There’s no denying family holidays can be expensive, but as a survey by Admiral found, more than 50% of families would sacrifice other household expenses to ensure they could still take one. Everyone loves a good holiday, but if a week away leaves you scrimping and saving to pay off credit card bills that puts a lot of stress on the household. Don’t let holiday expenses run away with you. With a little organisation and (and some restraint!) you can have a great family holiday without breaking the bank.

Do your research

Planning is really important when you’re trying to save costs and it’s never been easier with the World Wide Web at your fingertips. First, work out your budget and stick to it. Then decide on your priorities—would you rather go further, but save on your accommodation? Or stay closer to home but splurge on a nice place to lay your head? To save when you get there, look for destinations where the currency is weak. For example, you could have a bargain holiday in the Bulgarian countryside (a cheap option for ski holidays).

Plan budget travel

With the growth in budget air travel, a staycation isn’t necessarily the cheapest option. These days, there are more and more options for budget carriers, like UK airline Flybe, which routinely offers special deals to Europe under £50. Or you can go even further—at the time of writing, Skyscanner was showing deals to Morocco for under £50, as well. For family of any age, a couple of hours on a plane can actually be far less stressful than six hours in the car; for really little ones, the excitement of flying can actually bring out better behaviour than a trip in the family sedan.


Go self-catering

Eating out can be the biggest holiday expense for families so save the pennies by going self-catering. You can still treat yourself to a meal or two out, but at least with facilities at home you can make packed lunches and easy evening meals. For self-catering deals take a look at Airbnb as it often works out cheaper than self-catering accommodation booked through the main holiday websites.

Alternatively if you’re the kind of family who love the great outdoors, you could camp. Available to download on iTunes, iCampsites is an easy way to search and find campsites across the whole of Europe. You could also save money on accommodation by sharing the costs with another family. As a bonus, this also means you can share the cooking and childcare but remember, living with another family for a week or so doesn’t suit everyone.



Save on days out

Luckily a lot of the activities kids love are free; trips to the beach, picnics in the park, and, at a push, child-friendly museums. For other activities take a look at Viator, a useful money-saving holiday app. With Viator you can browse for things to do in your city and book tickets and tours at a discount.

With a little planning you can have a family holiday on a budget. Don’t let travel stress you out—focus on keeping it simple with all laughs and less of the tears.

Flip flop overhead image by Shutterstock.


This post was written in partnership with Flybe.

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Last Update: Thursday, 13th August 2015