I recently saw this opportunity to blog about budgeting for family holidays, and thought this is right up my street. Chris gets incredibly bored of me constantly pricing holidays and flights to get the best deal. In fact I think after blogging, searching for holidays is one of my favourite pastimes. I really should have been a travel agent and not a teacher. So here goes; my top 10 tips for planning and budgeting a holiday.
1. Do your research, if it is a big holiday plan well in advance. I find flights are always cheaper as soon as they come out. For the Disney trip we are going on next year I researched prices and deals a year in advance, this way I got a feel for the actual prices. When a deal came out, I could recognise that it was infact a great deal. This paid off; We got the Disney Dining Plan Free for our holiday to Orlando next year, saving us a fortune.
2. For cruises book early to get on board credit, the best cabins and early booking discounts.
3. Collect air miles, I use my American Express credit card, and Join the British Airways Executive Club to build air miles. We have flown business class on holiday for the last few years using our Avios points.
4. Collect Tesco club card points and swap them for Avios points. Club card points go a long way when you transfer them to Avios, I collect nearly enough for one return flight to Paris every 12 weeks.
5. If a travel company offers a price guarantee keep checking the prices, last year I got a £200 refund on a family break, I simply rang the company to tell them the price had gone down and they refunded it.
6. Book flights and hotels separately, you can reduce the price of a holiday by £100s this way.
7. When booking hotels, use Quidco. This is a middleman site that shows you the best booking offers and gives cash back in your booking. Recently we got £80 cash back on a 4-night hotel break, and a great deal in the Hilton through Expedia, through Quidco.
8. I always give the boys spending money for our holidays. I generally allocate them £50 3 months before we travel. They know if they are good they can earn extra money at pound increments, however if they are not well behaved they can also lose a pound. It works a treat and teaches them their behaviour will always have consequences.
9. Buy sun cream and toiletries in advance when they are on offer. This way you have it all ready and waiting for when you travel. And don’t feel like you have spent a small mortgage the week before you travel.
10. Follow currency and buy when you get the best price. This can add £100 or more to your holiday spending money.