As a family with young children we have not had a holiday abroad for years, the last few years have been super busy for us with having children and moving house so a family holiday has not been possible. Now that we have moved and the children are past the baby stage we have been thinking about booking a family holiday abroad for later in the year. After a crazy busy few years I feel like I am in need of a break, a chance to relax in the sun, have time off from house work and to have fun and spend quality time together as a family.
With it being the the little twos first time abroad we have been looking at staying in Europe, somewhere with a short flight time and that won't be too hot. Probably somewhere like the Balearic islands, however being a family of five we have found that holiday's for larger families are a lot more expensive then we thought as larger hotel rooms are limited. Luckily my brother works in the travel industry and he has passed on a few tips to me on how to book a family holiday in the sun without blowing our budget.
1.) Go All-Inclusive. When you are going somewhere like Spain for a family holiday it is normally best to book an all-inclusive package. The initial cost of the holiday will obviously be more than booking self catering or half board but once you have paid for your holiday you don't need as much spending money. I know all-inclusive holidays are not for everyone but when you have young children they are brilliant as they can have unlimited drinks and ice-cream which would otherwise have cost you a fortune.
2.) Go During Term Time. I know this is often frowned upon and is not always possible but booking a holiday outside of the school holidays can save you a fortune. I will be booking a holiday during term time even though my oldest daughter is at school as it will save us a lot of money, as long as she is not missing any important academic events such as exams etc then personally I am happy to do this. Obviously if you have young children then going outside of term time won't be a problem.
3.) Use Voucher Codes. It is always worth looking online to see if you can find any voucher codes that could help you make savings on your holidays. Sites like My Favourite Voucher codes have tons of great codes available for big name brands such as First Choice holidays www.myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk/first-choice-holidays-voucher-codes they really are worth checking out as you can make huge savings off the cost of your holiday.
4.) Look For Free Child Places. Most holiday company's offer free child places and looking out for these offers can save you hundreds of pounds off the cost of your holiday. When we looked we found that we would be saving around £500 off the cost of our holiday if we booked a holiday with a free child place, so they really are worth looking out for.
5.) Book In Advance. It is often best to book your holiday well in advance as you can take advantage of all of the special offers like free child places. Booking early also means that you get longer to pay for your holiday and you can often pay in installments throughout the year, plus you also have longer to save for spending money and holiday clothes too.
6.) Be Flexible With Dates. Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes it might work out cheaper going a day or two either side of your preferred departure date. When we were recently looking we found flying on the Wednesday instead of the Sunday was going to cost us over £200 less for the exact same holiday. We also found that booking for 10 days was only slightly more expensive than booking for a week and a lot cheaper then 14 days. It is worth playing around with the dates to find the best deal you can.
7.) Insurance. Sometimes it works out a lot cheaper if you shop around and book your insurance yourself instead of via your travel agent. A few quick searches online should show you what cover you need and the best prices to buy it and you may even find that your bank offer perks on certain accounts such as free travel insurance.
8.) In Flight Meals. Another thing if you are on a short haul flight it may not be worth paying for the in-flight meals. Sometimes it works out a lot cheaper just buying something at the airport to eat before you board or something from the departure lounge that you can take onboard to eat.
Hopefully using these tips we will save some extra money off our holiday this year and we can have a few extra treats with the savings we have made. Do you have any money saving tips for booking a family holiday? If so I would love to know in the comments below.
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