FINANCE: 9 simple ways to have a family holiday on a budget

06 May 2017
Reading time4 mins

Want to get away but don't want to break the budget? Here's how.

1. Keep it simple

There’s nothing wrong with a no frills vacation. You’d be surprised at the quality of many camping or holiday parks these days, many are equipped with pools, games room and other fun activities. If you can stretch your budget a little, many Sunshine Coast, Tweed Heads and Gold Coast family holiday resorts even have cabins if you’re not the camping type.

If you have some interstate friends or family, why not consider a house swap or a visit? Or perhaps your kids love animals so why not try a farmstay where you get a great rate by helping out with the daily chores, or visit a holiday park (here are our favourites)?

2. Consider the season

Lisa Collier from BIG 4 North Star Hastings Point says the time of year you decide to travel has a huge effect on the price of accommodation. “Booking outside of school holidays and special events means considerably lower tariffs, and more money in your back pocket,” she says.

The same goes for flights with many airline tickets costing considerably more during peak periods.

3. Consider camping, but don’t buy new camping gear

If you’re on a budget, don’t feel the need to go out and buy new camping gear. Ask family and friends to borrow a tent, camping chairs, a trailer or any other camping gear. It will save you loads!

4. Take your friends

Holidaying in a group with friends or family means you can often share the cost of things like food and accommodation.

5. Subscribe to newsletters

Yes, email subscriptions can sometimes be a pain by filling up your inbox, BUT by subscribing to the right websites, you’ll be surprised at how many great accommodation and flight deals appear in your inbox. Just don’t forget to read the fine print!

6. Collect brochures

When you arrive at your destination, visit the tourist desk and collect as many brochures as you can. Then flip through them to find deals and discount coupons. If you’re lucky you might come across local deals such as kids eat free, free entry, cheap movies, discounts on local tours and free local amusements.

7. Consider self-catered

The thought of staying at a luxurious hotel is dreamy, but is likely not practical if you’re on a tight budget because you’ll end up having to purchase every single meal. The benefit of staying in self-contained apartments, cabins or opting for camping means you can bring along your own groceries and stick to a budget. But don’t forget to give yourself a break from the cooking! For a budget meal check out the local RSL, surf club or bowling club. These places offer a great value meal for parents and kids. Even better, why not grab some fish and chips and take it down to the beach for dinner with a view?

8. Book direct

Lisa Collier from BIG4 North Star suggests that when you’re looking to book your next holiday, instead of booking online, pick up the phone and call the establishment directly. “Cutting out the middle man and booking direct, often means you are guaranteed to get the best available price for your stay,” she says. To further increase your chances of a great deal, why not consider rebooking at reception before you leave your accommodation.

9. Use a prepaid visa card

It’s so easy to just throw things on the credit card while you’re having fun, but it can leave you wishing you didn’t once you return home and back to reality. An easy way to keep track of your spending and stick to a budget is to use a prepaid Visa card like this one available at Australia post. One of these babies allows you to spend only what you have loaded on the card and you don’t have to worry about overdrafts or interest fees, it’s your money.

What are your tips for having a family holiday on a budget?

For more travelling tips, check out our essential packing checklist for the whole family and why you can go backpacking with a baby.

Written by

Eva Lewis

Eva is a digital content expert who runs a successful women's lifestyle blog - The Multitasking Woman. Eva is an experienced social media manager, digital consultant, article writer and copywriter and has written for various publications and business websites over the years.  When Eva doesn't have her head in the digital space, she enjoys spending time with her husband, six year old son and one year old daughter, ploughing through her current favourite books in the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, gardening and chatting with her chooks. 

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