Planning a holiday with a family isn’t always easy. Your tip is usually your chance to unwind, spend time together and see some new sights or try some new activities. But with multiple things to consider from whether you can travel off-peak, whether the destination is child-friendly, how long the flight will be and then the additional costs that come with sight-seeing and keeping the kids occupied, it’s not so black and white. Costs can add up. So, here are our top tips for travelling with your family, on a budget.
Tip 1: Opt for activities and free events rather than the popular attractions.
When researching a family trip, it’s easy to get lost in all the attractions that will keep you all entertained and make for a memorable holiday. However, many attractions come with a tourism price tag and there may be alternative options that offer just as much fun at a fraction of the cost – or, are free of charge. So, do some planning ahead. Look for destinations that have a family-friendly feel, hotels with kids entertainment or villas that have a kids pool or facilities that will allow younger kids to play and older kids to explore. Pack a couple of new games with you that can be enjoyed outdoors, or teach your kids some new activities while you’re there, like simple card games, art and craft activities or pool games. A little planning ahead could go a long way. For example, planning an evening game for the family for each night you’re there, or planning an after lunch walk or morning sight-seeing session for each day, before you even arrive, could make for a stress-free trip with lots to look forward to and lots of memories to make, without spending a fortune on attractions and transport costs.
Tip 2: If it’s possible, travel off-season.
It can be difficult, especially if travelling with children of a certain age, to plan your travel out of peak season. However, if there is a way around it, we highly recommend that you aim to do so. A recent report outlined in the Mirror estimated that on-peak family breaks can cost up to 81% more than the same holidays out of season. While this won’t be the case with every destination, holiday providers know how to play the system. So, peak holiday season will always be a more expensive time to plan a family trip. If you have no other choice than to travel during peak season, try looking closer to home for cheaper options, or do a little research and hunt out the best on-peak tips for family trips. You’re best off looking for reviews straight from customers just like you – even social media groups might offer some great insights as to how to stick to a reasonable budget when travelling during peak season.
Tip 3: Choose your destination wisely.
We know that most families looking to take a trip will look for sun, sea and sand, but bear in mind the location and whether or not it suits for a budget break. Destinations where the cost of living is lower are going to be the best on a budget. So, for example, Spain, Portugal and so on, are known to have some cheap options when it comes to self-catering, as food and drinks prices are very reasonable. Take advantage of the fresh produce, and look for destinations that have a lot on offer (beaches, sights, activities, etc) whilst also showing trends in affordability when it comes to general living costs. While it may just be a one-off trip, you will still be living there for a short time, so do some homework into what your costs may be considering any transport, food, drink, gifts, and so on.;
Tip 4: Child-Centric Options
If you’re travelling with children (particularly younger children) look for hotel destinations that offer free kids entertainment. This could be in the way of daytime kids clubs that offer a chance for kids to take part in fun activities with other children at the resort, or evening entertainment for the whole family, such as discos, karaoke or animal shows. That being said, if you’re travelling with older kids – or even younger kids who are quite happy to stick with the family, opting for a villa where you have your own privacy, room for quiet time as well as flexibility to play louder games and so on, may be the best option. In some cases, villa holidays also work out cheaper for families, especially if you’re taking a big family trip where you can fill the villa and take advantage of the price drop per person.
On the whole, it’s simply about spending some time before you book in order to do a little research, plan some activities, and work out a manageable budget in a destination where the cost of living is affordable as well as ticking all of the usual boxes re climate and so on.