Simple ways to save and budget on your family holiday *

I’m sure most of us are familiar with the feeling of getting back from holiday, checking out bank account and having to do a double or triple take at the figure in front of our eyes. I visited The Lake District back in 2015 and splashed away hundreds and hundreds of pounds on top of the price of the cottage and found myself frantically ringing my Mum one day when we were out exploring because neither of us had our bank cards and I looked in my purse and had no money for petrol! It was either embarrassingly ring my Mum and ask her to save me or be stranded in the middle of The Lake District. I can handle a bit of embarrassment! 

And that was only a small staycation for my boyfriend and I. Had that been a 5 hour plane journey away from home you can be your bottom dollar I’d have been having a panic attack in the middle of the midday sun worshipers on a Lanzarote beach. Money can be stressful at the best of times but when it comes to holidays, you really don’t want money to be the thing that ruins it for you – especially when a holiday is designed to get you away from all the stresses of “normal” life! (Whatever normal means…)

And travelling to anywhere in the world with more than just the two of you only increases both price and potential stress. But families holidays are so damn important for a whole bunch of reasons. My family holidays as a child and a teenager with my parents are some of my fondest memories. Having been so young, I have no idea if my parents struggled to pay for those holidays or what measures they took to ensure we could have on each Summer but now I’m older and my rose-tinted glasses have come off, I can imagine there must have been some stress involved in order for us all to jet off to the Canary Islands and stay in lovely hotels each year.

So if you’re in the market for a family holiday, either a last-minute job for this Summer or planning ahead to next year, there’s plenty of measures you can take to keep the price down on certain elements of your trip. I’m sure each family has their own money-saving tactics but here are some fairly simple ones you can take on board too…

Before the holiday:

Make a detailed list when you shop for holiday supplies: This will stop you going off track and buying lots of unnecessary items!

Shop in the sale: If you’ve booked yourself a holiday for next year, Christmas is when there’s all the best sales on. Grab yourself some bargains in those!

Try and book the last week of the Summer holidays: Travelling with children obviously means that you’ll likely be travelling during the school holidays but it’s been found that the last week of the Summer holidays tends to be a bit cheaper!

Or alternatively, the October half term: If the dead of Summer is a bit too hot for your liking, then your next best bet is probably the October half term which again. has been found to be another slightly cheaper term-time.

Chose a night flight if possible: Night flights tend to be a bit cheaper as well so if it’s possible when travelling with kids, consider a night flight! (Night flights are personally my absolute favourite!)

All inclusive: Food and drink abroad can add up to absolutely extortionate amounts of money so going all inclusive is a great alternative. Holiday Gems has lots of great options in all our favourite sunny destinations!

On the holiday:

Question any dodgy sounding cab fairs: I’m sure we’ve all heard of cab drivers abroad taking advantage of British tourists because of language barriers and other reasons. If anything sounds a bit off, question it!

Implement ‘no phone’ time: Phone credit, data being over-used and talk time can really add up without you seemingly noticing abroad so if you’re on your family holiday, having a ‘no phone’ policy during certain times of the day will not only allow you to spend more quality time together but also knock a whole lot of unnecessarily charges off.

Avoid the mini-bar: Mini-bars in hotel rooms can be ridiculous prices. Instead, go down to the actual bar and buy a bottle of whatever you want! It’ll be much cheaper.

Set a budget for every day: This is quite an obvious one but keeping track of your spending is so important and having a budget for every day can be really useful. Giving yourself a bit of leeway as well can help so for example if you go £10 over budget on one day, don’t worry because the next day, you mind be £10 under.

Do you have any holy-grail tips for saving money and budgeting on your family holidays? Any money-related challenges you’ve had to face whilst abroad but got around?

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33 thoughts on “Simple ways to save and budget on your family holiday *

  1. We always try and book as early as possible to make most of free child place offers if we’re staying in a hotel, usually a year or more in advance. If we’re going self catering we book independently and often go with another family to share the cost. Love the tip about having a detailed list for what you need to buy for hol – this is my downfall, I buy far too much!! Although with the weather we’ve been having this summer all the extra holiday clothing has come in very handy!!!

  2. These are such excellent tips Jenny. I don’t go on holiday that often but I’m always amazed at how much we spend when we do. I definitely need to consider making a strict budget next time. Luckily without kids we can be much more flexible about when we go, so it does even out a bit! I’ve never gone all inclusive before, I’ll need to check out what deals Holiday Gems has!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

    1. I really am so grateful for not having kids! Whenever we book anywhere we choose either just before or just after the school holidays and it’s sometimes HUNDREDS of quid cheaper! xxx

  3. There was a big thing on the radio that as soon as people were leaving Ireland their wifi was switching off and they were being charged extortionate rates so I’d advise always checking you’ve your wifi on! Also would say remember to pack sandwiches and snacks when you’re going on day trips, sometimes they only bring you to expensive places. Also we brought kids magazines and match attax cards (have boys so whatever is equivalent for girls!) and a bag of lollipops to suck when the airplane was taking off and landing and crackers for when people weren’t feeling great and we lived to tell the tale!( Was terrified as it as our first time abroad!)

    1. Taking your own food is a great tip and I often do whenever I go anywhere cos always buying food out really adds up. Haha no need to be terrified! Often holidays abroad go much smoother than holidays here 😂

  4. I really dodn’t Notice that night flights were cheaper. I will be keeping this information in my back pocket for next time we book. I like to be super organised for my holidays and make a list of all the clothes that are packed so when it gets close to leaving we are aware we don’t need to panic buy. Plus I take the list away as when we re pack we can make sure we have everything. Don’t want to leave the kids favourite toys behind!
    Kate x
    http://www.katesbeautyhome.blog

  5. ive only been away like this as a child so i didnt have to worry so much about money but im going to remember all of this when we book ours in a few years

  6. These are great tips Jenny! I remember once I went to Tenerife and spent most of the spending money on an organised trip to go up Mount Teide. Now I always plan ahead and take a bit extra for trips, having a daily budget is a great idea! Thanks for sharing 💖 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  7. I think you have to be careful in deciding if all inclusive is for you. You have to be committed to eating what the hotel offers (could be the same things every day) and can’t be a fussy eater. Otherwise you can end up paying for all inclusive and then more food on top of that as well.

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