Planning A Family Holiday On A Budget
We all love our family holidays abroad. We work hard for most of the year in order to enjoy time away with our nearest and dearest. For most of us, these family holidays provide us with treasured memories that keep us going during difficult times. How many of you have sat on your sofa on a cold winters night reading travel brochures, dreaming of warm sunshine and crystal blue seas ?
I have always thought that the whole holiday system seems somewhat unfair. I mean, we work and save hard for fifty weeks a year to enjoy the two weeks family holiday in the sun. And guess what ? The holiday comes and goes in a flash and we are back to working and saving for the next holiday the year after. The thought of having to wait another fifty weeks before the next family holiday seems almost unbearable.
Is there another option ? Do we really have to holiday just once a year with our family ? I don’t believe so, if we plan accordingly. How amazing would it be to have two or even three holidays a year ? I know how important holidays are to refresh and regenerate our tired lives and to spend quality time with our loved ones. So here are my top tips on how to achieve more family holiday time on a budget.
WORK OUT YOUR BUDGET
This is crucial as it is the starting point for your plans. Look at your annual total budget for holidays. Yes, you can spend the total allocation on one holiday, but the object of this post is to make you think a little more about HOW you spend this budget. It is quite feasible to spend your holiday budget on two holidays if you plan correctly. So, now you have your budget, let’s move on to some other tips that will help you achieve this multi holiday plan.
CHECK HOLIDAY DATES
OK, so you have to go in school holidays as you have children or grandchildren. Going within school holiday dates immediately pushes the prices up. Yes, we moan about it, but there is nothing we can do to change this as it is just market forces. So, to try and limit this issue from affecting your choice, why not look differently at the dates. There are dates WITHIN the school holidays that are cheaper. For example the last week in August is usually cheaper than the other weeks in August. With many children not returning to school till well into the first week in September, this can be a good budget option. October half term can also be an option as this can be cheaper than peak summer times. The weather is still warm across many popular destinations abroad, so you can still be assured of good sunshine.
RESEARCH YOUR HOLIDAY
Always research your holiday thoroughly. Don’t book the first holiday you see. Get a notebook and write down all your findings so you can evaluate the best deal for you and your budget. Try and start this research well before you travel so you have plenty of time to book. Don’t forget that the earlier you book, then the better deals you will find.
CHOOSE ACCOMMODATION WISELY
Apart from choosing low cost accommodation it is wise to check out the facilities and location of where you will be staying. Think of your family and their needs. Do the children love playing on the beach ? If so, then try and book a beach side hotel. This way, your children will be entertained for most of the day playing on the beach. And best of all, its free ! Check out the children’s facilities at each accommodation. The more free activities there are for children, then the less cash you need to spend on them. It can be false economy to book a self catering apartment located in the middle of nowhere and with no on site facilities, as you will find yourself paying for transport to the nearest beach and other activities to keep the children happy. I would also check out all inclusive. While initially this may look more expensive, the savings that you make on food and drink can be substantial. Try tot up the cost of eating away from the hotel as opposed to eating on the all inclusive package. You may be surprised at the value of eating within the hotel on such a package.
Following on from the accommodation advice, I personally think it is worth checking out if your chosen accommodation has free Wi-Fi. I have made this mistake before, when I had to pay for Wi-Fi access for the whole holiday and trust me, it was expensive. Yes, I know we go on holiday to relax and get away from modern stresses, but honestly, most of us like to have Wi-Fi to keep in touch with home, other family members or just the world in general. Plus we often use the internet abroad to find out about local places of interest and costs etc. So this can actually help you stay within your budget while on holiday.
MY FAVOURITE DESTINATION FOR A BUDGET HOLIDAY
As most of you know Spain is one of my favourite holiday destinations. It has everything I love about a relaxing holiday. It has mostly year round warm sunshine, sandy, child friendly beaches, sparkling blue seas, stunning architecture, amazing food and a guaranteed warm welcome from the Spanish people. Oh, and did I mention my all time favourite food ? – CHURROS !
We are already planning our next trip to Spain and this time we are looking at Costa Del Sol around the town of Estepona. This typical Spanish town is known for its stunning scenery, beautiful beaches and laid back lifestyle, which suits me very well ! Estepona exudes charm, character and history which I look for in a holiday.
So I hope you have enjoyed my top tips for planning a budget holiday in the sun. Do you have any more tips that you would like to share with everyone ? Please comment below if you would like to share your own experiences.
Until next time dear friends