26 March 2018
Are you trying to find a great family holiday for less this year? It can be a tricky balance. The journey doesn’t pay for itself. Nor do ice creams, attractions and places to stay. But with a little homework and a useful trick or two, there are ways to spend less on a family holiday while still enjoying the best of your chosen destination. At Searles, we've always believed that a great quality family holiday needn't cost an arm and a leg. Here are six great ways to book wisely and save your hard-earned, from transport tips to seasonal offers.
1. Book earlier and save your favourite offers pages
The early bird catches the worm, or so the saying goes. This especially applies to getting just the break you want at the busier times of year. The key is often to strike while the iron is hot and plan well ahead. So, it makes a lot of sense to bookmark your favourite pages for deals, whether these are offers sections on websites such as ours, or indeed Facebook feeds. Meanwhile, it's also wise to ask the bargain hunters among your friends and relatives to tip you off when they see offers!
2. Time your visit, or make the most of a longer stay
Ok, so not everyone can plan their visit around seasonal pricing, but if you are able to time your visit outside the main holidays it can be well worth it. Early spring and autumn are both great times to get away for less; the weather is often fine and the crowds are smaller too. Obviously, school holidays and other events can make it tricky to escape. Even so, you could try weekdays rather than weekends. Or get away for half term, which is often a bit cheaper than the bigger holidays (Easter or Summer Holidays).
Another good tip is stay for a little longer in one place, rather than moving from place to place. Many resorts will reward your loyalty with a better rate the longer you stay. Whichever way you look at it, booking for a week or two in one place is a lot cheaper than hopping around for a night here, two nights there.
3. Make it a sociable break!
Another of the best ways to go on holiday for less is to team up with friends or broader family. For example, a lot of larger holiday lets will allow bigger numbers of guests to stay. The more you share with, the lower the cost per person becomes. For those such as families on a tight budget and single parents, teaming up with a pal like this can be a godsend.
An eight-berth holiday lodge, for example, is going to be cheaper than two properties of four. A great option for close friends or those who want to holiday with extended family. You have to get on like the proverbial house on fire, of course, but an escape in the best of company can be great fun.
4. Check your wheels
So many of us leave it to the very last minute to pack a family car and don’t do a great job of preparation. A few key things make quite a difference to your fuel economy, however. Perhaps the most overlooked is tyre pressure. With a full car of kit and kids in the back, you should always treat your tyres to a quick service. If your manual lists two settings, go for higher load recommendations too (i.e. the specifications for heavy loads or a full vehicle). Believe it or not, but the difference between tired, underinflated tyres and firm, newer versions could be several quid over a long journey, not to mention the safety benefits.
Another consideration is how much you pack and where it goes. Do you really need a storage box, canoes or bikes on the roof? It probably depends on how far you travel and how much you want them. If it’s a long trip there and back, extras on roof racks could cost you a fair bit extra in fuel economy. Perhaps it might be easier, and even cheaper, to hire when you’re there?
5. Look for low cost activities and deals on days out
Although we’re often told the best things in life are free, it’s difficult to tell the kids that! Even so, there is some truth in the old saying. If you can find a resort that’s near the beach, or with lots of free things to do, that could be a huge bonus. After all, making sandcastles, swimming or exploring the countryside are all things that don’t cost a bean.
As for days out and attractions, you are going to want to include some slightly more costly adventures too. Many attractions offer online discounts and family tickets, which can help. But you could also look on forums, blogs and other sources for further ideas. Uncle Google can be your best friend here, with searches such as “free family activities in x”, “low cost activities” etc…
Or, for a great cheat list, Pinterest has a whole stack of “free activities” cards to pinch from.
6. Eat for less and budget your treats
A lot of holiday makers get caught out when it comes to food and drink. After all, we tend to factor in the cost of accommodation, fuel and the rest long before we think “hang on a minute, we still have to eat on holiday”. As with days out, the best policy is often to mix cheaper options with the odd treat.
So, you might plan for a couple of restaurant meals or bigger feasts for your week off, but plan things like picnics and barbecues in between. Of course, the cost of eating could also influence your choice of where to stay. Does it have an affordable pub or restaurant onsite or nearby? Are there shops within a short distance too? Can you cook your own food or barbeque on site?
Stay at Searles, for brilliant value family breaks in Norfolk!
Here at Searles in North Norfolk, we’re always looking to give families great value on holiday. We offer something for every budget, from camping and caravan pitches to luxury lodges and cabins for an indulgent week or two away. See our accommodation listings for the full range of what we offer, or grab yourself some even better value by viewing our current offers and special breaks here.