Planning a family vacation for the mid-year school holiday?
Family vacations are a great way to let your children experience other cultures and traditions, but it can easily burn a hole in your wallet.
For a family of five, that means 5x the number of meals to buy, 5x the number of flight tickets to book, and 5x the headaches!
To avoid getting into a sticky financial situation, it’s always good to plan ahead and save money wherever you can. Read our previous post on 11 Essential Hacks for Traveling with Kids!
1. Rent a house or apartment
Rather than get separate rooms in a hotel, look at websites like AirBnB. You’re likely to save money as you’ll only need to rent one unit! Plus, there’s the added bonus of a living area for family bonding time.
2. Book off peak and avoid school holidays
The easiest way to save on flight costs is to travel during off peak periods. Some popular attractions may also have off-peak prices.
As a bonus, decreased traffic also means fewer chances for delays and places will be less crowded!
3. Stay loyal to one airline
Rack up on a frequent flyer miles by traveling with the same airline. After going on a few family vacations, you’d probably have enough to get a discount on your next ticket!
4. Ditch the plane, travel by land
If you’re traveling to Europe, consider ditching airplanes altogether and take a train or a bus instead. It’s cheaper, eliminates the hassle of airports, and can be even faster than planes if you go with the fast train companies like Eurostar or Thalys.
Tip: Take an overnight train to save on an additional nights’ hotel stay. It’ll also be less disruptive to your kids’ sleeping schedules.
5. Optimise your meals
When dining out, look out for “kids eat free” promotions at restaurants and hotels. If your accommodation has a kitchen, head to the grocery store and stock up on milk, cereal, and bread to save money on breakfast. For the day out, bring snacks along in case you get hungry between meals!
6. Bring a water bottle
Bottled water is usually more expensive at tourist attractions, so bring your own and fill it up at drinking fountains. It can also double up as a snack container.
7. Stock up on sunscreen
Holidays usually a lot of walking, so sun protection is essential for the entire family. Tourist destinations like theme parks usually sell them at higher prices, so save some money and bring yours from home.
8. Do your Research. Pre-book things online
When you’re on a budget, research is your best friend. Know what to expect at your destination, and pre-book tickets and transfers online for the best prices and discounts. Travel Recommends has attraction tickets for 7 different countries, go check it out!
9. Avoid high mobile roaming charges
Remember not to accept phone calls when overseas! Consider renting a pocket WiFi or buying an overseas SIM card for Internet access. There are many options available, depending on your budget and group size. For more information, check out our article here.
10. Bring your own car seat
If you plan to rent a car at your holiday destination, bring along your kid’s car seat. Car and booster seats are allowed on the plane as checked luggage for free, so the only hassle is that you have to carry it around with you.
There are many other ways you can save money when traveling with your kids. The experiences your kids will gain will make it all worth it! Just be prepared and utilise the abundance of travel resources available online. Also, don’t forget to check Travel Recommends for all your travel necessities.