Tom and I last took a proper holiday roughly three years ago, it was for valentines and we went for a city break to Barcelona. It was just perfect. Little did we know that was the last time we would go abroad for a while! Since Wilf has come along we've taken a family holiday down to Devon with Tom's family but have yet to take a real holiday jut the three of us.
Over Christmas however I finally got it together to apply for Wilf's passport and I'm really hoping 2014 will be year we get to go away. Holidays are expensive but there are many ways in which you can cut down these costs. These suggestions will help you reduce the cost of your next holiday.
A little research can go a long way to keeping your costs down. Check out several destinations to see how they compare price wise. Take a look at the cost of transport and accommodation and also check the price of local restaurants and attractions (many places have free attractions – London’s museums, for example). If you aren’t keen on flying (read, completely and utterly terrified of flying!) but want to travel abroad, the Eurostar™ can also be a good option. Also, remember that the further you go, the higher your travelling expenses will be, and you don’t have to go abroad to have a good holiday.
You can save quite a bit by travelling at off peak times. During school holiday periods, you should expect to pay a lot more than during other times, so if you can take your holiday during school time; you will also find your destination less crowded. If you check around, you’ll probably be able to find good off peak deals from airlines and providers of accommodation.
If you are planning to fly, the day of the week can affect the price; mid-week prices tend to be lower than those at the weekend. Prices also vary with the time of day; very often, early morning or late evening departures are cheaper than flights at other times.
When you have decided on your holiday time and destination, it’s generally best to try to book as early as possible. This will give you time to hunt around for the best deals and the opportunity to take advantage of early booking offers. You will also stand a much greater chance of getting the bookings that you want rather than having to make do with second best.
Use the Internet
The Internet is a blessing for travellers. You can check which airline has the cheapest flights to your destination, rather than being at the mercy of travel agents and you’ll also find that booking online is usually cheaper than going through an agent.
It’s the same with accommodation. You’ll be able to look at all the options at your destination and choose which suits you best and generally you’ll be able to find some good discounts. And, you’ll be able to contact the hotel directly yourself to see if they will give you an even better discount.
The Internet will also allow you to have a look at what other people have said about the airlines and accommodation that you are considering.
A big part of the family holiday budget goes on food and drink. The cost of regular restaurant dining for a family quickly mounts up, so you should consider self-catering. Even if your hotel has no cooking facilities you can still cut costs by making your own breakfast – cereal, milk and bread need no cooking. Or, if your hotel has a buffet breakfast, eat well so that you need less at lunchtime.
For local travel, find out if you can buy travel passes; they are often much cheaper than paying for individual journeys and are much more convenient. Also, you may be able to buy passes that offer access to multiple attractions at a discount. These are fine but check the price of each attraction you plan to visit first - you may not want to go to all those included in the pass, so it may prove more expensive than individual entry. Check, too, if there are any discounted family tickets available.
Do you have any tips for keeping the costs down on planning a holiday?
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