Tips on saving the ££ when travelling as a family
"You can be " flash " without the price tag'
So it’s all fun and games having children until they turn 2 and you have to buy them their own plane seat right. Suddenly everything becomes a lot more expensive including holidays.
Planning travel for a large family takes work but there are a few ways that you can travel while cutting the costs. Here are a few little tips we’ve picked up along the way as a new family of 6.
Firstly we use a travel program alongside other money saving methods to maximise the benefits and in turn travel more… and smarter! Mix and Match! ( feel free to ask me about this )
So let’s start with flights
Sign up with reward schemes (All of them!) You never know when you’ll use them and they all offer something. We use the British Airways Amex (American Express) 5,000 Avios sign up 1 > £1 spent
Use shopping portals - These are incredible. Shop your favourite websites via your favourite airline portal and earn extra miles to spend on those much needed holidays. Simply log into their websites using your frequent flyer number account and shop as usual.
Sign up for fare alerts when prices get released. Google Flights alert is an amazing tool to use . You can track prices for flights, to help you decide the best time to book - google will even email you when your ticket price drops. Simply enter your details into google flights (number of passengers, origin airport, destination airport,dates ect ). You can enter upto six destinations in each box.
Click " track prices ". Google will then keep tabs and automatically notify you if there's any changes to price, saving you from checking throughout the day. Remember to make sure you're signed into google.
Know your flight codes. Each airline cabin has seats arranged over different codes. Some codes dropping the cost of a seat by £100s. Please note that coded seats are sold on a first come first served basis.
Pre buy all your seats in the annual sales. For example. British Airways Summer sale starts in June while their winter sale goes live in January.
The most money savy way to grab a good deal outside of the sales would be to buy your seats on the day of release (11/12 months prior to departure). Or to bag a last minute deal as airlines rush to sell those last remaining seats - A week before travel
Myth - Booking early saves money
Many holidays booked over 11 months in advance are based on guestamate prices. While you may be lucky my advice is to wait and grab a last minute bargain.
Tuesday is the cheapest day to fly!
This is a rumour that I hear a lot within the travel industry, however unfortunately it's not true.
The truth is that Tuesday is the best day to BUY! Airlines update prices on a Monday night so you can usually bag a newly discounted seat the following morning.
In fact, research shows over the past 3 years, flying from the UK on a Friday is the cheapest day, with the most expensive day being a Sunday.
Being stuck to school term times is hard but if you're lucky enough to have children under school age then have you considered the following?
Travel off Season
Have you thought about a ski resort in the summer?
Sani in October half term instead of May half term?
Ibiza after the closing parties is stunning!
How we have done it off season or by using unpopular routes
Fancy travelling in luxury in your own 747 Jet!
Yes!!! We bagged a whole 747 for ourselves ( and the judge from India's got talent ) on a flight from Hong Kong to Mumbai in India.
We found ourselves on a carribean island alone by travelling a week before they shut for hurricane season. Considering the island hasnt be hit in over 20 years it was a risk we were willing to take.
We've had private planes down to Cabo, Mexico in October as it was cheaper for the airline to fly a small jet than a large carrier at this time of the year.
TIP - Maldives is half price in August - ( you're welcome )
Got children in school?
Lets face it, nothing much happens on the last day of term so in a quest to save sometimes up to 50 percent on our flights we've been naughty and taken the kids out for a day / or at lunchtime, with a mad dash in uniforms to the airport make the last flight before peak prices kick in!
You’re not only saving the ££, but its a much nicer way to travel away from the crowds.
Choose Airlines wisely - Are there budget options?
Who flies the route you’re going?
Dubai > Male, Maldives
For example the Air Dubai - 9.50am flight can be up to £300 cheaper than Emirates 10am flight on the same route. Both airlines are operated by the same company so on the way back you share the larger emirates plane at the discount price.
BA code share with American Airlines and and many other airlines
It’s sometimes cheaper to book the same flight with the code share airline to get cheaper rates.
Add a VPN to your laptop
Private web browsing - Anonymous search! Booking sites then can’t pick up where you are. Many times prices are set to locations on search engines.
Reserve the best seats early - Front row economy plus seats on Etihad have 3cm more legroom than their business seats!
Not all people choose business just for the champagne!
Now onto hotel rooms...
Having a large family can bump the price up especially when most hotels have a maximum room occupancy policy of 4.
Note that sometimes two rooms may be cheaper than one family suite so make sure you shop around!
Does the hotel you're looking at have a family program? Now not all advertise this but always ask.
Family programs run for children under the age of 16 and offer a buy one room get one room free or for half price offers on interconnecting rooms and suites.
A few hotels that we've recently used these offers for:
Sandy Lane (BOGOF offer) - Barbados
Dorchester Collection - Throughout the uk and worldwide
Coworth Park - UK
4 Season Hampshire - UK
The RoseWood- UK
The Edition - UK
The Grove - UK
Family programs offer extras as well such as:
Gifts for the kids
Just after a picture?
It seems like social media is consumed with travel these days. Gone are the fancy cars and designer bags. Travel is fast becoming a social media status symbol. It's cool to be seen in the world's most luxurious settings.
However you can be " flash " without the price tag.
That Villa with a slide….do you need it for 10 nights? Or could you upgrade at the hotel for a single evening?
or even sweet talk the concierge and ask for a hotel tour and grab the mnet shot while you're there. (don't believe everything you see hahaha).
Food packages can cost £££!
Adding on half board to a room only booking can cost a fortune
We've found adding 2 half board packages for the adults and then and paying per meal for the kids menu saves £££££
Use local supermarkets for breakfast and then fill the kids up at brunch. Most hotels will serve breakfast until 11am. Thats lunch covered.
Then use your half board for the evening meal
Download Saving Apps - Money Saving on the go.
Each country is likely to have a tourist saving app.
For example visiting Dubai?
Download these apps
These will give you money off eating out and activities
And speaking of activities
Choose resorts with Free activities included for the kids.
Kids club (some give them lunch!)
Avoid hefty final bills! - We don’t want them!
Don’t overspend at the hotel!
Always pay at the end of the day. ‘Put it on my room’ can lead to extortionate bills at the end of the holiday.
Lunch - debit card / cash - Keep on top of your spending!
Kids are the worst for trips to the hotel shop etc.
Many of us don’t look at the drinks price list!
And finally, shop around. Sometimes it’s not as obvious as it looks but the savings are there!
If you don’t ask, you won’t get!