I dream of North Devon. It is my favourite place. The beach, the tranquillity, the friendly people, the surrounding natural beauty and the quirky coloured cottages all add to its charm. As much as I love Devon, I dream of other places too. Somewhere a little more adventurous like visiting my Brother in Canada, a trip on the California Zephyr - travelling from Chicago to San Francisco, holidays to Lake Garda or to the Greek Islands. Any one of those places would be lovely to visit. Having a large family has meant that we have always had to take family holidays that are on a budget, so here are a few tips that might help you find the perfect budget holiday.
- Book Early - The crucial thing to do is either book really early or last minute. Most holiday companies offer really good discounts if you book early, usually before the end of January. Not only do they offer discounts this time of year but you can also often get 'this years holiday at last years prices' which can be quite a saving. Last minute deals are also great too.
- 28 Days - If you take a holiday and love it so much that you decide that you would like to go there again next year, then some places offer even better deals if you book with 28 days of returning home. Check their offers because discounts and vouchers can be a really great way to save on next years holiday.
- Camping - Campsites and private caravan hire are also great ways to holiday on a budget both in the UK and abroad. You have the freedom to cater for yourself, so can avoid the expense of eating out. Plus, the price of pitching a tent is much cheaper for a family than staying in a hotel. A lot of camp sites have fully equipped, large family tents already erected at bargain prices.
- Day Trips - If money really is tight and you can't get away on a holiday but you really crave to show the kids places like Bruges, Paris or even Venice then you can reach these places, and back home in a day. You can get coach trips from as little as £25 each to Bruges, or even return flights to Venice for peanuts if you look out for special deals. These trips take some military planning, an early morning and a late night but are well worth the effort.
- House Swap - Swapping homes with another family is a great way to save on accommodation and to get to know how families live day to day in another country or area in the UK.
- Overnight Travel - Travelling during the night is always so much cheaper, especially around Europe. And buying tickets well in advance works out much cheaper too. And don't forget in the UK to buy a family rail card. You can earn the price of it back in one journey.
Do you have any tips for a budget break? I'd love to hear them.