It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas outside my window, despite the fact I’ve got daffodils growing on the sill. And even as Easter approaches, many of us are still feeling the pinch after the Santa season.
My sister has been visiting this past week which has been lovely although I did feel sorry for her picking this bizarre ‘cold wave’ we’re having. Now she’s heading back to Lagos tomorrow and I feel like packing myself into her suitcase!
If you’re planning a family getaway to warmer climes over the Easter holidays, there are some simple ways to save on what can be a staggeringly expensive journey.
This doesn’t mean going crazy picking out your holiday wardrobe! Shopping around is essential before you set off to find the right holiday package and affordable flight deals to suit your family and your budget. It’s a good idea to check out travel comparison sites like Travel Supermarket, Cheap Flights or Kayak for the best available options.
But caveat emptor: we’ve had two pushchairs destroyed in transit on past trips to France, thanks to a certain budget airline. Even though we won’t rule them out for future travel, do be aware that cheap flights can sometimes cost you in the long run.
It’s tempting when you head abroad with little ones to pack for every possible emergency. But you can save yourself a load of hassle (and excess baggage costs) if you only go with the essentials. Many modern hotels will provide a spare cot or camper bed for babes at no extra charge to your room fee. And don’t load your cases down with toys and books, let your kids explore their new surroundings and unleash their imagination abroad.
Boost your Credit
One of the easiest ways to lighten your wallet is to ditch the cash and foreign currencies and use a credit card that offers competitive rates for travellers. It’s really easy to compare credit cards online at MBNA’s web site and you can even choose a card that offers contributions to a charity of your choice (at no extra charge to you). Another important benefit of picking the right credit card is that you can earn credit card rewards points towards useful purchases — from flight deals to everyday stuff like fuel or groceries.
Set a Daily Budget
Many of us throw caution (and good sense) to the wind when we’re on holiday and this can mean anything from kissing strangers in our teens to splurging on bizarre mementoes in our ‘middle youth’. Before you go, set a daily budget for how you plan to spend your holiday money. Obviously you don’t want to ruin the spontaneity of your trip. But keeping track of expenses can give you more freedom to enjoy that next pitcher of margaritas, without worrying about debt collectors beating your door down when you get home!
What are your favourite tips for family travel on a budget?