July 29, 2013

How to Enjoy a Cheap Family Holiday

With the economic crisis rumbling on, budgets for family holidays will once again be stretched this summer.

However, just because you’re having to watch the pennies doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fantastic break in the sun – you just need to know where to look.

Monarch.co.uk is a great place to start, but before you get ready to book, read on for some tips on how to keep down costs without sacrificing enjoyment.

Package holidays

If you can pick up a cheap package holiday, you’ll be going a long way to sticking within your budget.

By getting the flights, accommodation, food and so on in one go from a single provider you can make significant savings. You also avoid a huge amount of hassle and time spent trying to coordinate things with hotels and airlines.

Value destinations

One of the most important factors that impacts on a holiday budget is the choice of destination itself. Even within Europe there is considerable variation in not only accommodation costs, but also the price of food in supermarkets, eating out at restaurants and visiting attractions.

Spain’s Mediterranean coast, Portugal’s Algarve and Greece’s islands are widely regarded as some the best value holiday destinations in Europe. In a recent Post Office Travel money report, the Costa Blanca and the Algarve came out first and second in a Europe-wide study of the cost of a basket of 20 typical supermarket items, while the island of Corfu was ranked as the cheapest place for a family of four to eat out for dinner.

Beach resorts

And, of course, not only do all those destinations score highly for value for money, they are also some of the sunniest beach resorts in Europe, meaning that, should you wish, you can spend the whole week lazing on a beach without having to spend anything – apart from maybe renting a sun lounger and buying ice creams.

It’s really great being on holiday in a place where you can spend the whole time enjoying the fresh air, whether it’s chilling out on the sand with a good book, swimming in the warm Mediterranean Sea or hiking along the coastline – so refreshing when you normally spend the whole day indoors staring at screens.

Thrifty tips

No matter where you end up going on your trip, there are plenty of general money-saving tips you can employ to help you stick to your budget. Of course, that involves making one first so try to be realistic and cover all the bases to give you the most accurate prediction.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money has some great advice for those with kids who keep getting into the red on their family getaways.

‘Pester power can soon empty the family purse so we recommend that holidaymakers set a budget and stick to it,’ he says. ‘Pack last year’s lilo, snorkelling gear, towels and aqua shoes in the suitcase rather than waiting to buy them in resort, and that could fund some pedalo rides or even a day out at a water park.’

As you can see, with a just a little bit of pre-planning you can have a family getaway in the sun without needing to remortgage your house.

CC Loic Pinseel