Travelling on a budget with the family can be tricky.
We have tried everything from £9.50 Sun Holidays to camping, cottage hire to budget hotels and have to admit it can be a challenge.
We are a family that often travels with four children and sometimes all six which opens up its own issues as most holiday companies cater for two adults and two children. In fact it is a common bugbear of mine that we often have to shell out for two rooms as family rooms are just not big enough.
Here are our top tips on saving money travelling with a family:
Go out of season: February / October half term are significantly cheaper than the warmer months. Last year we visited France in February half term and stayed in an inexpensive Eco Gite for a week that cost just £350 and was plenty big enough for us all. The kids loved it as we were on a farm where they could play, feed the animals and get involved with everyday life.
Take your own car: I find travelling by car much easier as you can take as much luggage as you want, stop for a pit stop if need be and there is none of this checking in nonsense.
Take a Ferry: We found it is not for the faint hearted in February, but the our holiday cost less than a quarter of what it would have if we had gone in the summer or by Eurostar and we had just as much fun and saw everything we wanted to see, plus had the added bonus of some snow.
Choose dates wisely if travelling in the Summer Holidays: The last week in August and the first in September are normally significantly cheaper than the rest of the holiday period.
Be flexible on dates: Take advantage of teacher training / inset days. I was shocked that moving a travel date by even one day can shave off £500 on the price of a holiday. It is also worth checking moving around departure days too as I am booking Disneyland Paris for May and staying 5 nights is significantly cheaper than staying 4!
Use Price Comparison Websites: Price comparison and voucher websites offer some of the best rates on car hire, travel insurance and package holidays. I always check the price of a direct booking too, just to be safe.
Travel Term Time: If you have children under 5, make the most of being able to travel in term time whilst you can. If they are in Nursery or Reception at age 4, education is not compulsory so you can take them out without the risk of a fine.
What tips would you add?