Top 10 tips for holiday budgeting

It’s that time of year, end of term looming, that I start my last minute holiday planning.   Yesterday it involved printing off all my confirmation emails etc and checking everything was as it should be.  No last minute panic when we realise the holiday cottage is booked for the wrong week etc!

So  having done the longer term planning earlier in the year I thought I would share it with you now (as those lovely people at CaxtonFX are asking bloggers to share theirs) :

My Top Ten Tips for budgeting for a family holiday

  1. Be clear about your overall budget for the holiday.  Include holiday cost / insurance / cost of kennels /taxi to airport or car parking and  fuel if driving.  Don’t just think about “headline holiday cost”.
  2. Consider all inclusive.  This used to be an option at only exclusive resorts but nowadays it can actually be a cheaper option if it includes all drinks and ice creams etc.
  3. Ask friends if they have any contacts for accommodation.  So many of us now have friends with a villa in Spain, or an apartment in Portugal that they rent out.  Ask around and see if you can save on the cost of a hotel.
  4. Keep track of your spending money.  We always have a spreadsheet that we fill in at the end of the day, it might sound a bit dull but we don’t get to the end of week one and realise we have spent 3/4s of the budget rather than half.
  5. Check if that “budget airline” is actually any cheaper.   They often land at airports away from the destination, charge extra for checked in luggage etc and ultimately may not be cheaper than scheduled flights.
  6. Look at Trip Advisor or other review sites before you go.   People often post about hotels or restaurants doing deals such as “all you can eat Buffet before 1pm on a Sunday” that means your spending money can go further.   Similarly ask on those forums if there is a going rate for tipping, you don’t want to overpay!
  7. Check local papers online.   They often have money off vouchers for local stores or attractions, provided you book in advance which will be easier to do from home rather than once there.
  8. Speak to your mobile phone provider.   There are “bolt on tariffs” available that you can organise before your trip, giving you data / international calls etc.   Make sure you have that set up, or your roaming turned off to avoid any hefty bills.
  9. Consider a “staycation”!   There are parts of Cornwall for instance that are beautiful and have just as much to offer as a holiday abroad.  Don’t go surfing in Biarittz for instance, go to Newquay.   Much more cost effective
  10. Get a pre-loaded payment card.   We did this in Barbados and it was brilliant.   We didn’t get left with lots of little bits of local currency that were “wasted” and we knew exactly how much we had spent as we could monitor it all online.

Those are my budgeting tips for a family holiday, what about yours?  What is you number one tip?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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  • All inclusive is a great idea – it looks expensive when you book, but the amount we spend on holiday would more than cover the inclusive package, so actually we’d end up better off. Off to hunt for luxury holidays now 🙂

  • You only live once!
    Just go for it – and make everyone that you meet speak ENGLISH.

  • We would never go on holiday unless it was all inclusive, saves so much money in the long run. Great tips! x

  • Some good tips there – the one I would really pull out of this list is the one about travel costs. It’s so much more than just a flight cost and it’s an area where people can really get caught out.

  • Loving your budget tips are you becoming a *thrifty* blohgger ms barrow

  • One day we’ll get to have a family holiday, for now it’s just day trips.Buying Summer clothes in the sales can help with costs, I buy my kids clothes a size too big ready for the next year.It’s the same with suntan lotion if you buy in February/March time when you can get 10 or 20% off.

  • The best travelling tip I was ever given was to take half as many clothes and twice as much money! But after reading, this I’d reverse it. Maybe. You’re SO right about the Budget Airline thing too – they also fly at ridiculous hours compared to the major ones so you start your holiday exhausted! Useful tips, thanks 🙂

  • We’ve never done the all inclusive thing before but I hear it can make a huge difference!

  • All fabulous tips for budgeting for that all-important family holiday. We used to save a little something every month to help spread the cost throughout the year. All inclusive is a great option particularly if you have older kids!