This is a guest post from moneysupermarket.com
During January we are bombarded with images of holidays, imagining ourselves lying beside a pool with a cocktail in one hand and a good book in the other can be the only thing that gets us through the bleak winter days of the new year.
After over indulging over Christmas and blowing our budgets, booking a holiday can seem like the last thing we’d be able to afford. However despite our apparent decrease in funds, research by TravelSupermarket.com has found that Brits are making getting away this year a priority with 96% of us planning on at least one holiday this year.
When you have an entire family to pay for this is when prices can really start to get out of hand, here are some tips on how to get the family holiday you want without breaking the bank.
Photo credit: Peaches and Cream
Deciding whether or not an all inclusive or self catering holiday is best for you can end up saving you a lot of money.
For some of us the ideal holiday is staying in the resort with the peace of mind that all of our food and drink is taken care of, we are then free to relax as the children can go and get drinks and ice creams as and when they want without us worrying about the holiday spends depleting.
For others however getting out and about and experiencing what the area has to offer is the best part of a holiday, if you don’t plan to be at your hotel for most of the time it can be a false economy to have your meals paid for as you’ll only end up paying for them again whilst you’re out and about.
And it would seem this was the more popular option with the research finding that 31% of us plan to stay in self catering accommodation compared to only 12% going all inclusive.
TravelSupermarket travel expert Bob Atkinson commented on this trend, “It’s no surprise that self-catering continues to be popular – it is a great way to save money on your next holiday and manage your holiday budget while you’re away. Once you’re there, there isn’t the temptation of a mini bar or room service to drive up costs. Holiday villas and apartments also mean you can save a fortune on eating out by purchasing fresh, local produce from the markets and making the most of the kitchen facilities, and you could even dine al fresco on the balcony or in the garden.”
Do your research
One way to save money on a family holiday is to be as organised as you can; booking your holiday as early as possible may mean you can take advantage of early bird deals. Doing your research and using price comparison sites are also great ways of getting a good deal on your holiday and many tour operators will offer free child places which can considerably reduce the overall cost of a family break.
If you aren’t in the position to book in advance, last minute holidays are another great way to save money. Leaving it until the last minute isn’t for everyone but if you are in the position where you can wait to book your holiday, doing it this way can also save you a lot of money.
Buying all of your extras such as travel insurance and travel money in advance can also save you money. Rather than purchasing the travel insurance offered by the tour operator you purchase the holiday with, shop around as there are great deals to be had online.
Similarly with travel money, purchasing in a rush at the bureau de change at the airport can end up costing you a lot more than buying it online, TravelSupermarket found that the difference can be as much as 12.95%.
Stick to your budget
It’s easy whilst you’re away to allow those little extras to add up, of course you are on your holiday and you should be able to enjoy yourself but you don’t want to be faced with a hefty credit card bill waiting for you when you get home.
Decide on a daily budget before you leave home and stick to it. Be realistic and include any day trips and little extras that you usually buy when you’re away. A great way to help you to stick to your budget is to take out a pre paid card, you load up however much you want to take with you before you leave and use the card in the same way you would your debit or credit card. Another benefit of the pre-paid cards is that you avoid any of the overseas transaction charges you got with credit and debit cards and you will know exactly how much you have to spend.