In recent times, with economising and austerity being major buzzwords, price has become an increasingly important factor in planning family holidays. Coupling a great location and top quality accommodation with a tight budget can be tricky but it is by no means impossible and many families enjoy exciting and interesting holidays on a relative shoestring. There are several tricks to making sure you can still have an enjoyable holiday despite any financial restriction but the best bet is choosing a lower-cost destination or style of trip and then being prepared to embrace it and make the most of it, regardless of expectations.
One way to save money is to choose to holiday in the UK and take a so-called ‘stay-cation’. This can end up being cheaper for a number of reasons. Firstly, travel costs are greatly reduced as many destinations can be reached by driving, with petrol costs often offset by the lack of airport taxes or baggage fees and places that are further away but are still within the UK may be better-reached by train or, failing that, low-cost airlines. In addition, cultural familiarity makes it much easier to save money; for instance, choosing where to shop and which products to buy can help keep costs down, as can knowing when and how much to tip.
Just because you have to keep your family holiday under budget does not mean you cannot opt for a holiday abroad, but it is important to make careful choices to ensure that you are getting the best value for money. Firstly, although all inclusive can be very appealing, especially if there are multiple food options which can be great for satisfying the kids, it is not conducive to sticking to a budget. A better option is to get a self-catering property (ideally a small apartment or room with kitchenette) and then choose cheaper foods from supermarkets and small local shops.
Resort towns can be both beneficial and detrimental to a budget as competition for seasonal trade can drive prices down but many businesses do prey on tourists so it is important to be aware. Another top tip is to find ways of entertaining the kids without laying out too much money; obviously, if you have chosen a coastal destination, the beach is a potentially cheap way to keep them entertained for several hours or even a whole day. Furthermore, doing plenty of research before you travel allows you to go armed with a series of low-cost alternatives to the more expensive conventional excursions.
In short, it is easier than you may think to have a family holiday on a budget. Certainly investing some time when choosing and planning your trip is a great way to keep costs down and then just being cautious, without overdoing it and ruining your enjoyment whilst you are there, is a simple recipe for low-cost success. Of course, there are other tricks to get good value for money, such as using low cost holidays voucher codes or opting for cheap last-minute deals.