK, check online for deals on attractions like Alton Towers and LegoLand Windsor. You may get discounted tickets in you book online in advance.
Plan your trip well. If you are able to purchase your plane tickets several months in advance, you will get a better deal on them. In general, you want to be at least two months out from the date of your vacation. Remember that there is nothing wrong with using different airlines to fly out and return to your home airport. You can save money if you do so.
4. Make Sure Everything Is Included
An all-inclusive holiday often saves you money in the long run, as you won’t have any extra expenses to contend with. If you use Expedia or On the Beach to book your trip, you may find that you have more options in this area.
Some package deals are truly a great value. They offer something for everyone, including your children. You will find that your flight, hotel room, meals and even entertainment options and kids clubs are taken care of with most all-inclusive packages. This means that even though the figure may seem expensive at first, it is not that bad when you break it down according to everything you are getting for the money.
5. Do A Home Swap!
If you really want to visit another country but you don’t have the funds, consider swapping homes with another family. There are companies that handle these arrangements; you simply let them know where you live and how big your home is. Figure out where you want to go and your family then stays in another family’s home. That family will stay at your place. You don’t have to pay anything for your accommodations! In addition, the family whose home you are staying in can guide you to great restaurants and activities in the area.
6. Look Online For Foreign Currency
Because it is convenient, many people try and change their money at the airport. However, rates are usually terrible there. Instead, purchase currency online and get the best rate possible.
7. Consider A Youth Hostel
At one time, youth hostels were only for students. That is no longer the case, however. If you choose to stay at a hostel, you can expect to have a nice room in a great location. There are websites that can help you find competitively priced hostels.
8. Look Out For Deals For Children
Some places will let children travel for free, depending on their age. Always ask about any such discounts. In addition, if your children are just outside of the “free” range, talk to the operator and see if you can negotiate a deal. They may be willing to work with you to get your business.
9. Set Up Airport Parking Ahead Of Time
If you do not set up your airport parking in advance, you could pay a pretty penny for it. Instead, go online and schedule something ahead of time. You could save about 10% by doing this.
10. Be Careful When Using Your Cell Phone
If you go out of the country, turn off data roaming on your phone. Otherwise, you could have large fees waiting for you.
What tips would you add?