Creating the perfect family holiday on a budget is one of life's most challenging tasks. In fact, some may say it's an art that needs to be mastered! Finding something that suits everyone in your family whilst still keeping within your budget takes a lot of planning. However, it's do-able by just keeping to a few simple tips.
Consider house-sitting How does free accommodation for your holiday sound? Pretty good, yes? Becoming a registered house-sitter can be a great way to slash holiday costs in half and see some really amazing places at the same time. Generally speaking, your half of the bargain is to look after the home and usually a family pet. This can mean there's certain constraints on you holiday, such as having to come home to walk the dog. But, when you're saving hundreds, if not thousands on your accommodation, it's a small price to pay! Plus, your kids will most likely be delighted at the prospect of a new four-legged friend to play with. House-sitting also gives you the added benefit of being able to go away during the summer holidays without spending a fortune. Most people who require a house-sitter tend to go away during the summer season. Finally, if it's raining outside and you've exhausted all the local indoor attractions, you will be able to relax in a home with all the mod-cons - rather than being trapped in a soulless hotel room. Take your accommodation with you
Although not suitable for everyone, camping or caravanning is a great way to save money on your family holiday. Most camping plots cost between £12-30 a night depending on the size and whether you need electricity or not. You can also add an awning to your caravan to increase the space you and your family have, or to store possessions. Another great option is to consider motorhome hire. Many motorhomes now are incredibly modern and spacious, and you can take a lot of them abroad now. Touring across France or Spain in a motorhome can mean you see lots of amazing places, and you avoid the hassle of having to pitch a tent every time you stop. Just make sure you drive safely and don’t get distracted by any commotion in the back.
Be savvy about when you book If you're booking for an August family holiday in June, chances are things are going to be very expensive. Consider booking your family holiday during October or November, when the season has just ended and prices are lower. Alternatively, if you are staying at a B&B or other kinds of private lodgings, discuss a return with the proprietor whilst you are still there. The promise of a secured booking for the next season will probably win them over and you may be able to haggle some kind of discount too. 'Build your own' holiday You could be saving a lot of money by ditching the package deal and trying a 'do it yourself' holiday. Companies such as Holiday Pirates try to minimise the extra time it takes for you to do this by putting up mix and match packages. Then, all you have to do is follow the instructions to book your flights, accommodation and transfers.