How to save money when taking the kids on holiday

Posted by iChild, July 18, 2023 9:58 AM

By Joanne Owens

Family holidays are many wonderful things, but unfortunately, they’re also often expensive. With travel arrangements and accommodation, plus days out at pricey theme parks, zoos or other attractions, the total cost of some much-needed family time can quickly skyrocket.

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Luckily, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a family getaway without needing to break the bank. Here we share some savvy tips for making your money stretch the farthest and still creating lifelong memories together.

Be canny at mealtimes

Travelling with fussy kids can make mealtimes a real chore. Especially if you’re exploring an entirely unfamiliar culinary landscape, it can be difficult to find menus to keep everyone happy. What’s more, even if you do find a place to suit everyone’s tastes, dining out every night can quickly eat into your holiday fund.

To help your money go further, and keep the kids happy, consider looking for accommodation options that include your own kitchen. This way, you can cook up your own meals that you know the kids will eat. Sourcing local ingredients from grocery stores is a wonderful way to still engage with the local culture and get them to try new things.

Having somewhere to prepare food can also be a real lifesaver when you’re heading out for a day of activities. Before leaving your lodgings each day, be sure to pack up a bag full of easily transportable snacks and fill up your reusable water bottles. If you’re not prepared, you could get caught out spending a little more than you bargained for during days out – especially when you’re visiting an attraction where options are limited and you may have to pay a premium.

Plan your itinerary in advance


As any parent will tell you, planning an itinerary that keeps everyone happy is one of the more challenging aspects of a family holiday. Children with different tastes will be trying to pull you in different directions and there will inevitably always be just one more thing they want to see. To keep spending in check and to help provide your trip with some structure, it’s useful to have a rough idea of what you will be doing and when before arriving. Once you know what you want to do, consider booking attractions before jetting off, and you may be able to make the most of online discounts.

As well as booking any preferred activities in advance, it’s also worth looking for low-cost options at your destination. There’s always plenty of choice for budget-conscious travellers who are willing to get a little creative. From taking advantage of city parks and free museum days to getting out into nature and exploring local neighbourhoods, there are countless free or low-cost activities that can help you make the most of your holiday without breaking the bank.

Find the right balance with your packing

As tempting as it may be to pack up everything the kids could possibly need for a family trip, adding unnecessary luggage can incur additional costs that you may have been able to avoid. Even if you’re a seasoned traveller and have enjoyed multiple trips as a family, it can still be helpful to create a packing list before jetting off. Not only is this a good habit to get into and a way to ensure nothing is forgotten, but the needs of your children will change as they grow, so using a packing template from five years ago may no longer be relevant. Make a list of the essentials you can’t go without and then work backwards from there.

At the same time, you can often save money by seeing which items you already have at home and can bring with you. Things like beach gear, snorkelling equipment or inflatables often get purchased and then left behind during a holiday. If you already have these items at your disposal, see what you can fit in your case to avoid paying for duplicate products at your destination.

Careful planning prevents overspending

The most important aspect of any family holiday is the opportunity to spend precious time in each other’s company. The beauty is, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the benefits of a family adventure. With a little careful planning, you’re bound to enjoy all of the magical moments without worrying about your holiday budget.

By Joanne Owens

Joanne Owens is a mentor and educator who specialises in working with young children. She is passionate about fostering open-ended, independent learning, and helping children develop skills that will serve them well throughout their lives. Joanne works closely with parents, teachers, and other caregivers to create nurturing and supportive learning environments that encourage exploration and discovery. She also has experience in resolving disputes and addressing issues that arise with young children. In addition to her work with children, Joanne is an accomplished writer and is currently collaborating with the Six Degree Media team on academic projects that promote high-quality education for all students. Her ultimate goal is to make a positive impact on the lives of young children and to inspire them to reach their full potential.


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