Holidays can be a wonderful experience for families, a chance to spend quality time together and build memories that will last a life time. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your family holiday – there are lots of ways you can save money without compromising on the quality of your time away.
Do your research
Instead of settling for the first price you find, do your homework to find the best deals. Prices can vary significantly across different websites, so make sure you use the internet to your advantage.
If you are travelling abroad, flights vary a lot between providers. Skyscanner is a great tool for checking air travel through all operators (the differences in cost is staggering). You could also consider an indirect flight as these can be cheaper, but they may not be the best option if you are travelling with young children.
Some holidays may appear to be good value, but looking around you might realise that they aren’t as reasonable as they first seemed.
Mobile homes and camping for example can cost more than holiday homes during peak seasons. It’s a good idea to look at all of the options your chosen area has to offer. It’s also worth thinking about the location you will be in, versus the cost.
Central locations in the city or right by the beach usually cost more, so is it cheaper to stay somewhere further out, and travel in each day?
Pick your dates wisely
If you are tied to school holidays, there are certain times that are considerably cheaper; for example, the last week in August, the first week in September and October half term. Plus, the earlier you book, the more flexible you can be with your times – so you can shop around a bit more.
Stay by the beach
The beach provides a free day out, from swimming in the sea to open spaces for running around. All you need is your own food for a beach picnic and a selection of activities to keep the children entertained.
It’s the perfect opportunity to get some exercise with the family, so as well as the traditional bucket and spade, why not pack a few outdoor toys? The Gazillion Bubble Wand makes impressively giant bubbles to chase around, while Catcherball is a simple game that any age can enjoy (and it gets surprisingly competitive!).
Plan some days out before you go
Have a look at places to go before your holiday – you may even be able to find some vouchers for popular days out to save some cash. See if there are any free days out as well; parks, woodland, lakes, beaches, rivers and museums are good places to start. To keep the children entertained wherever you are, go armed with some play ideas like Spotting Arms and Legs or the Supermarket Memory Game.
When travelling, take your own food
Airport and service station food can be expensive, so consider taking your own healthy snacks along for the journey.
For days out, a picnic is much cheaper than buying food on from a cafe or restaurant, and you can be sure that you have something that even the fussiest children will eat.
Look for free Wi-Fi
Although obviously you don’t want the family spending the whole holiday glued to their screens, it can be good for some down time.
Data can be costly (especially if you have older children) so check out the cost of Wi-Fi in your chosen accommodation and try to opt for ones where it is free. It’s also really handy for finding some last minute vouchers and days out while you’re there.
When you go on a family holiday, there’s no need to break the bank. Wherever you go and whatever you do, your children will love just having you all to themselves for a while. So avoid getting stressed about having the perfect holiday, relax, and enjoy yourself!