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Going on family holidays is exciting, but let’s be honest – it can also take a toll on your wallet. But worry not, as there are savvy ways to make these memorable trips more affordable without compromising the fun. As parents who have been there and done that, let us share with you seven tips that have transformed our family holidays from financial burdens to budget-friendly escapades. Making family travel more affordable is not as hard as it may seem. So, let’s dive in.

1. Perfect Timing: Book Smart, Travel Smarter

timing is everything book smart for more affordable family travel

When it comes to family travel, timing is your secret weapon. Forget the idea that good things come to those who wait – in the world of flights and hotels, last-minute planning can lead to skyrocketing prices. Lesson learnt! Plan ahead to get the best deals. Also, opt for off-peak travel and avoid the scorching European summer, the crowds, and the peak rates. Timing is not just about booking; it’s about when you travel too. So timing is the first tip to make family travel more affordable.

2. Embrace Budget Airlines: Flying Without the Fuss

budget airlines

Dear travelling parents, do not shy away from budget airlines – embrace them! Budget airlines can be a family’s best friend, offering affordable fares and, surprisingly, decent snacks. And here’s a little-known gem: while most know that children under 2 fly free, don’t overlook child fares for those aged 2-11. These can be quite cheaper, and you won’t always find them online. A quick call to customer service might unveil these hidden treasures. So budget airlines, are your second tip to make family travel more affordable.

3. Pack Light, Carry-On Only: Stress-Free and Cost-Effective

travel light

Checked baggage often means added fees, so heed the call of light packing. Try to pack as little as possible. This reduces both stress and extra costs. While souvenirs are tempting, stick to a few small ones. Give each child a cash budget to spend as they please – it keeps the budget intact, imparts financial literacy, and lets kids enjoy the thrill of choosing and spending. Make sure to keep this third tip in mind, as it can alleviate the budget a great deal.

4. Hunt for Kid Deals and Dine Differently

dine on a cheaper approach when travelling with the family

Maximise your savings by seeking out museums with free admission for kids. When it comes to dining, consider local food halls or cafeterias for a variety of options at lower prices. Choose destinations with affordable and kid-friendly food options. Prioritize places where you know your child has food choices, and you feel comfortable navigating as a parent. Also when it comes to reducing pricing on food, take your own food at the airport, have a picnic when on holiday, take away and street food are also cheaper.
For instance, you could quickly pick up a bite to eat and enjoy it outdoors on the beach by the promenade. Finding kid deals and making wise choices on where to dine, are a great tip to make your family travels more affordable.

5. Opt for Apartments: Space, Savings, and Laundry Perks

book an apartment when travelling with your family

Consider renting out an apartment for more space, laundry facilities, and cost savings. Holiday rentals are particularly beneficial for blended families, ensuring that everyone has their space. As a plus, you can also do your laundry there, and bring it back home ready and clean. If hotels are more your style, make the most of included offerings. Many hotels offer daily breakfast, happy hour, fitness facilities, and even complimentary tours or spa services. This is entirely up to you, but we find apartments to be a great choice in making family travel more affordable.

6. Finding the Best Value Activities and Attractions

kids deals and free admissions

Local guides and tourist information centres can be goldmines for discovering free local events. Many cities have guides who offer free walking or biking tours. Street art tours often don’t cost a thing or just ask for a small donation. Some museums have free entry or specific days and times for free admission – a little research can save you a fortune. Even major spots like The Louvre have free hours and days.

Hop online and ask in forums for recommendations on free activities. Keep an eye out for city passes and discount cards too! Many places offer city passes or discount cards that can save you a bundle. These often include entry to multiple attractions, public transport, or even discounts at local eateries. It’s a smart way to make the most of your money while enjoying what the city has to offer.

7. Getting Around Cheaply

getting around a destination

Your flight or ferry cost can be a major expense, so do your homework well. Utilize flight comparison sites like Kayak and Skyscanner to find the best deals. Compare different modes of transport to identify the most economical choice. Could a train or bus be a more cost-effective alternative to flying? Even the car might be an option. Don’t forget to factor in hidden costs. While an overnight sleeper train may seem pricey, it could save you from splurging on a night’s hotel in a city. For frequent trips, think about a Eurail pass.

Watch out for local transport costs—they can add up. Be cautious about the expenses of a fancy open-top bus compared to the local version. However, an open-top bus can also entertain you for a whole day without breaking the bank on attractions. Check if kids travel for free on some public transport systems. Walking is the cheapest mode of transport, and in some places, it might be more efficient to book a car or taxi for multiple activities in one day instead of paying for several excursions. And there you have it!

One final tip is to make sure your passport and other documents are updated before travelling to avoid any additional costs before you travel. In conclusion, making family travel more affordable is about strategic planning, embracing budget-friendly options, and making smart choices along the way. So happy travels and may your holidays be as economical as they are enjoyable!

Check out our dedicated family friendly travel guides and make sure to download the travel guide for the destination you will be visiting on your phone!

Head to our booking with kids for more tips, support and family friendly travel guides. Check out our most loved travel gear from brands we trust.