Planning a summer holiday on a budget

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Parenthood can be expensive.
Holidays can be very expensive.
Combine the two and you can see your savings account draining faster than a pool with a puncture.

However I refuse to believe that holidays are only for the big earners or those who’s household is substantially smaller than our own.

In fact it’s my mission to take my boys on as many holidays and trips as I possibly can. I want them to get as much experience as possible from all walks of life and from loads of different cultures. I want them to swim in the sea and un around beaches all over the country and the globe. I want them to feel the breeze in their hair and discover new places.

I’ve booked our first holiday for 2019 which I’m super excited for. And to get us into the holiday spirit we’ve been doing lots of little beach trips and mini adventures, though they don’t quite compare to a proper holidays away from home. With that in mind I’ve been looking into the best ways to save money and go on a budget summer holiday.

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First up is the staycation. Because sometimes we don’t give our own country enough credit, so I want to get out exploring as much as possible within our home land. We love a caravan holiday and find them really affordable, especially with the free entertainment passes and lots of onsite activities. Plus you don’t have to go too far which is good for anyone with a new baby!

We also find that self-catering helps us loads. You don’t have to eat out every day to have a good trip. It’s just as much fun getting the family involved in cookig together in a new environment. Plus you can always do some alfresco dining if you have a patio or balcony. And who doesn’t love a little grocery shop full of picnic food and treats, more so in a foreign country. And if you do want to eat out a little, then you can always do take away. Nothing beats proper fish and chips by the seaside, so make the most of it as a little family treat. (see the bottom of this post for our fish and chips in the car… because we’re that family and need to lock down our kids!)

As our kids are still young we have the option of booking outside of term time which does really help with the cost. May is our favourite month to travel, even within the UK, so we’re off to Cornwall next year.
We’re also trying to take advantage of Bank Holidays, so we can go away for longer without losing as much annual leave for Dann.

Wanting to go further afield? Then it’s all about shopping around. We want our first trip abroad with the boys to be relatively close to home and family friendly, so we’re looking at Gran Canaria Holidays 2018/19 with Holiday Gems. I totally blame Kirsty for my recent obsession with the island, particularly as her family holiday photos are so beautiful!

We’ve also found planning well in advance and booking day trips online can save a bundle. Most attractions have an advance booking price which can be a good 10% minimum cheaper. Plus it gives you something definitive to look forward to. Also you don’t have to go to he normal touristy attractions, especially when your kids are still quite little. Searching out the local play park can be just as much fun for everyone. Pack a picnic and get exploring for a day or two.

And finally, go big! Go on holiday with family and friends. It can work out so much cheaper to get one big place split between lots of people. And think of all the fun, and shared parenting! Or maybe even on in-house babysitter for an evening!

This next year or so is going to be made up of city breaks and little family trips by the coast (because a well planned day at the beach can cost nothing) and I’m so looking forward to travelling with my boys and showing them new places, even on a budget!

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What’s your top tip for a family budget summer holiday?

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