Embarking on memorable family holidays shouldn't come with a hefty price tag or endless financial worries.
Join me as we dive into the world of affordable family travel and uncover some invaluable strategies that will not only save you money, but also enhance your travel experiences. From insider tips on loyalty programs to clever budgeting hacks and ways to maximise your holiday, this blog is your passport to enjoyable and budget-friendly family adventures.
1. Loyalty Programs Pay Off
Being a savvy traveller means cashing in on loyalty programs. If you travel a lot, you should look into loyalty programs, where your loyalty translates to discounts, free nights, or even an upgrade to business or first class.
I'm a member of several airline programs like Qantas Frequent Flyer, Virgin Velocity, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. (Virgin & Singapore Airlines are especially good, because they always allow the use of our inflatables). Whenever you can, always choose airlines that support family friendly travels.
If you follow me on socials, you'll know that over the years, these programs have rewarded me with amazing perks including business and first class international flights.
I have a Platinum American Express card which gets me points that I can transfer to any airline or hotel lotalty/membership program. The card comes with automatic top level hotel loyalty programs and other travel perks (including a $450 travel credit per year). You can read more about it here.
I also hold a Qantas American Express which gives me $450 Qantas credit per year plus a whole bunch of other perks and the potential to earn really good Qantas Frequent Flyer points is huge. This card is how I came to build a balance of over 2 million QFF points and that is on top of the trips I've already booked with points this year, including first class return to Tokyo for my family (6 of us) and on business class to Bali, Sydney and Melbourne. You can check out the Qantas Amex details here.
2. Be Flexible
One of the best ways to save on your family holiday is by being flexible with your travel plans. If you can adjust your travel dates, you'll often find better deals on flights and accommodations. Plus, flexibility opens up opportunities to take advantage of last-minute discounts and promotions. For the past 12 months, Qantas have been releasing rewards seats in economy, business and first class a month out to popular overseas destinations and often more than the usual allocation per flight. If you can be this flexible, you really can grab yourself a bargain holiday.
3. Early Bird Gets the Worm
Booking your flights and accommodations way ahead of time (I'm talking a year or more out) not only gives you peace of mind, but also puts those extra dollars back in your pocket. However, sometimes this can work in reverse where last minute cheap accommodation will pop up and rewards seats for international destinations as I discussed earlier.
4. Budget Like a Pro
Start by putting together a budget that's as practical as a well-packed suitcase. Break it down into categories such as flights, accommodations (your home away from home), activities (the fun stuff), and dining (because we all need to eat). This way, you'll be able to keep track of your hard-earned cash and ensure that it gets spread out across all categories so that you're not stuck eating at McDonalds for the entire trip.
5. Embrace the Off-Peak
Consider travelling during the shoulder or off-peak seasons. Not only will you dodge the tourist crowds, but you'll also get your accommodation and attractions at prices that'll make you do a happy dance. If you have school aged children, it's a personal choice whether or not you take them out of school mid-term. I'm happy to do this fore a week or two at the moment while still in primary school. My philosophy has always been that travel is great for their education anyway.
6. Shop Around for Accommodation
Don't just book the first place you see. Explore your options across various booking sites and look at the different options available at your destination—Air BNBs, hostels, villas or family-friendly resorts. Each option offers its own unique vibe and price tag.
7. Cook Up a Storm
Who said you can't be a gourmet chef on holidays? Some accommodation comes decked out with kitchens, so grab your apron and whip up some family favourites while you're away. Save money and enjoy a meal with a view.
8. Conquer Public Transport
Forget about renting a car; go full-blown explorer and ride public transport. Trams, buses, and trains will not only save you cash, but also give you a taste of the local culture.
9. Free and Low-Cost Thrills
Keep an eye out for free or budget-friendly activities at your destination. Whether it's a sun-soaked day at the beach, a bushwalk in the great outdoors, or a stroll through the local markets, there's an awesome adventure out there waiting for you that won't break the bank.
10. Travel Light
Avoid hefty baggage fees by packing like a pro. Create a checklist of your must-haves, and remember, most places offer laundry facilities. You'll have more room for your shopping hauls to bring back home!
Now that I've given you these tips, it's time for the fun part - it's time to start planning your family's unforgettable adventure. From stunning beaches to breathtaking mountains, the world's your oyster! Grab your travel essentials from us (click here to see everything we offer) and have safe and happy travels.