The Best Ways to Make Your Family Summer Holiday Cheaper

Nothing rounds out the year like taking a big holiday together when the summer break finally rolls around. It’s a great opportunity to spend time together as a family, see some new sights and enjoy new experiences. However, as far as things that bite into the bank balance go, the summer holiday is up there with Christmas as events that can leave a huge dent in your wallet. But with some careful planning, and being a little bit crafty, you can make some serious savings, find some great bargains and still have a holiday to remember.

Of course, one of the most expensive parts of any holiday is simply the act of getting there. Fortunately this is also one of the areas where it’s most easy to make savings. For instance, the time you travel can have a huge effect on how much it costs. Booking your big family get away during the May half term rather than the summer can result in far cheaper travel and accommodation expenses, but you’ll still enjoy picturesque weather in places such as the Mediterranean without the prices you’ll find during the August peak.

Still, if you absolutely have to travel during the summer, simply changing the day of the week you travel can make a huge difference. Whether you’re going by plane, train or boat, travelling on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday will be significantly cheaper than travelling at the weekend.

Either way, check out airlines that specialise in discount routing to find the cheapest (if not the most direct) route to your destination. Some of the prices that can be found through British airlines such as FlyBe can be surprisingly cheap and make a big difference to the holiday spending money you have available.

Once you’ve got your travel sorted, you also need to decide where you’re going to stay. Now most of the time planning in advance is the best idea, but often when it comes to finding hotels the best prices are available a week or less before you’re due to arrive. Specialist websites such as can be a treasure trove of last minute bargains.

Now one thing many budget conscious holiday goers do is resort to camping rather than staying in an expensive hotel, but at peak times camp sites can end up being surprisingly expensive. It may actually be better value to look into booking a cottage.

Alternatively, save on the cost of accommodation altogether if you already live in a desirable area. Websites like Intervac and HomeLink offer a great “house swap” service that not only saves you money, but also provides you with a unique perspective on the locations you’ll be visiting.

The final big cost on holidays is nearly always the food – especially if you’ve opted for a hotel. Unless its included in the overnight rate, you should avoid the hotel breakfast. Hotels have a tendency to jack up the price for holiday makers who don’t want to leave the hotel too early in the morning, and you’ll likely be near some cafes that’ll provide just as good a breakfast for half the price.

When in Spain, France and Italy, a good rule of thumb is to always go with the dish of the day (the menu del dia in Spain, the plat du jour in France, the menu fisso in Italy… you get the idea). Not only are these often as much as half the price of the rest of the items on the menu, it’s also a great way to try out new dishes you might otherwise have missed. Because after all, trying new things is half the point of a holiday in the first place!

This post was written in partnership with Flybe

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