Every year when winter is over (I know, with snow in March it doesn’t feel like it’s over just yet…) I dream of getting away, but then the dreaded thought of, ‘How can I afford a holiday?’ creeps into my mind and I basically spend February until May moaning about not being able to afford to go on holiday. Then, inspiration hits me and we end up doing something magical together as a family, and I forget about my money worries and enjoy our family break, wherever it may be…
Because, what any family experience boils down to is being together. Having fun, laughing, spending quality time with one another and just being, not doing. Life is full of so much to do, the world is rushing around and holidays are those precious times you can distance yourself for a while and just be.
I thought it would be good to actually write down and share the ways in which I make sure we manage to get a yearly break, whether you go near or far, I have a few tips here to ensure you do get away this year whatever your budget.
8 Ways to Ensure You Get a Family Break This Year!
1. Last minute deals.
Last year we had the most amazing time at Sandymouth Bay and the caravan and facilities cost just £150 for a Monday-Friday break for four of us. I spent a lot of time wondering what we’d do during Warren’s week off, and when the time came, just days before his holiday started, I managed to book a very cheap deal with Darwin Escapes. It was an amazing holiday and I really hope we get to go back there one day…
2. Go Wild Camping!
If you haven’t camped wild before, you really haven’t lived… But, seriously now, you do need to try it even if you end up never doing doing it again. There’s nothing like whacking everything you need into the car and heading to a place without reception, without toilets and without the busy life… Leave it all behind and get back to nature. We often do this for a night, two at a push, and it’s awesome. It costs nothing but the stuff you need to cook/make a fire etc, there’s no fees to pay or food to buy unless you pop to the pub. The kids absolutely love our impromptu camping trips…
If this isn’t for you, then there’s always…
Book a few nights away at camp site. This could be in the UK or France, anywhere you fancy. It will not break the bank and you could probably go for a few weeks and not spend much more than if you were at home. You get the chance to have showers and toilets on site if this is more your cup of tea, as well as the possibility of other facilities, such as parks and pools.
There’s also the option of glamping, which offers you even more luxuries without the massive price tag.
I always used to turn to Groupon for deals on products to be sent to my home or maybe a date night in Cardiff, but it can actually be really useful for discount holidays. You can find some massive bargains, depending on your situation, such as cheap deals for couples, cheaper long haul flights or discount cruises. You can also use their filters to figure out codes more suitable to your personal needs. I think this would suit us for holidays to far off destinations, places we could go and completely forget about the mundane side of life, whilst also saving some dosh!
5. Caravan it!
There used to be so much snobbery around caravans, and it seems to have faded over the last ten years. Thank goodness, because these are my favourite kinds of holidays! I love hunkering down in the caravan during the rain, listening to it pitter-patter on the tinny roof, or heading out to the beach on the sunnier days and coming back to a cosy caravan. We often check out Clarach Bay Holiday Park because it’s so close to Aberystwyth and reminds me of holidays with my Dad.
6. Stay With Friends & Family.
I haven’t yet achieved this height of all heights money saving idea, but I do think it’s a great one! I know some folk who just need to pay for their travel and then they crash with friends or family to save money. This would be an amazing way to cut back on cost, see those you love and visit somewhere different! Would you stay with family and friends to save on a holiday?!
I know, this probably isn’t top of your list, but give me a second to explain. You have no savings for a holiday, your car tyres need replacing, a bill turns up on your door; all those normal things happen and you’ve no money left. The last thing you want to do is owe more money by booking a mega expensive holiday, so holiday at home! Pick a week that’s bound to be sunny (I know, what are the chances?!) and take a break from life itself. Don’t do anything you don’t have to do, instead eat out or go visit a new place in your area that you’ve never visited before, go to the cinema, eat cake and drink beer, have a BBQ and spend the week indulging. You won’t regret it!
8. Term Time Holidays.
Controversial? Perhaps. Money saving? Definitely. We home educate so I can’t comment on the facts when it comes to taking kids out of school, but if you have little ones who are under school age, or you home educate, this can be the perfect way to save on going away.
So there you have it, these are the ways I intend to keep saving money year on year for family holidays. I truly hope you find them useful…
Don’t forget to let me know how you save on your family holiday, I’d love to know!