Going on family holidays can be expensive. If you are on a tight budget or want to save some money on your summer break, then look no further. CashLady has 7 simple tips to make sure that your next trip does not end up costing you the earth…
Family holidays: the bigger, the better
One of the best ways to save money on family holidays is to think big. Booking hotel rooms or a self-catering villa for four or five people can be expensive.
Consider going on a big family trip with uncles, grandparents and cousins. Opting for a larger villa and splitting the cost between your wider family can help to cut costs.
If the thought of spending a fortnight with your family makes you feel a little faint, you could ask your friends if they fancy coming along instead.
Save money by going self catering
One of the biggest costs of family holidays is having to eat out at restaurants. If you are staying in a hotel, you will not have a choice.
Book a self-catering villa or gîte and you can buy your food at the local supermarket and cook your own meals.
If you are going with a larger group of family and/or friends, it can be a good idea to allocate overall dinner responsibility to a different person each night. That way, it will not always be the same person who is doing the meal planning and cooking.
You can also save on lunches when you are on a day out by packing a picnic basket.
Cut down on flight costs by taking your car instead
Depending on when you book and where you want to go, flights can be expensive.
Going somewhere that you can drive to, could help to cut costs. France, for example, is within the easy driving distance of the UK. Whether you want a holiday on the beach (Brittany is great for this) or something in the rolling French countryside (the Indre and Creuse departments are wonderfully peaceful, good value for money but have lots to do), there are many holiday destinations which are within easy reach of the UK.
Plan your activities in advance
Research the area where you are going to be visiting to discover what there is to do. If you want to visit a particular attraction, find out if there are any vouchers available that could save you money on tickets.
Try looking on the local tourist information website. Some offer lists of free things to do in the area.
Haggle for your family holidays
If you are booking your holiday at the last minute, you may be able to negotiate a better deal by haggling with the hotel or the person who owns the villa that you have your eye on.
Villas that are not booked up will just sit empty and not earn their owner any money. If the villa you want to go to next week is still not taken, then chances are you may be able to get a discount.
Be careful when you travel
Everyone knows that travelling in peak season is expensive. If you have children of school age, it can be unavoidable.
However, being careful when you travel within peak season can save you money.
Going at the end of the school holidays, rather than the beginning, could result in big savings.
Family holidays do not have to be in the summer
Consider taking your family break at a different time of year.
For example, prices can be significantly cheaper in October or May half term than in the summer.
Check what the weather will be like at your chosen destination before you book. If you are after guaranteed sun, you may have to go a little farther afield than Europe.
However, if you do not like the really hot weather, October and May can be a wonderful time to visit the South of France, Italy and Spain.
Simple ways to save on family holidays
Holidaying in a self-catering villa with family and/or friends is a great way to save money on family holidays.
Plan your meals and days out in advance, to avoid stress about what to cook when you arrive.
Finally, do not be afraid to haggle, especially if you are booking at the last minute.