Holidaying with kids (on a budget)
Holidays are supposed to be a fun and relaxing time away from your home, but when you have kids holidays are not always quite as relaxing as we might hope. Many people are put off going on holiday with kids (particularly a baby or toddler) because just trying to imagine coping in an airport and on a flight (and packing before you get there) begins to set of our anxiety. Nonetheless, it’s a way you can escape the daily routine, enjoy spending quality time as a family and make memories for you and your partner watching your child enjoy their new surroundings. You can find tips on how to pack and deal with air travel with kids on various useful sites, but this article offers some help on how to do it all without spending a fortune.
Snacks and activities!
One smart way to keep your toddler’s tantrum at bay, (and also saving on impulse purchases that you think help when your baby cries) is bringing snacks and activities along on both the ride and the holiday itself. Instead of buying the extra help, bringing it from home is much better and easier. You will be thanking yourself when the surprise in taking your toddler’s favourite snack out of your bag magically stops the incoming tears. You may want the holiday to be a way of getting the kids away from the iPad or whichever screen they seem to be fixated by- but you may also be thankful for a bit of downtime while they can watch something and you can relax by the pool.
Finding a destination where the cost of living is a bit lower will help when you feel like you are being forced to spend a fortune on eating while you’re there. Also keep in mind that you can still get some great deals if you wait until the last minute (though obviously this isn’t ok for those who need to know their schedule well in advance). If you are able to make plans quickly, you can also save on accommodation. Companies like Wishsicily offer locally owned villas to rent, and you can find last minute holidays to Sicily even now. The cost of living there is low and you’ll be amazing how much fresh local produce you’ll be able to pick up from markets and cook at home, or how little you will pay for a big family dinner in a local restaurant.
A smart and budget friendly way of making your holidays easier and more relaxing for the mind and wallet is bringing your own medicines. Not that you will have to use them for sure, but when going on a holiday with little ones it is always best to be prepared- especially if you are taking airplanes. Obviously some things just cannot be predicted or factored into your holiday budget, but plasters, Calpol, after sun and other things you might need from the pharmacy are worth taking with you rather than paying double in an airport chemist.
Live like a local
When going on holidays, there is a big difference between what the destination offers to tourists, and what the same thing costs a local. I’m talking about restaurants, and how not only will you save money when choosing local restaurants over the touristy one, but you will most likely also gain in quality and memories. Same goes for transport- take the bus when possible rather than relying on taxis where drivers may well jack-up the price as soon as they know you aren’t local. Researching public transport and other options before you set-off can be a lifesaver when out and about at your new destination.
Of course saving should begin before the holiday, and you can find lots of tips on how to do that. But you can also have a ‘staycation’ if it seems more doable on your family budget. Choose the theme of your staycation too, and set a week or two aside to really enjoy each others company and relax a little bit. It is so important for the kids and parents, and will definitely make your school or job re-entry start off on a better note.
in collaboration with Emily J