Everyone dreams of travelling abroad for a fantastic family holiday, but when you consider the costs that can be involved, it’s easy for that dream to feel out of reach. What if there was a way to get more out of your next travel adventure while spending less money?
Here are some tips on how to make budget-friendly choices while getting more for your money on your next family holiday.
How to Save Money Before Booking Travel
If you travel in a group, you could split the room and car costs. You can use travel agencies to book all-inclusive packages for your holiday, which might be cheaper than paying for everything separately.
Travel to destinations where the local currency is weaker than your own, and you will get more value for your money. Travelling within your own country will also save you a lot of money.
You could also travel by bus, train, tube, ferry, or boat instead of a plane. Travel during the off-season when most prices are cheaper (if your school will permit). Try to choose a destination that isn’t as popular and where prices will be lower.
Always look for a good deal. You can find your next affordable holiday from EasyJet by subscribing to websites and apps that provide discounts and voucher codes. Choose airports carefully because different airports have different flight prices. Different times of the day, days of the week, and dates have different prices.
To compare airline prices, consider using comparison websites. You need not stick to the same airline for your entire journey if a different airline offers a cheaper fare for a particular leg. Alternatively, you could join a frequent flyer program with an airline to accumulate loyalty points and avail of discounts. Flights with layovers could cost less than non-stop flights.
Booking a flight early and at the last minute can be cheaper. Last-minute bookings can be cheaper because airlines want to fill the plane.
Ensure all your luggage complies with airline and country regulations. Otherwise, you will have to pay fines and additional charges. You can even send your bags to the hotel in advance to avoid excess luggage costs on your flight, which is particularly handy if you’ve chosen to fly with a budget airline.
How to Save Money Travelling to Your Destination
You can book parking at an airport hotel, where your car will be kept safe until you return from your holiday. If possible, don’t use airport express services. Travelling overnight using a bus, train, tube, ferry, boat, or plane will save money you would have otherwise spent at a hotel for the night. Pack your own food instead of spending money at the airport or station.
- We share more tips on saving money booking your train travel over here.
How to Save Money on Driving
Renting a car should be given careful consideration when you’re on holiday. If you think renting a car is necessary for getting around, ensure you’re not paying for things you won’t need, such as a GPS. You may be tempted to refuse the hefty excess insurance, so why not buy rental car insurance from an insurance broker instead, or see if it is covered by your credit card?
Don’t pay petrol charges through your rental company. Make sure to fill the car up yourself before returning it, this way you can buy petrol cheaper from places like supermarkets instead of filling stations at the airport.
You can avoid fines, too, by being extra vigilant about how fast you’re allowed to drive (rental companies will impose an administration fee in addition to the fine amount). Try to take alternative roads to avoid toll fees.
If you hire a taxi or an Uber, sharing a car with someone will be cheaper, but stay as safe as possible. Use public transport when possible to save on car hire costs.
How to Make Accommodation Savings
Can you swap houses with someone during your holiday? Make use of a vetted agency to assure safety and security.
There are cheaper hotels that provide clean and efficient options, too. You can stay at alternative accommodations, like Airbnb, bed-and-breakfasts, or hostels – many hostels come with private ensuite rooms that are still suitable for families.
- We have a great guide to saving on luxury hotels over here.
How to Save Money on Attractions and Shopping
Arrange your sightseeing and shopping trips yourself where possible. When attractions and shops are grouped close to each other, it will be cheaper to walk instead of taking a bus or taxi. If you prefer not to walk, you can get a travel pass or a city sightseeing pass to use for public transport.
Take advantage of age-related discounts or freebies when visiting attractions if any members of your family are entitled, and look for places that offer free entry, perhaps on particular days of the month or after a certain time in the day.
Utilize websites and apps that offer discounts and vouchers to save money. Read up on local blogs in advance that share these tips and tricks and may offer their readers additional discount codes.
How to Save Money on Food and Beverages
When travelling with family, cooking meals at self-catering accommodations is a great way to cut expenses. Hotel minibars can also be incredibly expensive, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
If your hotel package doesn’t include breakfast, it’s a good idea to look for a more reasonable alternative, like a cafe or bakery nearby. As a general rule, lunch tends to be the least expensive meal of the day, so feed up at lunch and have a lighter dinner.
If tap water is safe to drink, opt for that instead of buying bottled water and always carry your own reusable water bottle. In some places, it may be cheaper to stand while eating or drinking. When at a bar, choosing beer on tap or local wine options can often be more budget-friendly than bottled beer.
When you eat out, it’s wise to remember that restaurants near tourist hotspots usually charge more, so why not head just a block or two further away to uncover some hidden gems? Explore nearby cafes and restaurants to relish a reasonably priced and delightful dining encounter.
It’s essential to review your bill carefully to avoid excessive tipping, as the service charge might already be included. You may also be able to use discount apps and voucher codes to save extra money on your dining. The cost of these apps or packages will quickly pay for themselves when you’re feeding a family.
Money and Insurance
When travelling abroad, it’s advisable to keep an eye on the exchange rate and consider acquiring a prepaid card. Avoid using currency exchange branches at airports, and instead, use your debit card to withdraw money from ATMs while trying to minimize the number of withdrawals. Carrying foreign currency with you is okay, but staying vigilant is crucial.
When you’re on vacation, using your credit card for expenses is convenient. Still, being responsible and paying off the balance promptly is essential. Additionally, some banks offer rewards for using your credit card while travelling.
To avoid excessive bank fees, consider utilizing app-based and free bank accounts when paying abroad with your smartphone. Lastly, it’s best always to choose the local currency option instead of your home currency when paying by card.
And crucially, remember to turn your phone’s data roaming off when travelling (check your kids’ devices, too!), and always inform your phone company when you intend to travel abroad.
Investing in travel insurance at a reasonable cost is always wise. However, avoid purchasing cancellation insurance. Also, when getting vaccinations, ensure that you obtain them from a reputable and affordable location for your safety and convenience.
Have you got any more money-saving tips to help you travel more? Let us know in the comments below!
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