Holiday Money Saving Hacks

Holiday Money Saving Hacks

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.

Villa ivy

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.

Us on the plane

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.


Essential money saving tips, saving you a fortune on your holiday


*contains affilate links


  1. April 4, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    Great advice Sarah. We are advocates of the book last thing game. It’s the advantage of the self employed SAHM thing though really. I scratched a hire car before and alway recommend getting some insurance as I ended up forking out an extra couple of hundred. bummer!

  2. April 4, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    These are great tips! I love the idea of saving loads on a last minute booking! 😀
    We’re also fans of doing our own thing, whether it’s hiring a car, or just walking as much as we can, to explore the place. :) x #FamilyFun

  3. April 5, 2017 / 12:47 am

    Totally agree with you… Great list for a potentially great time. Thanks for sharing #FamilyFunLinky

  4. April 5, 2017 / 9:01 am

    Fantastic tips Sarah. I’ve never stayed in a villa before but I think its something I’ll be looking into. The one you stayed in looks fantastic #familyfun

  5. April 5, 2017 / 9:05 am

    Great tips! We really need to start trying some! #familyfun

  6. April 5, 2017 / 11:08 am

    I’m well jealous of all your sunny holidays! We don’t really have the luxury of going last minute because of my work, but that would make things so much easier. I totally agree with on the private rentals and going your own thing – how can you not do your own thing when you’re travelling with young children? :) #FamilyFun

  7. April 5, 2017 / 12:28 pm

    Great tips for family travel. Completely agree re the unsociable hours #fearlessfamtrav

  8. April 5, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    Ive got nothing. Four kids is always gonna seem expensive. This year we tried to go rv and not hotel on our big cross the USA trek- food in fridge, not three meals out a day. We will see how that all checks out.


  9. Helen
    April 5, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    Great tips – thanks!

  10. April 5, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    Some great tips. We have only travelled with Little H by plane once. The whole holiday was a bit of a disaster because she was really quite poorly and we went to a city which was not very buggy friendly. We’re thinking about driving to France this summer so we can chuck everything in the car! I wish I was as adventurous as you – I’d love to take Little H over to Spain! #FamilyFun

  11. April 5, 2017 / 5:09 pm

    Some fab ideas! I would love to take my 3 abroad #familyfunlinky xx

  12. April 5, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    Once our oldest (of four) was old enough for a booster seat, we bought Trunki’s Boostapak, It’s a car seat that doubles up as a backpack, which can be taken on as hand luggage. Our second youngest still uses it, and we hire a regular car seat for the youngest, not for much longer though.
    Great post, full of helpful tips. I share your dislike of hotels when it comes to family holidays – too expensive, not flexible enough, especially food & drinks.

  13. April 5, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Some really good tips here! Really like the suggestion about where to get suncream from. I need some for our upcoming ski trip so will be looking out for the shops you suggested. Hope you’re having fun at the mo. xx #familyfunlinky

  14. April 5, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Great tips, we usually go away with family so we usually have to book early to make sure we can find somewhere big enough, I am definitely going to shop around for sun creams and clothes though #familyfun

  15. April 6, 2017 / 12:28 pm

    great point about the airline’s websites. I was looking at flights at work (shhh) and the price was different on two different computers – higher on the one where I had been looking the day before #familyfun

  16. April 6, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    Some great tips! I always worry about leaving it until the last minute but then kick myself! #familyfunlinky

  17. April 6, 2017 / 8:36 pm

    thanks for the post:) we are going on our first holiday with our baby boy so it’s good to know that we can save some money:)

  18. April 6, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    Top tips and many that I have learned over the last few years of travelling with a small person. I would never not take the car seat – such a saving! #familyfunlinky

  19. April 7, 2017 / 7:28 am

    Good advice and like the approach of holding your nerve to book last minute. One thing I would add to that is maybe consider getting a few basic jabs and medicine e.g. anti malarial in the bag for you all in case the best bargains take you to Asia.

  20. April 9, 2017 / 6:11 am

    Great tips! I’ll be checking out sky scanner and I also had no idea about the cookies but wondered why the prices kept changing! GRRRRR! #FamilyFun

  21. April 9, 2017 / 9:20 am

    I agree making the most of going outside of term sounds well worth it. #FamilyFun

  22. April 9, 2017 / 11:10 am

    That price is bloody amazing, we are paying so much to holiday in Wales this year but then we are always bound by Rob’s work and he can’t just do last minute. We hired a car last year when we were in Zante and it was brilliant, especially with having a 2 year old. #familyfun

  23. April 9, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    As a mum desperate for a summer holiday this year, these tips came in useful for me! Its crazy that we went out of season for a week all inclusive for £500 once and now its double just to take a baby without taking into consideration the car hire etc.
    I may just do what you suggest and do private rental as no doubt we’d eat out most nights and lunches too! #familyfun

  24. April 9, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    Good tips – we use sky scanner and usually do our own thing re: car hire and trips #familyfun

  25. April 11, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    ‘Risk it for a biscuit’ – never heard that before and love it!! Might have to steal that! #familyfunlinky