To many people, going on holiday with their kids seems like an impossibility and don’t even mention going overseas. Why?
The fact that we’ve managed to go on holiday with our kids, overseas, twice in the past 10 months may cause some people to conclude that we are rich. This is simply NOT TRUE.
So what’s our secret?
1. Keep an eye out for seat sales.
Get yourself on the internet and check. There are many airfare discount websites--skyscanner.net.search is one of the more popular ones, or check the airline sites directly.
In January 2012 we booked return airfares to Bali for $372 AUD per person, including taxes and 1 piece of checked luggage, for travel during the school holidays in Sept 2012. In Sept 2012, we also booked return flights to Bangkok for $436 AUD per person including taxes and 1 piece of checked luggage, for travel during school holidays June 2013.
2. Travel during your destination’s off-peak season.
Although our trips to Bali and to Thailand were during our school holiday period, in the grand scheme of things, it was off-peak in those areas. During off-season, you get better deals for airfares and accommodation, not to mention less crowds once you are there.
Be aware though that it’s often low-season for a reason. In tropical areas, this often equates to rainy season. However, rainy season in Thailand does vary from region to region. Since it was the start of rainy season in late June, we chose the Gulf of Thailand side (versus the Andaman side, Phuket etc) as it often starts even a bit later there. And our bet paid off. We had lovely weather with daily temperatures of around 30 degrees celcius. At times, a small storm would roll in during the late afternoon/early evening, but this would only last about 1hr, and not always bringing with it rain. The sea level was much lower at this time of year though, which made it tricky for swimming in the sea.
|Haad Yao Beach in July 2013--the sea level was very low so the water was too shallow to swim in for about 100m. But lots of beach to enjoy as a result.|
|Haad Yao Beach--the beach was also a bit 'dirtier' at the water's edge at this time of year (June/July) due to slightly rougher seas, although the water itself was hot and beautiful.|
|The storm's coming! This was what the sky would look like in the late afternoon/early evening, although sometimes it never even rained.|
3. Negotiate long-term accommodation rates or check on sites like Groupon, Agoda, Hotel.com, etc for deals.
On our recent trip to Koh Phangang, the resort that we intended to stay at had an advertised low-season rate of 800B/$26.60 USD for it’s most basic room. We did not book this in advance because we suspected that the place would not be full. Instead once we got there, we negotiated a better rate of 700B/$23.30 USD based on a 13night stay. That saved us $43.29US. (The resort had a lovely swimming pool and daily buffet breakfast for all of us included.)
Even if it had not worked out at this resort, we knew from previous visits that there are lots of hotels and accommodation to be had in the area, and again, since it was low season, we knew it wouldn’t be a problem securing something once we got there.
|Daily buffet breakfast included|
|One of the many friendly staff at our resort.|
|The boys (Burmese actually) cooking up eggs how you like them at breakfast.|
|The pool where we spent most of our time!|
So there you have it—our top 3 tips for affording travel as a family. While our trip did end up costing us $3,800 AUD in total. This included 22 nights of accommodation, eating out in restaurants for all meals, transport, entertainment and even a few gifts. We had a lot of fun and were all quite spoilt. We are pretty happy with that!
How much do you spend for a family holiday? Do you have any tips that you’d like to share? Leave it in our Comments!