Costa del Sol: Your Budget-Friendly Family Holiday Guide

Organising the next family holiday is not a task for the faint-hearted. Rounding up your household for a trip abroad can be simultaneously deeply rewarding and deeply stress-inducing, on account of numerous things: unhelpful hubbies, churlish children, aggravating administration and – most prescient of all – killer costs.

But these stresses melt away as soon as you find yourself baking in the glorious sun of the Costa del Sol, making your efforts thoroughly worthwhile. The key challenge, courtesy of today’s difficult economy, is squaring the cost of such an excursion with a budget. So, how can you get yourself over to sunny Spain without breaking the bank?


Costa del Sol



The first cost with which families find themselves battling is, of course, travel. Travelling by plane has certainly not gotten any cheaper in the last few years, but this is unfortunately unavoidable. The best you can do is keep your eyes on cheap flight tools like Skyscanner, in order to avail of the best travel deal for your family.

Air travel isn’t the only holiday travel cost, though. You’ll need to consider travel to your accommodation and to various daily activities. The two key options here are public transport or car hire. If your family is small – and if you have some understanding of basic Spanish – public transport can be a frugal and effective travel option. However, larger families will find car hire not only cheaper per day but also much easier to manage.



While travel is the most obvious cost associated with holiday planning, there is a larger cost lurking behind it: accommodation. Organising accommodation is especially stressful if you have a full family in tow, as room costs start to stack up even before your children start arguing over shared rooms!

The biggest mistake you can make here is to book ‘all-inclusive’. The price may be attractive for room and board, but you invariably get less than you were expecting for your money.

Conversely, booking your own villa allows you to enjoy modern conveniences at a similar price to hotel bookings, yet without the pressure to spend money on meals and other amenities in the resort. You can cook your own meals and go at your own pace, without additional costs or stress.


The Beaches

Of course, for all the ways in which Spain can provide fantastic and fascinating ways to spend your days, there is but one reason to choose the Costa del Sol as a holiday destination: the beaches. Rare is it that a family takes the trouble of staying in Malaga or Marbella without setting foot in those inviting golden sands!

These beaches are also a gateway to a thrillingly inexpensive excursion. Even if you visit with the intention of doing little but relaxing at the shore, other costs can quickly and quietly creep up – from exuberant lunch and dinner purchases to souvenirs and beyond.

A little pre-planning and some conscientious grocery shopping can work wonders for bringing costs down here, allowing you to make the very most of your beach-bound holiday without stressing about daily costs. For example, lunch and dinner could be as simple as buying charcuterie items and bread from the local market and making sandwiches or tapas spreads on your beach towel.

Encouraging your kids to find and play with others will also engage them for hours, giving you some peaceful time to simply kick back and enjoy the sun.


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