Holidays abroad can be expensive, and this applies especially if you’re travelling as a family. Luckily there are ways to save money if you know how. We’ve compiled some of the best tips for keeping costs down while you’re abroad.
Consider Last-minute Deals
It may seem counter-intuitive to leave your holiday planning to the last minute, but using the last-minute deals can lead to significant savings on things like flights and car hire. Also, many last-minute discounts apply if you book and fly within a few weeks – in practice, giving you plenty of time to prepare properly beforehand.
Before Leaving Home
Flip the Switch
Taking a few simple actions before you leave can save you money. For example, ensure that you unplug all electrical devices so that these don’t chew up costly energy while you’re away. This also reduces the risk of an electrical fire.
Avoid Airport Prices
Airport stores can be exorbitantly expensive, so avoid the marked up prices by buying what you’ll need in advance. For example, buy magazines, sweets and other snack foods, and any accessories you want on the flight – such as neck pillows or earplugs – at local shops, before you set out.
Turn Off Mobile Data
It’s a good idea to turn off your mobile data service before leaving home. Too many people are caught unaware with shockingly high bills on their return. International roaming for mobile phones is very expensive. Rather use Wi-Fi or get yourself a local SIM card when you arrive at your destination.
Packing light will prevent excess baggage fees. Remember that on the way home, it’s likely that you’ll want to carry various souvenirs and gifts – so plan to have enough space and weight allowance left to allow for what you buy on holiday.
When you’re Travelling
Eat where the Kids Eat Free
Many restaurants and hotels offer free meals to children under a certain age. It’s a good idea to scout these out – they can save you a pretty penny when you’re travelling with little ones.
Just because you’re a tourist doesn’t mean you can’t shop like a local. Instead of buying necessities from tourist hotspots and markets, find and use the same shops as the locals use, even if this means travelling a short distance out of your way. You’ll benefit by paying local prices instead of those marked up for tourists.
Hostels, not Hotels
The word “hostel” might conjure up images of dirty dorm rooms packed with rowdy students. However, many high-quality hostels offer rooms that are perfect for the travelling family. They’re also often a lot more friendly, with informative staff who can guide you on local attractions and even on ways to save money. Other cheap accommodation options include house-swapping or even renting a house, which may be substantially cheaper than staying at hotels.
Don’t waste your money on a cumbersome and confusing city map. Just use a map app on your Smartphone. Often map apps come with built-in information about public transport, making it easier than ever to get around in new cities.