Monday 2 September 2013

Planning Ahead For A Stress Free, Low Cost Family Holiday

It’s official.
The kids are back at school, the BBQ is back in the garage and the sun seems to be heading permanently behind a cloud. It looks like summer is over.

The end of the summer can be a bit of a sad time. We’ve been so lucky with the weather this year that it feels wrong to be thinking already about Christmas and long, dark nights. To put off the cold evenings for a little while, how about instead looking ahead to next summer? It’s never too early to start planning when you have young children!

Here’s a five step plan to help with your summer holiday planning for 2014:

Step one – destination
As the nights draw in, you’ll probably be dreaming of sunshine and warm beaches, but do look around and don’t jump to conclusions about where you want to spend your summer break. If you tend to go back to the same resort again and again, why not think outside the box (or in this case suitcase) and try something new? Islands like Ibiza and Lanzarote aren’t necessarily known for being great cultural destinations, but they actually have an awful lot to offer, especially for active families.

Step two – set a budget
As you’ve got plenty of time to prepare, now is a great time to set your holiday budget and start saving. Make a plan for how much you can afford to save every month and think about what you can afford with this. Be realistic about your expenses – eating out, ice-creams and extras such as car hire all add up. Use sites like Trip Advisor to find out about the costs of local attractions.

Step three – raise some extra pennies
You’ve fixed your budget in terms of saving, but is there anything else you could do to raise some extra spending money? This doesn’t have to be a chore. Why not make it fun by getting your children involved in organising and running a car boot sale or garage sale? Not only would this add some valuable cash to the ice cream fund but it can also be an excellent way to teach your kids the value of money.

Step four – book in advance
There are a lot of aspects of your holiday that you may be able to save money on by booking in advance, such as flights, parking or trains. Don’t forget to think about transport while you’re there too. They may be small, but islands like Lanzarote are still best navigated by car. Don’t wait until you’re at the airport though – check out car hire in Lanzarote options before you go to get a good deal.
Step five – get excited!

The anticipation of a holiday is one of the best bits, so embrace it! Get yourself a big map of your destination and start plotting and planning your activities. Take a trip to your local library and check out some guide books – extra inspiration but at no extra cost!

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