How to enjoy a great family holiday on a limited budget

There is plenty of talk these days about the world being a smaller place and how easy it is to jet off to far-flung destinations. That’s great as far as it goes, but take a look at most of the travel blogs or TV shows and you start to wonder if everyone has suddenly become a millionaire.

Back here in the real world, it is possible to make holiday travel affordable without the need to resort to camping out in your aunt’s draughty old caravan in Whitstable. Here are a few tricks to make it possible.

Save the pennies

Setting aside a little each month into a holiday fund is vital. Some months it might be more than others depending on other expenses that crop up, but the important thing is to always add something.

Equally important is where you put it. A big jar stuffed with £20 notes sounds dramatic, but it’s not going to earn any interest and it’s tempting to raid it in times of emergency. With an ISA, you’ll get tax free interest on whatever you save, so it makes sense to open one. While you’re about it, you can open one for the kids as well – this site has all the details.

Book early – or late

The early bird discount is a familiar philosophy and you can get some fantastic deals by booking early. If you’ve always fancied the idea of a cruise but assumed it is exorbitantly pricey, try looking a year ahead. You can sometimes even get deals whereby the kids go completely free.

Of course, booking a year ahead might seem less tempting if you prefer to travel on impulse, but in that case, you can always go to the other extreme. Airlines and hotels would rather get something than have empty seats and rooms, so if you have a spirit of adventure, why not book something last minute? Sites like Late Rooms are a useful resource, and for added mystery, you could book one of their Secret Rooms and find out where you are staying when you get there!

Go out of season

If you are constrained by the school holidays, then you are always going to be facing a premium. However, if you are smart with your destination choices, you can still find some incredible deals. For example, how about a summer break in a ski chalet or Christmas with a difference on one of the Spanish islands?

The free things are sometimes best
As soon as we arrive somewhere, we always have a compulsion to do something and more often than not, it costs a small fortune. Yet it doesn’t have to be that way. The internet can really be your friend here, so research your destination before you go on a site like Tripadvisor and you will find there are plenty of things to do that won’t cost you a penny. You can also check out the tourist information office when you arrive for free events.  

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