It’s not easy planning a holiday for the whole family outside of term time. With Michael Gove telling parents it’s “wrong” to take kids out of school for trips and being fined for doing it, what’s a parent to do when holiday prices skyrocket during half terms and other school hols?
Don’t dispair. There are ways of travelling with your kids in tow during peak season without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips if you want to stay out of the firing line of your kid’s schools and Mister Gove.
As soon as you get your child’s school calendar and know when the half terms and holidays are, start planning. The earlier you book, the better deals you’ll find. Don’t be put off by booking something 11 months in advance. It sounds crazy, but this is when you’ll find the cheapest trips.
Share the costs
There are plenty of ways to share the costs of a holiday, whether you go in on a shared villa in Italy together with friends or even lift share closer to home. You can find some pretty amazing villas, especially in Italy or Spain, that sleep 10 which are entirely reasonable when split ten ways. Plus, if you bunk up with relatives, you can probably get some free babysitting out of the deal!
You’d never believe the amount of free things there are to do in every city. That’s one of the reasons we started our series of Free City Guides on the blog. Discover cities all over the world, from Bangkok to Glasgow, Budapest to Washington DC, for free! Museums almost always have a free day every month and for other attractions, it’s best to check out reviews to see if they’re really worth the cash.
Choose a cheap destination
One of the easiest ways to save money while on holidays with the whole family is choosing destinations where the pound stretches just that little bit further. The Post Office Travel Money survey is a great resource for finding new and exciting places that won’t break the bank. In the 2014 survey, the Post Office recommends the Algarve in Portugal, Spain’s Costa del Sol, Turkey and Prague as being great money-saving destinations.
Volunteer holidays are on the rise but it doesn’t mean you’ll be shipping your family out to far-flung places in Africa to build schools (although that does sound very exciting!). There are many organic farms closer to home that offer free food and accommodation in return for a few hours of work. The National Trust also sponsors working holidays on some of their gorgeous properties in the countryside.
Where are your favourite places for a family holiday?