We know that your precious family holiday is the last thing you would want to cut back on when you’re watching your pennies.
But to avoid coming home with a hefty credit card bill it’s crucial to plan ahead and make the most of your family holiday budget.
So, with family holiday budgets in mind, here are some top Tots tips to help you plan for your best family friendly holiday yet!
1. Book flights as early as you can…
Prices can go up daily so it is best to book your flights as soon as you have booked your accommodation. Use www.skyscanner.net to compare air fares and find the best deal.
2. Be flexible…
There are some great deals available if you’re prepared to be flexible on dates and destination. Don’t be afraid to ask for a different check in date than is quoted..arriving on a Friday instead of a Saturday could save you £££s on air fares….you never know unless you ask the question. Check out our latest special offers.
3. Holiday out of peak times
If you have young children take advantage of the years you can holiday in term time. It is considerably cheaper to travel outside of the school holidays and in many countries you’ll find less crowds as well as better climates for young children. You’ll kick yourself for not making the most of this once you are tied to school holiday dates…take it from me!
4. Get the best deals on insurance, airport parking and airport hotels
Shop around to get the best deals on car hire, airport parking and travel insurance. There are lots of comparison websites you can choose to help you search. We recommend Essential Travel for great all round travel insurance. Click here for a 10% off with Essential Travel.
5. Check your paperwork well in advance…and be accurate!
Check your passport is valid and that the children have them as soon as you book. Last minute applications are stressful and more expensive so check now and put a reminder in your calendar 6 months before they expire. And check and check again when filling out booking forms – one un-noticed typo could end up meaning you void your entire booking and end up having to pay an admin fee to put it right.
6. Manage your luggage allowance carefully
The budget airlines are increasingly strict when it comes to size and weight of your luggage and hefty charges will result. Buy hand luggage that fits in with the airline’s luggage allowance and weigh your bags ahead of leaving home.
7. Pain-free cutbacks…
Look through your monthly out goings for the little things you could cut out without changing your lifestyle; turning everything on standby to off, cancelling unused TV channels or cutting down on the Starbucks coffees. Take a packed lunch to work instead of buying a sandwich and the saving will add up to the equivalent of a meal out whilst you’re away. Change your shopping habits…go to Lidl or Aldi – you’ll quickly notice the savings that can be made on your weekly shop.
Starting an ‘ice cream fund’ is also a nice way to get the little people excited about saving – they can decorate the jar and help you fill it with spare household change that you can cash in before you travel. Have them scoop up those little untidy piles of coppers that get left around the house. It’ll soon add up.
8. Buy all your sun creams, sun hats and so on before you leave
Buying suncream, sun hats, pool toys and so on whilst you are on holiday can be expensive. Take long lasting suncream, 2in1 shampoo and conditioner and dive sticks that can fit easily into luggage! Tots villas will have a good supply of indoor, outdoor and pool toys so you won’t need to pack up or buy buckets and spades when you arrive.
9. Plan for the journey…
Think ahead to what meals you are likely to need en-route and pack a picnic, snacks and drinks. Be creative with your picnic location – children will love eating in an unusual place and it will save you a fortune in motorway services, airport cafes and in flight snacks.
The same goes for entertainment – pack your own colouring books and card games rather than being caught out en route when fractious little people begin to get bored…
Timing the journey when they need to sleep can also save on too many stops.
10. Self cater….
With self catering you are not dependent on expensive restaurants. Buy food from local markets and plan picnics. Many holiday home owners now offer home-cooked food too, which still gives you a break but at a fraction of the cost of a restaurant.
Load up the freezer with ice-creams and lollies so you can give the kids lots of icy treats without spending over the odds at ice-cream shops whilst out and about.
Why not seek out accommodation within walking distance of shops, restaurants or parks, and spend a few days without using the car too?
11. Foreign exchange…
Don’t leave purchasing Euros until you get to the airport. Hunt around for the best exchange rate for your family holiday cash and try to do it in advance without needing to exchange any more once you’re away. Also check which are the best deals for spending on debit and credit cards when abroard and compare high street exchange rates with the online rates….WHICH? is our first port of call for reliable, up to date advice…
Have you got any tips you could tell us about? We’d love to hear from you.