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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!
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