Be it a day trip someplace new or weeks on the road, most of us love to travel. But it doesn’t come cheap, especially if you travel as a family. I’ve written this two part post to share the tips that help us afford to travel.

Best value or budget doesn’t always mean the cheapest. Sometimes its worth paying a little more either to save money down the line or for extra comfort or convenience. Travel is to be enjoyed, not endured! Without further ado, here are my tips that help me save and budget so that my family can travel as often as possible.

1.Prioritize your spending before you even leave home. Travel is important to us. So we really think about how we budget and what we need to live a full, happy life and be able to afford to travel.  We are a single income family, so we budget and plan. Think long and hard about what really brings you joy , and what you can ditch to free up funds for adventuring. So goodbye Sky TV, because I would rather explore the world than watch it. We don’t eat out more than a couple of times a month.And I stopped buying glossy magazines full of clothes that I couldn’t fit into and couldn’t afford anyway. If this stuff is important to other people, no judging. But if you want to travel, you need to make that a priority.

2. Shop around! Check out the price for the same product with different sellers.  Use comparison sites.  For example, I have just booked a four night break in the Moselle region in Germany in August for five people. I checked out the price for the same holiday park with four companies, including  directly with the park itself. There was a three hundred pound difference between the cheapest quote and the highest.For the same product! Always read the small print, one quote seemed like gold I added in the compulsory charges for linen, final clean etc.  And when you have the best quote?

3. Try and get some added value. Book via some sort of reward scheme.  The key thing here being that you NEVER book something just because it does offer a reward or incentive. Find the most cost-effective option first and then see if you can book it via a cash back site like Top Cashback. Find out if the company you are booking with offers any extra reward schemes or incentives. Sometimes you can double up and get cash back and the reward or incentive. Over the years we have had cash discounts as a loyalty bonus , free nights in some nice hotels via reward schemes and over five hundred pounds in cash back via Topcashback. Find the way that works for you and then work it hard.

Girl jumping off a sand dune in Terschelling
Jumping for joy in Terschelling. We had the beach to ourselves that day.

4. Tweak your travel dates. Be flexible and consider travel in the low season. I know, flexible isn’t always possible. With four children and a husband in the military, we don’t have much flexibility. But changing your travel dates by even a few days can be a real saver. Earlier this year we visited the beautiful Dutch island of Terschelling and travelling just four days before the spring season officially began saved us a lot on apartment rental and travel. Plus traveling low season means things tend to be quieter, people are less busy and have more time to chat to you. All good!

5. Research will save you money. It’s also fun and inspiring. When planning a trip check out what is on the area. Big events drive up prices…think Edinburgh in the Fringe or Munich during Oktoberfest. If you plan to visit a few cities or sites, research where you can stay that will allow you to do it all from one base. This can lead to savings on accommodation as many  will discount for longer stays. Find out what the main sights are and if they charge; if so are they value for money? And so on. Knowing your stuff is key to having a great travel experience on so many levels, and it will save you money. Know before you go, or pay when you stay!

I hope there was something in here of interest or that might help you save money on your next trip. If you have any tips or money-saving travel hacks please do leave me a message in the comments. It makes my day to hear from you.

Helen x




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