It seems as though as soon as the kids go back to school, people start talking about Easter holidays.
And, look, I love a holiday as much as the next shopper, but research by finder.com.au shows that holidays can be up to 41 per cent more expensive during school holidays. Eek.
Here are just a few savvy ways to save money on your next family holiday
Take the kids out of school early
Flying two adults and a recalcitrant teen from Sydney to Cairns on April 9, the day after school finishes for the term in NSW, will cost you $160 per person. Making the same trip with the same recalcitrant teen three days earlier on Wednesday April 6 will cost you just $93 per person. I know, I know, schools have told you not to take the kids out of school for holidays. But they’re not the boss of you. And if you’re saving $67 per person on flights, I think it’s worth a telling off from Miss.
(You could also fly on Monday April 11, after most people have already departed, for $107 per person, but then you don’t get to bunk school.)
Look out for “free for kids” deals
Whether it’s a resort that lets kids stay for free with a paying adult or a cruise line that lets littlies cruise without paying a cent, these deals will save you big bikkies on a nice holiday.
For example, Hamilton Island’s “Kids stay and eat free” deal on Hamilton Island does exactly what it says on the tin. If you’re staying at select accommodation options, you won’t pay extra for children up to 12 years old to stay with you (using existing bedding) and they can eat from the kids’ menu for free.
Assuming you’d be eating out most of the time and considering the kids’ meals on the island are $14 a pop, that’s a saving of $42 per child per day on food alone. And accommodation starts at $350 twin share, so avoiding that cost for the kids is pretty good too.
Book a package
Packages aren’t for everyone but if you’re wrangling tiny humans, there’s a certain appeal to having everything pre booked and planned – and they’re usually a pretty good deal. This Fiji deal, for example, is $1,279 per person, but kids stay, eat and transfer free – saving you almost that much again per child.
Book when it’s cheap
You already know you’re taking a trip with the kids over Easter, so start looking for deals on flights, hotels and activities yesterday. Make the most of sales when they come up, rather than waiting until you can book everything all at once. Right now, Jetstar has a half-off flights sale. Fly Sydney to the Sunshine Coast from $53 per person, and save the same amount. Book now and figure out accommodation later.
Travel with friends
Pair up with another family and split the cost of accommodation for serious savings. For example, you could grab this whole house near Jarvis Bay for you and your two kids for $2,825.85 for a week over the Easter hols. Or split it with your best couple friends and their two sprogs for $1412.93 per family – instant 50 per cent discount.
Or swap with friends
Know anyone with kids in a different city? Why not swap houses for the holiday and save yourself the whole $2,825.85? As a bonus, you know the house will be child friendly and, if there’s a bit of overlap, you can catch up with friends at the same time.
Plan for food
Food and drink always add up faster than you think they will, so mitigate this by staying somewhere with a kitchen so you can cook most of your meals rather than eating out all the time. Budget Direct estimates the average cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant at $20 a person, which becomes $60 when you’ve got two adults and a young person. Do that for lunch and dinner each day and that’s $120 a day. Instead, stock the fridge with easy-to-prepare meals and snacks that can be taken on day trips if necessary. That’ll easily cut your daily food bill in half (and leave money in the budget for treats).
Compare, compare, compare
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