There’s nothing worse than bagging yourself a bargain holiday and then spending more than you need to once you’ve got to your destination so here’s my top tips to save money on family holidays.
Preparation is key to saving money once you’re away on holiday so stock up on a few essentials before you go…
- Reusable water bottles – they’re not only better for the environment, they’re kinder for your wallet too. Just make sure you get something guaranteed to not leak such as these Camelbak ones.
- Sandwich baggies are another great investment or easily made at home. They’re less bulky compared to traditional lunch boxes and you can throw them in the washer with your other laundry.
- Cloth wet wipes are so useful on holiday and will take up less room in your packing as they’re reusable so you don’t need as many.
- Create a mini first aid kit adding all your essentials in it including a thermometer and paracetamol. We take for granted how cheap and readily available pain killers are at home compared to if you need see a doctor on holiday, particularly if you’re abroad and need to use your holiday insurance!
- Order your toiletries online for click and collect pick up at the other side of security in an airport. Boots is normally the easiest option to do this with. It means that you can get any creams or fluids. Plus you can collect anything bulky in addition to your carry on allowance.
Do your research at home to save money once you’re there…
- Find out where the nearest parks are on your holiday. Children can enjoy simple pleasures such as cloud spotting, daisy chain making, bark rubbings and building dens.
- Check out the local council website so see if they’re holding any free open days at galleries and museums or free family friendly taster courses. These tend to be arts and crafts or classes to try out new sports.
- Add a geocaching app to your phone before you leave. Geocaching is like a digitally enabled treasure hunt. It’s a brilliant way for families to have fun exploring a new city. It’s a great way to keep older children entertained and encourages siblings to work together.
Think outside of the box when it comes to paying for things…
- Keep an eye out for products with promotional packaging where you can get discounted tickets to theme parks.
- Use your supermarket loyalty points (especially if you can double them up) to pay for theatre and cinema tickets, restaurant meals and entry fees to places like safaris.
- Start to follow local attractions on social media and enter any competitions they’re running for free access or upgrades.
- Get the kids to pay for things themselves by allocating them a small amount of pocket money. If they can see they have a set amount to spend over the course of the holiday, it will help prevent nagging for treats.
Bonus Tip – Get creative!
The mark up on drinks on holiday is huge. Here’s how to make your own, completely for free.
- Order a jug of drinking tap water “for the table” and request extra lemon slices.
- Use free sachets of sweetner to stir in to the water to create your lemonade.
This is perfect for involving children. It will keep them quiet whilst you wait for food to be served perhaps and will keep them cool and hydrated too.
Even if you’re not going away on holiday, all these tips can be applied at home and still save you money. Have you made a bucket list of things to do this year with your kids? Read here for some ideas of what you could include.
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