How to Have a Family Holiday on a Budget
At Child Friendly Villas Direct, we understand the excitement of having a lovely family holiday to look forward to. It’s what we work so hard for, after all! However, holidays can be expensive and can leave you worried about the affordability of it all. But don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be the case! We’ve created this blog post for families who are looking for ideas on how to achieve quality budget family holidays.
1. The Villa vs Hotel Debate
We believe that villas can often be a better option for families. Unlike hotels, villas offer a lot more room for your family, and also a lot more privacy. This said, to save even more money you may want to consider going on holiday in a bigger group with family and friends. Big groups on holidays can split the cost of accommodation and often help to save a lot of money.
2. Be Booking Savvy
Don’t underestimate how much money you can save simply by booking your trip at the right time, in terms of both when you book and when for. By travelling outside of peak holiday season (a factor usually determined by the school holidays), you’ll be able to secure much lower rates. These rates will then dwindle even further if you also strategically avoid the most popular visiting times for your particular destination (which is subject to change per location, with certain places proving more popular over Christmas than summer, etc.).
Once you’ve decided when is the most economical time to visit your chosen location, it’s also well worth holding off on booking flights straight away. By using a tool like Skyscanner’s best time to book, you can work out, depending on your personal criteria, exactly when you should book your flights to nab the lowest price. Fair warning; booking in as advance as possible doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll get the best deal! A few other handy tips we swear by include;
• Browsing and booking flights incognito; don’t let those pesky cookies give away that you’re keen to book a holiday!
• Using a flight comparison site, before cross-referencing your chosen results with the flight provider’s home site; this is incredibly important as prices can vary drastically between different sites and providers- never book the first flight you see!
• Playing with dates; never underrate how much money you can save merely by travelling a day or two earlier/later, as this can cause substantial price fluctuations. Set aside some time to have a thorough play with your dates, and you’ll certainly reap the rewards.
3. The Self-Catered Life
Cooking meals for your family can be a brilliant way of saving you a lot of money on your trip. Perhaps you’ve opted for an all-inclusive holiday before for the ease of having food and drink ready for you all the time, however, this comes at an expensive price tag. Alternatively, why not try a budget-friendly self-catered villa? The beauty of doing this is that you can still have food and drink right at your fingertips, stocked up from your budget-friendly supermarket trip!
All of our villas come with a fully equipped kitchen, and the advantages of self-catering are extensive:
• Buying your food and drink from a local supermarket is usually much cheaper than restaurant and café prices.
• You can buy the food (and the amount) that you know your family will eat and enjoy – particularly beneficial if the little ones are fussy!
• You can also be adventurous as supermarkets are the best place to buy your destination’s specialist cuisine.
• Cooking on holiday doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be fun! In the holiday environment, cooking with your family can be a great way of bonding.
• If you know your team will be out and about for several hours, you can make the most of your fully-stocked kitchen, and easily prepare a delicious picnic (and snacks) prior to heading out for the day; all at a fraction of the cost of a restaurant lunch.
This option really helps those searching for reasonable trips for families. It’s also important to note that opting for self-catering also doesn’t mean that you can’t eat out either! You could plan to eat out a few times during your holiday and vary this between lovely morning breakfasts or dinners out to get a real sense of the destination. Simply make sure that you budget for these meals, so take a look at our blog on how to save for a holiday.
4. Sharpen those Organisational Skills
It turns out there’s a reason why your parents were always nagging you to be more organised; by being as prepared as possible for your trip, not only will your stress levels thank you, but you’ll actually save yourself some serious expense in the process. Our top tip? Simply making sure that you’ve packed everything you need and plan ahead! Key essentials that are easily and often forgotten, such as suncream, can cost a bomb abroad and mean that even the slightest disorganisation on your part could make you start racking up the bills. Have a read of our self-catering checklist prior to your trip, and ensure that you don’t leave behind (and consequently have to replace) any essentials!
Equally, packing lunches for your day trips is another brilliant and cost-effective tactic. Eating out for the whole family can quickly add up, and so organising a few packed lunches throughout your holiday can make the world of difference. Other thrifty organisational tips to consider include are: weighing your luggage to avoid nasty overcharges, and spending time to seek out the best travel insurance deal for you. If you’re likely to be travelling multiple times over the year, it may actually work out noticeably cheaper to purchase your family’s insurance in bulk, as a yearly subscription.
5. Alternatives to Excursions
We all know how excited kids get about excursions, whether it’s the aquarium, the zoo or water parks, you name it! The tour guide will sell it and at a price normally not so friendly to your pocket. Although organised excursions can be a lot of fun, there are plenty of alternatives to consider when you’re on a budget. Most towns and cities have tourist information centres which often have guides to local events and activities that can be done for free, or at more affordable prices. Even inexpensive days at the beach or exploring the town or city can be the best part of your holiday – without the need to splash the cash!
6. Research your chosen destination
Staying on the theme of organisation, it’s always a good idea to thoroughly research the location to which you’re headed, and no, not just to increase the excitement for your trip! The beauty of having the internet at your fingertips is that you’re always only a quick Google search away from accessing a venerable mountain of information about your upcoming holiday and destination, all of which can come in handy when trying to increase the affordability of your getaway. Before booking your flights, it’s extremely beneficial to research the most economic time to buy flights and peak-seasons that can raise prices and which are best to avoid.
With the right research, you’ll be able to find out everything about a potential destination, from the average price of milk to how much of the local currency you’ll receive for your pound (and quite literally how much bang for your buck!). Carrying out this research in your trip’s planning phase will enable you to source the most wallet-friendly locations possible, as certain countries and regions not only offer more value in terms of their exchange rate, but in everything from taxi fares to tipping standards.
Another aspect to consider is your accommodation’s location; depending on the activities you’re planning to partake in, staying centrally located (or located close to the amenities you’ll be using most frequently, such as the beach) will save you a small fortune in transportation costs. Ultimately, a more expensive accommodation in a cheaper country/area may actually be considerably more wallet-friendly in the long run. Put in the research effort, and we guarantee it’ll be sure to pay off!
We have an extensive range of fantastic child-friendly holidays abroad to suit your budget, where you can browse budget family holidays without compromising on quality and comfort. Let’s find the perfect villa holiday to suit your budget! What’s more, if you’re needing a little further inspiration on how to save for your getaway, here at Child Friendly Villas Direct we’ve also got you covered.