Budget Holidays with Teens
We had to think long and hard about whether taking a fortnight’s holiday was allowable within our current financial constraints. Would taking a holiday just involve wasting money we don’t have?
On balance we decided that we should, because, life being life, we may never actually manage to take our intended sabbatical next year, regardless of whether we manage to save the money (more on this later).
Everyone needs a chance to kick back and relax. We haven’t managed a full two week family vacation for over 5 years. This has been mainly due to husband having set factory shut downs which have not corresponded with school holidays, or have clashed with children’s exams, race fixtures (my son is a runner) my work, or other unbreakable family commitments.
This year, the hubster has been able to take two weeks off, over the Easter holiday!!! We have no weddings to go to, no exams to be sat (although both lads have bought mountains of text books to revise for exams when they return) no important races to compete in, and no house renovations to be done. This may never happen again, and so the decision was taken, and we are now settled in a lovely little house on the Bodrum peninsular in Turkey.
Two sunny weeks with which to do… not very much.
We still need to be conscious of the pennies though, and I think we have managed to get here very reasonably indeed, with change from £1500 for flights and accommodation for five of us. Not bad eh?
Here are some of the ways I have managed to minimize my financial guilt trip!
1. Check the age the airline charges ‘adult’ prices from. We managed to get my 13 y/o a child’s priced airfare by shopping around.
2. Don’t think you have to fly there and back with the same airline. We saved quite a bit by flying with 2 airlines.
3. Some airlines accept Clubcard points or airmiles. We have taken £150 off the cost of the flights.
4. Watch the extras, and pack carefully. At £20 a bag, hold luggage is expensive, and £6 each for advance check in, these extras all add up. Don’t feel pressurised. We have managed to get everything in hand luggage and one hold bag, which admittedly contains mainly text books for revision. Without impending exams, we could probably have done without hold luggage altogether.
5. Cashback. We have managed to get Cashback on our airport parking and our holiday insurance from http://www.topcashback.co.uk/home
6. Like many large families with teens, hotel accommodation just doesn’t work for us. We need a house or apartment, and we have found that Airbnb offers great accommodation at very reasonable prices. Basically, the concept is that people put up their own properties for rent while they themselves are on holiday or not using it. The choice ranges from “pretty basic” to “OMG That’s a castle”. We are currently situated in a three bed house, a little away from the main holiday resort, but with the most amazing view over the bay, all for just under £600. Check out http://www.airbnb.com/ for some ideas.
I intend to check out houseswopping for future holidays, and am currently working up an Airbnb listing for my own house, to try and make a bit of extra money in the school holidays.
I’d love to hear how you have saved money on your family holidays…
Ta at speak later xxx