It’s no secret that family holidays are more expensive than ever. No matter how much you save up, there always seems to be a few unexpected costs here and there which threaten to take the sunshine out of your getaway. What with enough sun cream for the whole family, travel insurance and baggage costs, it all adds up. All is not lost, though – we’ve gathered some tried-and-tested tips from parents who’ve managed to make their holiday successful and affordable.

Budget, Budget, Budget

It’s a word that strikes boredom into the heart of every parent, but budgeting is your main weapon when fighting the evils of hidden travel costs. Set yourselves a limit on spending each day – be realistic, and DON’T go over it. You’ll be thankful for all those spreadsheets and calculations when you’ve still got enough money to get a taxi home from the airport at the end of the holiday.

Do Your Research

Do your research to get travel costs down. Use flight comparison sites to find the best deals, use budget airlines to fly to just outside the place you’re travelling to, or just forego air travel altogether. Can you get a ferry to your destinations? A bus? Train? It might not be as easy, but it’ll be a lot cheaper.

When you’re there, try to get around by walking instead of using the public transport. You’ll see and discover a whole multitude of things you wouldn’t have otherwise known existed.

Shop Savvy

Accommodation-wise, a lot of families benefit from all-inclusive deals, where your food and drink is included in the price of where you’re staying. Booking in advance can also save you some pennies, or on the other end of the spectrum, last minute booking can often get you a reasonable price cut.

If you really want to slash the budget, camping can be an amazing family bonding experience. Some hostels will allow you to camp in their grounds and use their facilities for a small fee.

Food usually the biggest temptation to spend whilst on holiday, but it’s possible to have great meals without splashing out. Take a mini stove with you for on-the-go hot meals, use local supermarkets, eat street food to save the cost of using a table and chair, and share meals in restaurants

Some Other Tips:

  • You don’t have to spend money to have fun. Ask at Tourist Information for free walking tours, go to beaches, to parks and to museums with free entry.
  • Supermarket loyalty cards often offer discounts on flights and attractions in exchange for points. Stock up and take advantage!
  • Get low-cost family travel insurance. InsureMore offers cheap, comprehensive cover with a range of different packages tailored to your needs. Plus, kids go free!