When it comes to booking the family vacation, there are so many choices that the process can become almost offputting and more hassle than it is worth. How on earth do you make sure that there is something for everyone, at the right time of year, in the right destination, for the right price? If you are scratching your head at the thought of booking your next family vacation, here are some tips to help you save money while still booking a holiday that the whole family will never forget.
Before you do anything else, the very first step that you need to take when it comes to saving money on your family vacation is to be prepared to be flexible.
If you are prepared to consider a range of destinations, accommodation, and date options, you will be in a much better position to get the best possible deal. If you can travel out of peak times – not in the height of summer when the kids are out of school – it will make it a lot cheaper, although we appreciate that this is not possible for everyone. However, opting for something out of the main tourist hotspots can also save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Set a Budget
There is very little point in looking at vacations if you do not have a budget, which includes your spending money, in mind. Having one from the very beginning will help to keep you focussed. Bear in mind if you are tempted to go for a more expensive resort or destination, or to book fancy (and often unnecessary!) upgrades that you are likely to be eating into your spending money, which can mean fewer treats and activities while you are away.
Compare and Contrast
Now comes the fun bit. Thanks to the internet, you no longer have to trawl through travel agents to book a holiday. Instead, you can go online and visit package holiday and self-booking websites to get an idea of how much each individual element of your trip will cost. This will help you to work out whether it is cheaper to book it altogether or separately.
Choose your favorite three, and then directly compare them against your critical holiday criteria – price, destination, activities, etc.
Once you have settled on a resort, spend a little more time checking to make sure that you cannot find the same holiday cheaper elsewhere, or if you can get a few additional extras thrown in. There is no better feeling than knowing you got the best bargain available!
Buy Your Insurance
Insurance is the boring bit, but it is one of the most important things.
Without travel insurance, you could lose your pre-paid deposits and costs if you have to cancel your vacation unexpectedly or have to pay for some pretty expensive bills if someone falls ill while you are away on your trip. Make sure that when you do purchase your insurance, you declare any pre-existing medical conditions as this can void your insurance if you don’t.
Think Like A Local
When you arrive at your destination, start thinking like a local. After a long and often stressful journey, it can be tempting to hop into a taxi to get to your hotel, but this can prove extremely expensive. If there is the option of public transport, try it – you will definitely save some money!
As well as that, when it comes to eating out, it can be tempting to head straight to a restaurant full of likeminded tourists, but by eating where the locals eat, you will almost definitely save money and get a real taste of the destination.
Whether you are staying in a hotel, where you might be saving on your dining or self-catering accommodation, it is always a good idea to pack your own provisions for days out. If you are heading to local attractions, the costs of food, drinks, and snacks can add up very quickly. Instead, head to a local grocery store or supermarket and pick up some bottled drinks and snacks to take along with you.
But while cooking food in the accommodation can get dull after a while, especially when you don’t feel like you’re on true vacation mode, you can spend a few months before you head away looking for food deals and gift cards. Places like Flippers Pizza have gift card options, so you could be cheeky and ask someone for that for Christmas so you can treat the family, or if there is a time before you head off and you have the money, buy the card then. Saving money isn’t easy on vacation, but the preparation starts way before you pack your suitcase!
If you are planning day trips and activities, take some time to research beforehand to see if you can collect any coupons or family discounts that you can take advantage of. Usually, relying on paying on the day at the gates works out a lot more expensive than pre-booking.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to book a holiday that everyone enjoys while saving you money at the same time.
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