You may have noticed we are partial to a getaway, cough cough. This travel section won’t inspire itself after all. Anyway, we are well and truly sporting the YOLO mantra and making the most of things before the kids get to school and we are tied by term times. As such we have developed a bit of knack for saving the pennies when booking our holidays, granted the sponsored ones help, but they are few and far between.
1. Risk it for a biscuit, and book late.
If you can, book late. Let me tell you a little tale that happened to us recently. We were sat with the laptop open, staring at the villa we were looking to book. It was a Wednesday night and we were due to depart on the Saturday. As we sat looking at the screen, it literally refreshed itself and the price of the villa had dropped by £500.00. £500.00! For 7 days this villa cost us £229.00 and just look at it.
We couldn’t not go at that price. That £500.00 saving paid for the flights. Now granted I know not everyone has this luxury to go at the drop of a hat. Mr Tammy is self employed and I well, ya know, doss about drinking tea and so say look after my children all day. However it is possible if you have pre booked your set time off work. We have done this back in the day when I required permission to go on holiday. Granted your choice can be somewhat reduced, especially if you are going in the height of season, but we have always found something and it has always been something good. On that note it is worth bearing in mind, that if the flight looks full and there are no seats together when you come to book an airline allows for 20% ‘wiggle room’ (literally wiggle room). This basically means if a family book a flight and there are no seats left together – they will where they can put you together regardless and move others. At the very least they will ensure that each child is sat by adult, obvs.
2. Comparison sites – but not too often.
This may be an obvious one but every flight I have booked in the last, say 3 years, has been through SkyScanner. It is a great tool as not only can it find the cheapest flights, it shows you all the flights leaving your chosen airport to your chosen destination on your chosen days. If you are more concerned about the flight time than flight price then this site will also show you alternative flight times and their price.
Word to the wise, websites like Ryan Air, Easy Jet, well any of the airlines all have cookies and trackers working behind the scenes. The website will pick up when you have first checked out a flight time/price and if you are to return the next day, or even a few hours later chances are the price will have changed. Let’s be clear, increased. Ours went up a grand total of £6.00 per person over night recently. Granted not huge but if you are a family of 5, that’s £30.00 better spent on a meal on holiday no? Also we have fallen fowl of this to a greater extent costing us an increase of nearly 3 figures. You can help to avoid this by, not checking too regularly, using different devices (laptops, iPads, partners laptops, go to your mum’s use hers), if you do need to check, don’t accept the cookies when asked on the sight or clearing your browser history – every little helps.
Also Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly (according to SkyScanner), the weekends being the most expensive. Oh and flying at unsociable times is also much cheaper – makes sense. I find unsociable times better to fly with my kids to be honest, more chance of them sleeping.
3. Go Private Baby
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, private rentals can be cheap as chips and you are not cutting on quality – you saw the villa above right? We have stayed in many a private rental and never paid a fortune. Don’t get me wrong, I love hotels, the service they offer, the experience, breakfast, however, when we come complete with two toddlers and occasional teenager, they are rarely big enough, unless we want to go all out, like this beauty.
As amazing as this hotel room was, the two nights cost the same as over a week in the private rental we had also booked that holiday. No brainer isn’t it?
For some great private rentals click here
4. Shop Savvy
Sun creams, insect repellent, afters suns, whatever lotion and potion you need does not need to cost you a fortune. I am always shocked when I go into high street stores and see sun screams that are on offer at 2 for £14.00. I have never paid for than a fiver for a bottle of sun cream and I obviously wouldn’t use anything dangerous or untrustworthy on my children. Or my own face. Shops like, Home Bargains, Savers, etc all sell the same sun creams as every other retailer but at a consider chunk less. When you have lots of bods to cover up, there is a good saving to me made here.
5. Do Your Own Thing
When on holiday we always hire a car and make our own way to places. We are yet to par take in an ‘excursion’. I am not knocking them I went on plenty as a kid when Nanny Pat used to take me abroad and they were great. For us however we like to do our own thing at our time, go where we want on our own agenda. Not only does doing our own thing afford us this freedom we have learnt it has saved us some considerably coinage, as we are not paying someone else for the pleasure. If you don’t like hiring cars and driving abroad, consider public transport, bus networks in busy tourist spots are always great and I doubt you’ll be hard pushed to find a taxi.
6. While we’re on the topic – car seats.
This does depend where you go but in some countries you have to hire car seats at anything from €6-€10 a day. This can add up, especially if you have two in car seats, for two weeks. Most airlines actually allow you enough child luggage to take a car seat with you, free of charge. Check with your airline first but most of them do. We always take the youngest bucket seat with us. Despite being nearly two he is still small enough for it. My eldest is currently in one of those two piece I-size isofix malarkeys so we can’t travel with that – it’s way to big. Whilst the small on is small enough though we will be bringing his car seat with us.
So there you have it some simple yet very effective money saving tools for that all important family holiday. Do you have any pearls of wisdom you swear by? I’d love to hear from you.
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