Today’s guest post will have you dreaming of sunshine…
If you’ve been dreaming of a family holiday to the Canary Islands or the Caribbean, don’t let money stand in your way. With a little discipline and some savvy shopping, you can save up the money you need to take the entire family on holiday this year. Here are some things you can do to bolster the family travel fund:
1) Establish a family budget and a holiday savings account.
Establishing a budget will help you determine where you can shave some costs off of your everyday life. List all of your sources of monthly income as well as all of your essential monthly expenses—mortgage payments, utilities, food, transportation, etc. You’ll likely find that “entertainment and recreation” expenses—family dinners outside the house, trips to museums, etc.—account for more of your monthly expenses than what you realised. Set up a holiday savings account to help turn these expenses into instant savings. The best way to resist the urge to spend is to transfer the extra money into your holiday savings account as soon as you or your partner gets paid.
2) Find ways to save.
If you’re still just scraping by at the end of the month after cutting recreation and entertainment expenses, it’s time to tackle your monthly bills. For the best deals at the supermarket, make sure to print coupons ahead of time to take with you to the store. You should also buy non-perishable items in bulk and choose generic brands over name brands to see the biggest savings. As far as transportation goes, consider setting up a car sharing service with the parents of your kids’ friends to reduce petrol consumption. Fight off the last bit of chill with an extra jumper or blanket instead of turning up the thermostat, and install a low flow showerhead to reduce water consumption. Consider switching energy or cable providers to get a better monthly rate; you may be missing out on some big savings by being loyal to your current provider!
3) Look for deals on the internet.
In the digital age, the real secret to finding cheap holiday deals is being a savvy internet shopper. Sign up to receive email notifications from a few booking engine and travel coupon sites to keep apprised of the best deals. You should also utilise a search engine like Travel Fox or Hotels Combined, which compare the airfares and hotel rates from several popular booking sites—Expedia, Budget Air, Priceline, etc.—side by side. Keep in mind that some beach holidays are less costly than others; for example, Lanzarote holidays tend to be much cheaper than a trip to a far flung beach destination like Barbados. You may also want to consider looking for an all-inclusive holiday for your family so that you know how much you’ll be spending even before you start packing your suitcases.