An annual holiday can be a much-needed break from the usual routine and is the high point of the year for many families. But some families can’t always afford to get away for any length of time together. Even if you stay in the UK and don’t go abroad, travel costs and accommodation for a week or two soon add up. Then you have to pay for all the essentials you need to take with you, as well as excursions and treats to keep the young ones entertained.
For most families, this isn’t easily achieved but that doesn’t mean it’s out of the question. A family holiday needs to be planned well in advance, and that means saving money all year round in order to be able to afford it. This may mean making sacrifices, but it will all be worth it when you’re all relaxing together on a sun-kissed beach come summer. So how do you save money?
Reduce your weekly spending
Keeping track of your recurring expenses every week or month can help you see ways where you might be able to save money. Could you switch to a cheaper energy supplier? It’s possible to make significant savings by having a joint tariff, or arranging to pay via direct debit. Similarly, you might be able to go over to a more affordable mobile phone plan. These are great ways of saving money fast.
Next, look at things you spend money on regularly that you might be able to cut back on, or cut out completely. Sacrificing the Sunday papers, a pay TV subscription, takeaway meals or coffees out could let you have the holiday you’re hoping for during the summer. Even if it doesn’t feel like it’s saving you much each week, if you put what you would have spent into a piggy bank, it will soon add up. Look at what you are spending on food and how you can economise, check out money saving recipes like this whole rustic chicken for less than £1 a serving.
Make some extra cash
After economising on your outgoings, the next step is to see if we can bring a bit more money in. There are a variety of things that you might be able to do in your spare time to earn a little extra towards your holidays. Investing in a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin is easy and, although there are always risks, the currency has increased significantly in value over time. Automated trading using the top btc robots means this needn’t be time-consuming or require in-depth knowledge of the markets, either.
A little help
Make sure that your family is getting all of the state benefits you’re entitled to, including in-work benefits like Working Tax Credit. Also, put any money you save into a savings account that pays out regular interest. Just make sure that you’re allowed to withdraw your savings when you need them. Look out for any government schemes designed to help families save that you might be eligible for, however, be wary of ‘get rich quick’ scams.
Set a holiday budget
Having a clear goal in mind makes it much easier to save. Work out as closely as possible how much you’ll need for your holiday, including insurance and fun excursions as well as travel, accommodation, meals and things you’ll need to buy before you go. Then keep track of how much you’re saving and how close you are to achieving your objectives. This turns saving into a fun family game and makes it easier to explain to young children why missing out on a treat today means they can have a better holiday.
Go off the beaten track
Sometimes you can have a great holiday for less by going to less popular destinations. As a family, decide what you want from a holiday and then look for places that offer this that aren’t over-subscribed and over-priced. Another tip, if you’re going abroad, is to look for countries where your money will go further. Check out the exchange rate for the pound and also the cost of living. Remember that big cities are generally more expensive than smaller towns.
Look for travel deals
The price of flights and even train tickets can vary hugely, so it’s worth taking your time to seek out the best offers. Booking well in advance is usually the best idea, but you can sometimes get excellent last-minute offers as well. Subscribe to airline and train company newsletters to hear about the latest offers when they’re announced. If you can go off-season or avoid peak times of the day, this can also reduce your travel costs considerably.
Saving for a holiday isn’t always easy, but it is worth it. Planning ahead, being disciplined and doing your research could help you make your dream a reality.