Looking at the price of family holidays really can make your heart sink.
Going abroad, especially in the summer months, can run into thousands and for many people it is just not affordable. But holidays are important. They enable us to have quality time together, give us a break from our routine and the pressures of work, and encourage us to rest, relax and recharge.
So, what can be done – we know holidays are great for us, but we don’t want to spend money we don’t have? There are lots of ways to have brilliant holidays on a budget!
Let’s take a look…
House swapping is a great way to explore a new area without incurring accommodation costs. Swapping with a friend works really well but there are also options for more formal arrangements. Have a look at the Guardian Home Exchange Club to see how this works.
Camping is always a wonderful idea for a budget holiday. Once you have outlaid the initial expense of a tent and all the extras, camping is very inexpensive. You can always borrow equipment from friends for your first attempt to see if you like it before you buy. Try a night in your garden first too, so you know exactly what to expect.
For those of you who are wary, camping is much improved these days and electric hook ups and hot showers are increasingly common!
Staycations are where you live as a tourist in your own home. That may sound unexciting, but they are a fantastic, inexpensive way to take a holiday, and present a fabulous opportunity to explore your local area. You know your bed will be comfortable and you will not waste any time travelling to your destination. The golden rule of a staycation though – no chores!
We need to debunk the myths about youth hostels!
Did you know there are over 700 youth hostels spread across around 600 cities worldwide? In England and Wales alone, there are 150! And they aren’t just to be found in the depths of the countryside either. Some of the most popular youth hostels are located in cities like London, Sydney, Melbourne, and Hong Kong.
Another myth to dispel is that hostels are a scruffy place for hungry teen backpackers. In fact, these days the accommodation is far from scruffy – they are affordable, clean and friendly places, and lots of them have family rooms too. Have a look at YHA website to see where you could stay.
Increasingly gaining in popularity, Airbnb is an online marketplace where guests go to find a bed to stay and hosts list their room or property for rent. Staying in an Airbnb can be a much cheaper way to visit somewhere than staying in a hotel and there is something lovely and comforting about staying in a home away from home. Airbnbs can provide unique and interesting holidays, and they give you a great deal of independence with catering. Take a look here at the variety of options available.
It is always good to look for last-minute deals if you don’t need to plan in advance. This way you can get some excellent bargains. No travel agency wants their holidays to remain un-booked so you could well get a great discount too. Do sign up for last minute alerts with your favourite travel providers if this could work for you.
I do hope these ideas have helped you see that family holidays on a budget are absolutely possible – they just need a bit of creative thinking!