Family holidays can be expensive, so much so more parents are opting for ‘stay-cations’ instead of booking a trip out of town or overseas. That may sound like a good idea at the time, but the novelty of staying home during the holidays quickly wears off! Adding up the costs of airline fares, larger hotel rooms and tickets to experiences, and wondering how you’re ever going to afford your next holiday? You need to read on. Don’t put your dreams of holidaying in an exotic location aside, we’ve got some tips that will help you save on your next family trip.
1. Pick your airfares wisely
Planning an overseas venture to explore Disneyland in LA or to visit the best water parks in Melbourne? If you don’t have to travel in school holiday time, you’re far more likely to find a cheap deal. An indirect flight to your destination will also result in a considerable price drop and if you can travel at night do. Not only will your kids sleep (hopefully), your fares will be much cheaper.
2. Monitor online sales
Sign up to a few different travel sites such as airlines, hotel chains and car-hire to receive special offers in your inbox. Most companies will offer price reductions to their subscriber list first before the general public. Be warned, you’ve got to be quick to secure the best deals.
3. Consider a house swap
Hotels can quickly blow out the budget, so if you’re looking at ways you can save, consider a house swap. If you’re willing to let others use your house, you could spend your family holiday living in a home in your favourite destination. If swapping houses isn’t your thing, house sitting is another great alternative to a hotel. Both offer real-life experiences and you’ll have the added benefit of kid’s toys, furniture items like cots and highchairs and full cooking facilities.
4. Take an inflatable mattress
Don’t pay for a trundle bed at the hotel, instead bring your own inflatable mattress. There are plenty of travel designs that are relatively small in size and will be perfectly comfortable for children to sleep on.
5. Order goods online
If you’re travelling with young kids, you’re likely to have a lot of luggage. You can order some of the necessities like nappies, wipes, formula and baby food online and have it delivered to your destination.
6. Buy breakfast items
Breakfast in a hotel can be outrageously expensive, especially if all they’re offering is a continental spread. When you arrive to your holiday spot, head to the local supermarket and purchase breakfast supplies like cereal, milk, bread and fruit.
7. Seal the minibar shut
Don’t even think about opening the minibar! Stock up on your favourites at the supermarket or local bottle shop.
8. Watch your Wi-Fi
If your hotel is charging for its Wi-Fi coverage, check the rates before you jump online. Surfing the net for a great family-friendly restaurant near your hotel could end up costing you more unnecessarily. Also, be careful of your mobile phone usage. It’s not uncommon for travellers to spend up big unknowingly on data roaming charges.
9. Hire a small car
Book a smaller car than you would like. In some cases, you’ll be upgraded to a larger vehicle with no additional costs. If you can bring your own car seats with you, that will also reduce the costs of the car hire.
10. Travel with another family
Travelling with another family can allow you to share the expenses. Consider booking a house or a large self-contained apartment to reduce the accommodation costs. You’ll also share the load of chores too like cooking dinner and be able to take it in turns to have child-free date nights with your partners.