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6 Tips on How to Afford Family Holidays

Travelling with kids can make wonderful memories for your family. Family holidays are important because it forces each member to be present with each other and offers a different environment to discover new experiences together. We try to book a family holiday each year because it not only helps us spend quality time with our children, it gives us a much needed break from the routine of work and family life.

The hardest parts of organising a holiday for the family is finding accommodation that

1. Accomodates a family of 5 (or more depending of how big your family is)

2. Is available during school holidays

3. And most importantly, will meet our budget.

Meeting all three criteria can be quite tricky. Here are some tips on how we book our holidays each year to ensure we get a break and are creating valuable memories with our children.

6 Tips on How to Afford Family Holidays

1. We always book a 2-3 bedroom apartment. Apartments are great because they will have a kitchen and laundry which are vital when travelling with little kids. Eating out can be expensive so we prepare most meals in the kitchen to save on food costs. Sometimes we may prepare breakfast and lunch most days, while opting for a cheaper take-away dinner that can be shared like fish and chips or pizza and garlic bread. We never feel like we’re missing out when we do this for meals. Mantra offer great deals on 2 and 3 bedroom apartments around Australia. Their resorts are often family friendly which makes going on a holiday a wonderful experience.

2. Research the best price online. Check last minute websites and contact the hotel directly to see if they will match the price.

3. Holiday locally.  Flights can add expense to a holiday. Look for destinations that only require a short drive. Petrol costs are much cheaper than flying a family of five. Alternatively be a tourist in your closest city.

4. Alternate your holidays. One year you may have enough saved to fly everyone to a particular destination, the following year the budget may only allow for a local holiday. We have chosen to only do local holidays until my youngest child is fully toilet trained and no longer requires to be pushed in a pram. Work out a travelling system that works for you and your family.

5. Set up a holiday fund account and have a set amount put aside for family holidays.

6. Consider travelling outside peak times. Every school will have their own rules about taking children out of school to travel. But if you want to avoid peak times like school holidays, opt to do long weekends throughout the year so your children only miss 2-3 days of school.

Since my youngest child was born, we have holidayed on the Gold Coast, which is only a 1 hour drive from our home. Our girls always talk about the family holidays and ask when are we going on our next adventure. We make it a habit to book a week’s holiday somewhere locally. Once the holiday is booked we tell our girls and explain our spending habits on convenient take-away meals or book club need to be put towards spending money for the holiday. I can’t claim this idea as my own as it was one I stole from a school mum friend. But this helps children understand the importance of budgeting and saving a small amount for a better gain.

Do you make time for travel with your family? How do you afford family holidays?

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Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard is a plumber by day and stylist by night but these days she changes more nappies than washers. She is a happily married mum to three young daughters who she styles on a regular basis. Rebecca is not only an award winning plumber, she also writes an award winning blog called The Plumbette where she shares her life experiences as a plumber and mother. Rebecca also blogs at Styled by Bec believing a girl can be both practical and stylish. Links to the blogs are http://www.theplumbette.com.au and http://www.styledbybec.com.au/blog

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