There’s no doubt about it, kids cost a lot. And with school holiday periods often a more expensive time to travel, it can be a challenge trying to find an affordable trip.
A recent survey on Skyscanner revealed that found 37% of users had taken their children out of school to secure a cheaper holiday. But you don’t have to force your kids to play truant or choose between your brood and a break.
Skyscanner shows you five ways to have a family holiday without offloading your offspring.
Location, location, location
Choose your destination carefully for cheaper break. Staying in the UK can be a good option if you’re willing to accept the unpredictable weather, but if you do want to go abroad, there are plenty of places that remain good value. Spain and Portugal still offer cheap accommodation, food and activities which is why they remain so popular as family destinations. Eastern Europe also offers great value family holiday options so consider Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia or Lithuania where you’ll find everything you can in Western Europe, but generally at a lower cost.
Time it right
You may be forced to travel during the school holidays but you can at least choose the days you depart and return. This can have a huge effect on the price you pay for flights; use Skyscanner’s month view’ to find the cheapest days to travel. Generally, midweek is cheapest, so try to avoid travelling at weekends if you can.
Timing also comes into play if you visit big attractions abroad, for example Disney World. In the US, schools have different holidays to UK schools, so a trip during the last week in August is a good time to go, as this is when crowds start to thin out and there are even special rates offered.
Save on accommodation
There are some advantages to staying in hotels but they also tend to be the most expensive form of accommodation. A cottage or apartment may be better suited to keeping the family happy, and be cheaper too; you tend to get more space as well as your own cooking facilities which helps keep costs down.
Also consider a camping holiday; they’re cheap, informal, outdoorsy and fun. Pick somewhere with a good climate and you should be able to avoid the wet weather that often plagues camping trips on UK soil. There are many organised campsites that provide a ‘house tent’, cooking equipment and a reasonable level of creature comforts – perfect for families. For something similar but different – try a stay in a Yurt, Tee Pee or Bell Tent – which tend to offer little luxuries and are guaranteed to keep the kids happy.
It’s almost always best to book your holiday early as you tend to get the best prices on flights and accommodation well in advance because many operators offer early booking discounts. If you’re willing to take a gamble, it is possible to get good last minute deals, but you’ll have to take what’s left rather than having the pick of where you actually want to go.
Eat local – but avoid the tourist traps
Sometimes children can be fussy about trying unfamiliar foods, but if you pitch it right – feeding time can be fun time. Be sure to avoid overly touristic venues (which are normally overpriced and over populated) and instead head to local supermarkets or the smaller, family run restaurants which tend to be more family friendly and better value too.