Planning a family vacation for the mid-year school holiday?
Family vacations are a great way to expose the kids to other cultures and traditions, but it can easily burn a hole in your wallet. For a family of five, that means 5x the number of meals to buy 5x the number of flight tickets to book and 5x the headaches!
To avoid getting into a sticky financial situation, it’s always good to plan ahead and save money wherever you can. Previously, we shared 11 Essential Hacks for Traveling with Kids and now we’ve put together some handy tips on 10 Ways to Save Money When Traveling with Kids.
- Rent a house or apartment
Rather than get separate rooms in a hotel, throw the option of vacation houses and apartments into the mix from websites such as AirBnB. You’re likely to save money as you’ll only need to rent one unit and you can oversee everyone under the same roof. Plus, there’s the added bonus of a living area for family bonding time.
- Book off peak and avoid school holidays
As tempting as the school holiday season is, the easiest way to save on flight costs is to travel during off peak periods. Some popular attractions may also have off-peak prices.
As a bonus, decreased traffic also means fewer chances for delays and places will be less crowded!
- Stay loyal to one airline
Rack up on a frequent flyer miles by traveling with the same airline. After a few family vacations, you would probably have enough to get a decent discount on the next ticket you buy.
- Ditch the plane, travel by land
If you’re traveling to Europe, consider ditching airplanes altogether and take a train or a bus instead. It’s cheaper, eliminates the hassle of airports, and can be even faster than planes if you go with the fast train companies like Eurostar or Thalys.
Tip: Take an overnight train to save on an additional nights’ hotel stay. It’ll also be less disruptive to your kids’ sleeping schedules.
- Optimise your meals
When dining out, look out for “kids eat free” promotions at restaurants and hotels. If your accommodation has a kitchen, take a trip to the grocery store and stock up on eggs, milk, cereal, bread, cold cuts and cheese to save money on the most important meal of the day–breakfast. For the day out, pack a collapsible cooler in your luggage and bring those cold cuts and other snacks out with you.
- Bring a water bottle
Bottled water tends to be expensive at airports and tourist attraction, so bring your own reusable bottle and fill up at drinking fountains wherever you go. It can also double up as a snack container.
- Stock up on sunscreen
Holidays usually a lot of walking, so sun protection is essential for the entire family. Popular tourist destinations like beach resorts and theme parks sell them for higher prices, so save some money and bring your own favourite brand from home.
- Research. Research. Research. Pre-book things online
When you’re on a budget, research is your best friend. Get to know what prices to expect at your destination, and pre-book tickets and transfers online for the best prices and potential discounts. Travel Recommends has attraction tickets for 7 different countries, go check it out!
- Avoid high mobile roaming charges
Remember not to accept phone calls when overseas and consider renting a pocket WiFi or buying an overseas SIM card for Internet access. There are many options available, depending on your budget and group size. For more information, check out our article here.
- Bring your own cat seat
If you plan to rent a car at your holiday destination, bring along your kid’s car seat. Car and booster seats are allowed on the plane as checked luggage for free, so the only hassle is that you have to carry it around with you.
There are many other ways you can save money when traveling with your kids. The experiences your kids will gain will make it all worth it! Just be prepared and utilise the abundance of travel resources available online. Also, don’t forget to check Travel Recommends for all your travel necessities.