Your 5-point guide to thrifty family travels

So far so good with the weather this summer in Britain, although whether the heatwave will last remains to be seen. But, either way, it’s enough to give each of us the holiday buzz. The plummeting pound may have consigned many of us to staycations this summer, but many more have either been abroad already or will still be excitedly looking forward to getaways abroad. In fact, travel companies’ state that holiday package sales have barely dropped off at all since the Brexit vote.  It’s fair to say that we Brits are still putting a great emphasis on holidays, family time, and R&R – which is a very good thing.

Of course that’s not to say many of us won’t still be feeling slightly poorer when doing currency conversions in our heads.  A bit of thriftiness can go a long way to ensuring that you don’t return home feeling glum, and like you’ve blown a hole in your pocket. So, to help your cause as you jet off to sunnier pastures, here is a 5-point plan…

5-point guide to thrifty family travels

  • Book smart, then direct

It makes sense to use sites like Skyscanner and Expedia to search for flights, and often this is where the best deals can be found. But not always. Sometimes, once you’ve found the flight you want, you can get a better deal by booking it directly through the airline itself. However, beware of browser cookies, which can elevate the price of a flight you’ve already looked at. It all requires a bit of nous, and even putting some time in. But if it can save you hundreds of pounds as a family, it will be worth your while.

  • Be a money-changing expert

It’s a challenge that many of us love to brag about when we get it right – changing currency at the best rate possible. Some of us will go from shop to shop to find the best deal, while others will choose convenience, and even change money at rip-off exchanges at airports and hotels. But sites such as TravelMax give you the chance to combine both value and convenience by getting the best rates you can, and doing it all online.

  • Consider the package option

It may sound counter-intuitive. After all, if there’s a travel agent, then there must be someone making a profit, compared with when you do a DIY holiday booking. But remember that it is tour operators who make holidays – travel agents merely sell them. So there is always likely to be a bit of wiggle room in the price. So once you find a deal you like, why not shop around and see if you can haggle other agents down even further on the same package? Bear in mind too that if you’re flexible on both destination and timing, there are plenty of bargain late deals to be had too when it comes to package holidays.

  • Use your credit card – but wisely!

Booking holidays on a credit card can be very sensible. Often you’ll get things like free insurance, not to mention the fact that you will be covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act in the event of cancellations, or the company/travel agent/hotel failing to deliver what you have paid for. However, piling all your holiday expenditure onto your card, and not paying it off within the same month can leave you forking out a fortune in interest in the months after. So, if you are unable to pay for your holiday with savings, rather consider low-interest loans to finance the trip instead.

  • Change your mind set

Always remember that holidays are big business, and the main aim of tourism is a commercial one, geared towards making you spend as much money as possible during your trip. To do this, every stakeholder in the holiday industry will prey on the perception of a ‘perfect holiday’; reiterating that this is your time to enjoy yourself, and that you should make the most of it. While these points are all true, you don’t have to spend a whack of money to make the best memories. Decide what you can afford beforehand, set your budget, and then make the best of it from there. Even if it means being creative here and there, you can then genuinely enjoy every minute of the trip, knowing that you aren’t doing any financial harm in the process.

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post.  Images copyright Pixabay. 




  1. 21st August 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Great tips! I never knew about exchanging the money that way, I’ll need to check it out! I always budget before hand do I know what I can afford when away and don’t over spend.

  2. 21st August 2016 / 5:54 pm

    Great tips, we tend to do the DIY option, flights, apartments, car hire etc, I never really thought about the package option, food for thought for next year’s hols.

  3. 21st August 2016 / 11:47 am

    We’re thinking our going somewhere outside the Euro next year to get a better price on both the holiday & foreign exchange. It’s just so expensive, especially with two kids

  4. 21st August 2016 / 7:57 am

    It’s so funny I remember there was a time I would never have considered the package option but I think it can make a lot of sense for a family looking to keep holiday costs down.

  5. 20th August 2016 / 10:17 pm

    We don’t tend to go abroad, but I have noticed what the exchange rate is doing and it certainly wont be helping families who are holidaying abroad this summer. But like with anything (and as you point out) they’re always a deal to be had if you are prepared to shop around, whether you are staying here or going further afield 🙂

  6. 20th August 2016 / 9:49 pm

    Great tips. I think it defo pays to shop around when it comes to money exchange. Sometimes package deals can work out better than direct but not very often x

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