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When it comes to booking the family holiday, there are so many choices that the process can become a minefield – how do you ensure there is something for everyone, at the right time of year, in the right destination, for the right price? To help anyone planning a family holiday, we’ve put together this expert guide on how to save money and still book the best holiday ever.
Before you start comparing prices and searching for discounts, the first step in saving on your family holiday is to be flexible. If you’re willing to look at a range of destination, dates and accommodation options, you’ll be in a much better position to get the best deal possible. Travelling outside of peak times will obviously be cheaper, but may not be an option if you’re restricted to school holidays, however, by opting for less touristy destination could save hundreds.
Setting a realistic holiday budget (including spending money) for your holiday will help keep you focussed. If you are tempted to go over budget, remember that you’re eating into your spending money, which may mean less activities or treats during the trip.
Every year the Post Office conduct their Holiday Money Report to create a holiday costs barometer for key destinations destination, so it’s worth checking this to ensure your spending money will go as far as possible during the trip.
Now the fun bit can begin, try to visit a range of package holiday and self-booking sites, so you can get a really good idea of how much each element of your trip will cost, and whether it’s cheaper to book altogether or separately. Come up with a top three and then directly compare them on your key holiday criteria, e.g. price, destination, weather, activities etc.
Once you’ve decided, you can do one more final check to ensure you can’t find the same holiday cheaper anywhere else, for example if you considered a home swap or changed your travel dates by a few days. There is no better feeling that knowing you got the best bargain available, so we promise the leg work will be worth it in the end!
Insurance can be the last thing you want to think about when you’ve just booked a holiday, but it is absolutely vital when it comes to protecting your hard-earned holiday costs. Without travel insurance you could lose your pre-paid deposits and costs if you have to cancel unexpectedly, or become liable for expensive bills if someone needs medical treatment during the trip. Click here for more information on award-winning family holiday insurance.
Once you arrive, start thinking like a local – a taxi straight from the airport to your accommodation can be tempting, but if public transport is available (and the kids aren’t too cranky), you’ll definitely save money with this option.
Furthermore, when it comes to eating out it can be tempting to head straight to a restaurant full of fellow tourists, but by eating where the locals eat you’ll almost definitely save money and get a real taste of the destination.
Whether you’re staying in a hotel or self-catering accommodation, it’s always a good idea to pack your own provisions for days out. The costs for things like drinks and snacks can quickly mount up if you’re spending days out, so instead head to a local supermarket and stock up on bottled drinks and snacks – which will also give the kids less opportunities to ask for treats!
If you’re planning day trips and activities, get researching to see if there are any coupons or family discounts you can take advantage of, if you just turn up on the day you’ll be at the mercy of whatever (extortionate) price they want to charge.
On any holiday it’s important that everyone gets a chance to enjoy themselves, so make sure you mix your time between days out for the kids and relaxing pool or beach time for you – plus it doesn’t cost anything to lie by the pool!
Buying travel insurance for a family holiday can be quite difficult for single parents, as many websites won’t allow you to purchase a family policy unless there are two adults going on holiday. Nevertheless it is absolutely vital that you have holiday insurance in place before you travel.
To make sure your family are fully protected on holiday, here are our top tips for buying affordable and quality Single Parent Travel Insurance;
When you buy any travel insurance policy you should check that;
When planning a holiday with your family it is absolutely vital that you invest in quality travel insurance for you all before you depart. Family holidays can be expensive, and sometimes travel insurance gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list, however, without travel insurance you leave yourself and your loved ones vulnerable if you have a holiday disaster.
So what does family travel insurance cover? To answer that question we’ve written this handy expert guide on buying affordable and quality family Travel Insurance.
When you start your research, think about the cover you and your family actually need. For example;
Once you have a rough idea of the key benefits your policy needs, you can then start researching.
It can be tempting to visit a comparison site and choose the cheapest option, but it’s really important to shop around and check the cover available.
Comparison sites are very useful at giving you a snapshot of options, but by no means do they display every brand available, plus the cheapest price doesn’t necessarily mean the best deal, as the cover could have been slashed to get the price that low.
Try searching on the internet and checking out consumer experts such as Which?, Money Saving Expert and Defaqto for their reviews and recommendations. TOP TIP: Many travel insurers offer free cover for kids under 18 on family policies, so make sure you shop around for these deals!
The next thing to think about is any additional extras you may need to add to your cover, for example we’ve already touched upon adding gadget cover, but you may also need to purchase additional cover if you’re going on a cruise, or if you need cover for activities such as water sports.
It is really absolutely vital that you declare any existing medical conditions to your travel insurer at the time of purchase. If you don’t, you won’t be covered for any claim related to that condition.
For example, one question we get at Holidaysafe all the time is ‘I haven’t had an Asthma attack in years but I still have an inhaler, do I need to tell you about that?’ The answer is yes, because this is a diagnosed breathing condition.
If you don’t declare every condition (whether completely stable or not), you won’t be covered for any bills related to that condition, for example if you need to cancel your trip or seek medical attention because it flares up.
Once you have purchased your policy, you will usually be given 14 days to read it through and check that it covers your particular needs. Most people will take one look at their policy wording and never look again, but it is really important that you have a quick look through to 1) make sure it actually meets your needs, and 2) to give you time to ask your insurer any questions or make changes before you depart for you trip.
What documents do I need to remember to take with me?
Passports and travel insurance documents are vital when travelling abroad. If you’re travelling to Europe you should also remember to bring your EHICs (remember you need one for each member of your family). Furthermore, you may also need a signed letter of permission from any non-traveling parents – visit the FCO website for more information.
Does my family need travel insurance when travelling inside Europe?
This is another question we get all the time, as most people feel protected enough by their EHIC and the reciprocal health agreement, however the EHIC will not repatriate (I.e. get you home) in the event of a medical emergency, and it also won’t cover the costs of things like cancellation and damaged possessions, so travel insurance is still a must.
Are the cover levels per person?
Yes, all cover levels should be per person when searching for travel insurance, so if your holiday cost £4,000 and there are four of you on the policy, you only need cover for £1,000 per person. However, it’s important to remember that the excesses will also be per person.
Can I travel whilst pregnant and do I need to declare my pregnancy?
Pregnancy is not a medical condition, and so does not need to be declared. The only things you may need to declare are any pregnancy related conditions, for example gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.
Different insurers (and airlines) will have different rules on travelling whilst pregnant, so make sure you read your policy wording and double check before you travel. For more information, please visit our dedicated pregnancy travel insurance page.
To get a quote please choose one of the following policy types;