With three children, two of which are school age, and a husband who has recently started a job as a teacher, we don’t have a choice when it comes to going on holiday out off term time. Things can get costly, especially when looking at peak times such as the May half term or summer holidays, but going abroad doesn’t have to break the bank, and there are options out there to make your break more affordable.
Last May I took the kids to Benalmadena in Spain for a week in the sun during the half term break and it was really affordable. We stayed in a lovely hotel which had family entertainment included, meaning we didn’t need to head out and spend money at expensive bars. We managed to stick to a budget whilst still having an amazing holiday and I wanted to share with you some of my tips for planning an affordable holiday in the sun.
Book in Advance
Yes, it’s true that you can get last minute deals on holidays, but when you are looking at going away as a family, it isn’t necessarily feasible to wait until a few weeks beforehand to book something. I always try and book as far in advance as possible when going abroad, to make sure we get a good price for accommodation, and so that there are spaces left on the best flights. Booking during school holidays, especially during the half terms, can mean that flights leaving on a weekday won’t work for us, so it makes sense to start the planning stage early to avoid disappointment.
Be As Flexible as You Can Be
I know this kind of contradicts what I just said about not being able to have leeway on the flight dates, but it helps if you are able to keep things a little flexible when planning a trip. Even if your dates are set in stone, as ours often are, consider a range of different destinations or accommodation types, rather than just one, or look into flying from a different airport from your local one.
Compare Board Types
Although it might seem like the cheapest option to go for self catering or just bed and breakfast for your holiday, all those meals out at restaurants or trips to the local supermarket can add up. Don’t be afraid to explore different avenues when planning a break away. I actually prefer spending a little more upfront so that I don’t have to worry so much about the money we are spending once away, but it’s about doing what works for you.
Ask for Recommendations
Going away somewhere you haven’t been before can be lots of fun, and lead to new adventures as a family, but if it’s a new destination for you, you won’t necessarily know where the best hotels, bars and tourist spots are. Ask friends and family, or search online for forums to ask any questions you might have before you go. You may even be able to pick up some money-saving tips along the way.
Don’t Be Afraid to Explore
Sometimes it’s good to go off the beaten track a little when it comes to holiday destinations. The built up tourist areas will usually carry the highest price tags, but nearby villages or towns could be considerably kinder on the wallet. It’s always a good idea to read up about a destination before booking, but going for somewhere a little out of the way might lead to discovering some hidden gems.
Talk to the Experts
It can be a little daunting searching for a holiday online by yourself. I have spent hours trawling websites before trying to plan a holiday that won’t go into the thousands. Specialist holiday comparison sites like Holiday Gems, who specialise in destinations which are a short haul plane journey from the UK, including Spain, Majorca, Tenerife and Gran Canaria, can help make the planning stage more manageable.
This is a sponsored post, however all words and images are my own.