Holiday savings tips for families with school-aged children

We all know the potential financial strain a family holiday can put on the household finances, but there are things you can do to lessen the impact. For example, when you’re deciding the type of break you’d like, remember that all-inclusive holidays can save you money, because pretty much everything is included, so budgeting is much easier.

This is just one great way to save money, but we’ve found a few more to help.


Don’t be afraid to ask your travel agent if there is anything they can do to reduce the cost. If travelling a day later than planned works out much cheaper, you would be foolish not to be a little more flexible.

Insure with care

When you are buying your travel insurance, be really sure that you’ve weighed up all the options. Some family policies offer free entry to certain attractions, which will save you more when you are abroad and don’t have time to look for offers and vouchers.

Research where you’re going

If you can be prepared for the cost of various local attractions, you can budget more diligently. For example, if you are hoping to teach your kids all about Bonnie Prince Charlie on their visit to London, you should research ahead of time the best places to educate them. Searching online ahead of travel can also yield some entry coupons, find the best educational museums, or similar deals to take advantage of.

Keep the luggage to a minimum

If you are travelling on a budget airline, don’t waste precious money taking large bags. Instead, have everyone take a carry-on with their belongings in, and as a bonus, you’ll leave the airport more quickly, too. You’ll be shocked at how little clothing you really need.

Don’t buy anything new

It’s a holiday, not a fashion show, so if you all have perfectly good swimwear and weather appropriate clothing already, be responsible and don’t buy anything else just for the sake of it. Only replace those items that really have seen better days, and you’ll save big.

The later the date, the more you’ll save

Did you know that if you have to travel in the school holidays, the later you leave it, the cheaper your holiday will be? Don’t go at the start, when everybody else is – reserve late August or early September for a summer break.

Take your own snacks

We know it’s tempting to placate everyone with a round of airport snacks, but the prices are heavily inflated. Instead, bring your own airport picnic with empty reusable bottles or cups so you can fill them from drinking-water stations.

Agree before you leave

If there are lots of attractions where you’re going and everybody wants to go to a different one, it’s time for a family conference. Planning where you will go before you leave will save arguments and reactionary visits that cost a whopping amount, just to keep a grump quiet.

Use the beach

If you’re going somewhere with a beach, make the most of it. It’s a cheap day out, it’s fun and will keep everybody happy. Take some snacks with you to avoid expensive café costs and let everyone just take it easy with a good book or a tablet.

Check for Wi-Fi

It sounds so simple, but checking that your hotel offers free Wi-Fi can save you a lot of money. Think about how many of your family have a mobile device, now multiply that by a daily or even hourly usage fee.

Use public transport

Walking and taking public transport will save you plenty of money on your holiday and you’ll get more of an authentic experience, too. Taxis are always a pricier option and hiring a car can be a logistical and financial nightmare.

Check out my travel feature on what to do in Lisbon (Portugal) with the kids

Fill up on the buffets

If your hotel cost includes any meals, make sure you get the full benefit of them. A hearty buffet breakfast will see you through to the afternoon and if you’re quick, you can all sneak some extras into your bag for later!

These are our top tips, but have you got some more that we should know about?

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