Holidays are supposed to be all about relaxation and luxury, which don’t come cheap when you go the typical routes. This is especially true when you’re a mum, where time and money may be tighter than it is for other travellers out there. Some time away in the sun is also great for family bonding, making the desire to travel even more intense. Fortunately, holidaying on a budget is possible with careful planning.
Planning Your Savvy Holiday
No matter who you are, every good holiday starts with planning. Not planning your holiday is a recipe for delays and impulsive decision-making. Both are expensive! Keep more control of your purse strings by planning your holiday rigorously.
First, you need to know where you’re going. Maybe you have a place in mind, though you’ll need to check if it fits with your budget. Some holiday destinations are more expensive than others, so keep that in mind. If you’re undecided, we’d suggest choosing your location based on the best deals you can find. That way, you can add a dash of spontaneity and excitement to your trip. To do this, you can search offers with Opodo and find cheap flights to multiple destinations around the world from all the main UK airports. From here, you can choose the one that’s right for you. You can also find tips on how to secure the cheapest booking, including knowing when airlines tend to release their offers and deals. Knowing when to travel to certain destinations – their off-peak season(s) – is also key.
Having flights sorted will feel like a weight off your shoulders as you’ll know things are in motion. Now it’ll be easier to find suitable accommodation and then you just need to pack, including relevant paperwork. That’ll include passports, necessary vaccinations and tickets. Keep packing as light as possible for your family since everyone’s cases will add up quickly, but don’t forget essentials like your phone, bank cards and things like glasses or medications.
Use Public Transport & Seek Deals
These next set of tips are for when you’ve arrived at your destination. Plan them before you leave, so you’re not scrambling to follow them when you should be relaxing.
The very first transport deal we’d suggest is a pass. Look up your destination and the companies that facilitate public transport there. Whether it’s issued by the predominant travel company or the city government itself, many travel services offer passes that save you money over time. This could get you a lot more bang for your buck if you’re on a longer holiday.
You’ll need to buy them but since they save you money per ticket and you’re expecting to use public transport more often, it should be worth it. The most tourist-friendly cities might even throw discounts for its attractions in with the card, which can be bought for a day, a weekend or even longer. The London Pass, for example, saves up to 50% against standard tourist tickets for 90+ attractions, with cards that can last up to 10 days. Many cities have an equivalent where you can get better deals on local transport and activities – shop for them!
As for what public transport is best, that depends on where you’re going. It’s pretty much a given that taxi services will be more expensive when compared to buses and trains. For shorter journeys, buses can be cheaper though take longer due to stops. Meanwhile, trains can be speedy but tend to carry a higher price tag, though they’ll get you further. Once there, you can also practise some standard cheap transportation advice like walking or cycling when possible.
Eat Like a Local
After flight, accommodation and day-to-day travel, food may be your next big expenditure. You don’t need to plan this one too much before setting off – part of the fun is immersing yourself in local cultures and seeing where it takes your tastebuds. However, if anyone in the family is fussy or has allergies, researching a few dishes can give you some peace of mind.
When it comes to eating, you need to avoid upmarket tourist trap areas where dinner may be more expensive. Instead, eating like a local can save you cash, broaden your palate and give you a more authentic experience of what life is like at your destination. Street food is popular in gastronomy tourism. That’s where to truly taste the world’s recipes. Street food cooks can often whip something up for cheap, creating high-quality lunch if you go with an experienced vendor.
For longer stays, it may be even cheaper to source local ingredients and make dinner yourself. There are many money-saving meal recipes out there which can be adapted to fit the ingredients available in a wide range of countries. Whatever your dinner plans, you’ll be doing better than many tourists who gravitate toward the biggest names and most exotic establishments nearby, where they may not justify that level of spending in a restaurant back home.
Using these three strategies, you’ll be able to mitigate a lot of the costs that come from going on a holiday. Saving money is always good but, if you master cheap holidaying, it means you’ve already saved money for the next potential trip for your family.