The world has finally opened up and we can go on holiday again! But over the last few years the prices of family holidays, especially during the school holidays has skyrocketed. I’m looking at prices almost double to go to large big name parks in the UK during the summer holidays than when I booked just 3 or 4 years ago. You’ve probably seen the cost of everything else rise here in the UK as well; from petrol and diesel, to groceries, to rent and electricity prices. This means it’s really important now to plan ahead for family holidays and get saving. I consider myself quite bargain savvy, so here are my top tips for how to plan, get the most of your money, and how to save up for the next family holiday. Whether you’re planning to nip over to Center Parcs, want a beautiful holiday on the beach, a city trip to the USA, or even a fantastic Mediterranean cruise, this is going to help you achieve the financial goals you need.
Figure out as a family where your next holiday will be
The first thing you’re going to want to do is figure out where you’re going. Saving up and planning will be different if you’re going for a weekend camping compared to a five star holiday on the Canary Islands, so you need to start with a plan. My advice is to have a family meeting and get everyone’s input on what type of holiday they’d like or where they want to go. If you have kids that are immediately going to start screaming about going to Disneyworld and that’s not something you’re interested in, you could narrow it down in advance to five or so choices for them to give their input on. But going to Disney does sound pretty epic to me…
Once you’ve decided where you’re going, you can start doing a bit of online research and get a ballpark figure for how much your next family holiday is going to cost, allowing you to start thinking about your budget.
Cut back on Purchases to save money
It’s time to get the budget spreadsheet out. You might have some budgeting software that helps you keep track of purchases, or if not, you can simply use a free google sheet. List all of your current monthly outgoings and have a good look at them. Is there anything you can cut back on? Whether it’s Netflix, buying Starbucks or how much you eat out, you’d be surprised how much you can save if you cut back.
Have a Savings Account and explore ways to make it grow
Have a separate account that you can put your savings into. This puts it out of the way of spending temptation, and may also earn you a small interest rate. There are different accounts with different interest rates, but you need to research carefully as some will lock up your money for a set period without you having access to it, whilst others allow you to withdraw freely. Unfortunately interest rates on savings accounts seem to have grown smaller and smaller every year.
You may want to consider alternative savings options, for example cryptocurrency. There are options which allow you to earn high rates of interest on crypto. This doesn’t require you to have a form of cryptocurrency to begin with, as you can simply deposit your normal money into an account which converts it to cryptocurrency for you, and then pays you interest on the currency that is held. Cryptocurrency is becoming far more accessible, mainstream and easy to understand as time goes by and can be managed now with simple to use Apps, so it’s definitely worth doing some research on the subject to make the very most of the money you are saving.
Make your money go further
Your money can go further if you take advantage of promotions, bargains or good times of year. If you can travel outside of the school holidays then you can save a significant amount of money. This will of course depend on your children’s ages and how they’re doing at school, but you may consider it worth paying a few days worth of fines if it won’t affect their schoolwork.
Here are ways you can make your money go further:
- Research deals and sign up to newsletters that will keep you updated
- Always check booking direct as well as using third party services to find out what offers the best price or offer
- Travel during off peak times
- Consider staying in the UK and driving to your destination
- Look for free children’s places if travelling abroad
- Consider half board or all inclusive when compared with the cost of eating out
- Buy tickets for activities online and in advance as there’s usually a good discount
- Research free days out or things you can do on the holiday
- Pack your own snacks to avoid having to buy things on days out and depending on where you’re travelling, you could consider taking drinks or alcohol with you to enjoy in your accommodation.
I hope that this article has given you some confidence in planning, budgeting and saving for your next family holiday. Cherish the memories and have an amazing time!