Tips on Budgeting for Your Family Holiday
The annual family holiday: a chance to relax on the beach and splash around in the clear-blue waters of the Mediterranean, or immerse yourself in Disney magic at an Orlando theme park. Whatever floats your holiday boat, it can be a considerable expense in an already costly world. So, what can you do to keep costs down and spirits high, as you take a break from the routine of everyday life
Box Clever When Booking Your Trip
You have two options here, at both ends of the holiday spectrum. Either book early or book late – lots of travel companies offer special deals when advertising their new season’s trips. You’ll get first pick on flight times, as well as a broader choice of hotels.
You can also pick up free child places by booking early. Yep, you read that right – bagging a free spot means you don’t have to pay for flights, hotel and transfers for one lucky kid, saving you some serious cash.
Alternatively, if you leave booking to the last minute, you may get a discount from hotels and travel companies wanting to fill empty seats and rooms.
Research, Research, Research!
Once you’ve decided on your ideal holiday destination, spend some time online researching the area and what free attractions are on offer. If you want to relax in the sun, check out where the public beaches are – these are free for sun lovers, compared to private beaches where you’ll pay for the privilege of lounging on a sunbed or using toilet facilities.
If getting up close and personal with nature is an integral part of your break, pop ‘natural attractions’ and your holiday destination into the search engine – you’ll be planning hikes through national parks or visiting local gardens in no time. If you’re a history buff, head for Trip Advisor’s Things To Do section and look for historic landmarks to visit in the surrounding area.
When you arrive at your destination, take a trip to the tourist information centre, to find out what local events are on and snag yourself some discount coupons for local attractions.
Use a Comparison Site
Don’t waste your time on a trip to town to book your holiday with a travel agent . Dust off your laptop and find the best deal online using a holiday comparison tool.
A good comparison site will let you search by holiday type, for example, All Inclusive, family or cultural. You’ll be able to see reviews and ratings for the holidays on offer, and even book extras like parking and insurance at the same time. You’ll also get access to exclusive deals from tour operators that you won’t find on the high street, and other discounts to help keep the cost of your holiday down.
Make sure the site you use is ABTA and ATOL protected. Then, if something goes wrong while you’re away – for example, the travel company you booked with goes under – you’ll have financial protection.
Go Out of season
Taking an out-of-season trip can be a great way to save some spondulicks, especially on long-haul flights to destinations like the Caribbean or Australia. Heading for tropical climes during our summertime means emptier beaches and slashed hotel rates, not to mention great weather by British standards. There may be a bit of rain or the odd storm, so take your cagoule with you as well as your swimsuit, and you’ve got the weather covered.
Taking a city break during winter is not only a great way to see iconic cultural landmarks, it can also reduce costs. Places in Europe like Rome, Athens and Seville won’t be as crowded as in the summer. And tourist attractions will still be open and usually charge less than in peak season.
Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance
If you’re looking to save money, the one thing you shouldn’t skimp on is your travel insurance. Yes, you may have been on holiday 20 times with no mishaps, but you can bet your brand new suitcase that as soon as you ditch the insurance cover, something will happen to make you wish you hadn’t.
Travel insurance protects you and your family from unforeseen events that may occur during your holiday. Top tip: buy it well before you fly and make sure the policy has cancellation cover. Then, if you have to cancel your holiday, you can make a claim and recoup the cost of your trip.
You can get policies offering different levels of cover, so make sure you read the small print and get the cover you need. The most important element is medical cover. Here in the UK, we’re used to free medical treatment on the NHS, but other countries don’t provide this, and medical costs can be astronomical.
The price of a holiday may seem overwhelming at first, but with a bit of creativity and forward planning, you can keep costs under control and enjoy a well-deserved break with your family.
I hope you have found this post on top tips on budgeting for your family holiday to be useful – do you have any to share?