It looks like the traditional three days of nice weather in the UK are about to bid us farewell for another twelve months, so thoughts are turning to heading overseas to chase the sun. However, if you’re travelling with the children it can be an expensive treat, so I have put together a list of ways to save cash on family getaways. Some, it must be admitted, are more helpful than others.
Take a look at this video for more:
Now, eagle-eyed viewers will notice there was a slight commercial element to that particular vlog, but I’d like to think it didn’t compromise the humour (if you didn’t notice the humour, don’t worry, very few people do). Also – Elsa was properly cute, right? That makes up for it, surely.
Funnily enough, stuff is really expensive when you have no option but to buy it, hence suntan lotion in holiday resorts and airports works out at somewhere around the price of liquid gold. Other essentials are also subject to this ‘no-other-option’ tax – I paid £15 for a tube of toothpaste during a layover in Abu Dhabi, only to find we were given some for free when we boarded the connecting flight.
Your best option is to buy everything you need in advance, which is obviously easier said than done. In the same way that some folks pick up presents for next Christmas in the January sales, it’s probably worth raiding the bargain bin at Boots in October. Not only could you find everything you need for next summer’s jollies, you might also bag some discounted denture glue – bonus!
Lie About Your Children’s Ages
The younger your kids are, the cheaper stuff is. Last year, we took advantage of the fact Elsa still qualified for free flights by – shock, horror – taking a toddler on a plane. Currently, we are enjoying the fact that we can still take breaks when the older kids are at school, but that won’t last forever.
I’m not absolutely certain of the legalities or moral consequences of lying about your child’s age in order to prevent them from going to school and allow you to enjoy cheap term time holidays forever, but I’m guessing there’s no category at the Parent of the Year Awards for it.
Travel off the Beaten Track
Popular places are pricey, unpopular places are cheap. Simple holiday maths. That’s not to say we should all book a fortnight’s stay in Grimsby, good grief no. Instead, take a look at places that aren’t quite the full tourist package yet, but that are putting in the effort. Not only could you enjoy a great value holiday, you get to bore people in years to come about how you discovered that amazing place years before the crowds descended.
For example, Vietnam is like Thailand but with no concept of how to market its attractions, Lombok is said to be a quiet Bali and I recently visited Vilnius in Lithuania on a stag do and it worked out cheaper than hopping on a train to London from Yorkshire for the weekend. It was a fascinating place too, although if you’re going with the kids my recommendations for the best indie clubs in the city may be irrelevant. Good coffee, though.
Other unpopular destinations include Weatherfield in Greater Manchester, London’s Walford and Midsomer for some reason…