PITFALLS OF A UK FAMILY HOLIDAY
On the face of it going away on a cheap UK family holiday seems the ideal way for the whole family to get away for a week or so as normally you can travel by car, you are not too far from home in case of an emergency, you are familiar with your surroundings such as attractions, shops and eating out places so that your know that they cater for kids and most people speak a familiar language to you subject to regional accents.
However, when on holiday in the UK with kids the possibility of the costs spiraling out of control are in many ways greater than going on a resort holiday abroad for two weeks. Below are just some things to consider when your are aiming to go on cheap UK family holiday.
Of the many financial pitfalls to overcome on a UK family holiday, the one that always appears to run away with us is the amount we spend on fuel. This is not something you would usually factor in on a resort holiday abroad however when traveling at home with a young family it is likely that you will take the family vehicle with you.
As you are likely to be pottering round the local areas during your stay I always try to calculate the cost in fuel of the journey their and back plus add on the cost of the journey their again to cover the cost of all the local journeys you will wish to make during your stay. To calculate the potential cost of your journey their are a good deal of fuel calculation websites online such as Fuel-economy.co.uk or journeyprice.co.uk.
Another expense of a UK Family holiday is the cost of accommodation. Whether you are staying in a hotel, on a caravan park or camping their are savings to be made which dramatically cut the cost of your holiday.
If staying at a hotel their are many ways in which your can achieve a discounted stay for your holiday. Firstly their are many comparison websites you can use to obtain the best available deals or alternatively you can contact a hotel directly to see if they have any offers available which you could take advantage of.
If you can be flexible with your dates this will greatly increase your chance of getting a better deal as will being flexible on your location. An example of this would be staying in London, as to stay in the centre you will be looking at paying premium prices whereas if you are prepared to travel a little each day on the tube then significant savings can be made.
In addition to the above checking out Air BnB accommodation can also lead to significant savings especially for larger groups.
Staying at a caravan park can often be the ideal option for a cheap UK family holiday as depending on your choice of park your can potentially everything your need for the whole family on one site. When traveling with a young family you can find something to suit everyone on a caravan park such as bars, restaurants, swimming, amusements, kids clubs and play areas plus many more attractions to keep your occupied depending on the park you choose.
Many of the larger parks tend to offer reservation options on the following basis:
– Monday to Friday
– Friday to Monday
– 7 nights from Monday to Monday
However by contacting them directly it may be possible to customise your stay especially if your stay is off-peak.
If choosing to stay at a caravan park your accommodation can be as cheap or as expensive as your wish. A basic caravan will often be one of the older caravans on the site and most probably located the furthest away from the facilities though it will more than likely be the cheapest. If your family is purely using the caravan as a place to rest your head then his may be the perfect option for your.
If you like a bit more luxury when traveling with your family then you may wish to upgrade your caravan for your stay and enjoy added facilities such as central heating, nicer furnishings, more bedrooms or increased space. On some sites you could even upgrade to stay in a lodge or a chalet. However, it is possible to have the luxury of an upgraded caravan on a cheap budget but you have to be prepared to carry out your research.
Luxury Caravan on a Budget
One way to be made aware of any impending offers from a Caravan Park is to sign up to their mailing lists. If you are a regular with a particular company such as Butlins, Parkdean or Haven they will regularly send you offers to stay at one of their sites and this is worth doing if your wish to make a saving.
In the UK there are many ways to locate a cheap stay at a Caravan Park. One method is collecting £9.50 holiday vouchers from the Sun Newspaper which is an offer released several times a year. If you don’t wish to purchase the newspaper on a daily basis your can often find the relevant code online but be warned the newspaper often gives away bonus tokens which enables you to collect the required amount of tokens sooner therefore allowing you a wider choice of holiday destinations.
Although the overall cost of the holiday is often a fair bit more than £9.50 it will be often much cheaper than booking directly through the company’s website.
Discount websites such as HotUkDeals, Wowcher or Groupon can also have offers for stays at UK Caravan Parks and these are also worth checking out.
Camping and Glamping
If your are after a UK family adventure holiday and your love the great outdoors then camping or even glamping may be for your. Camping is by far and away the cheapest getaway for a family and can provide the opportunity for some real bonding time.
If you wish to have a Camping experience but don’t want the hassle of pitching a tent up or blowing an inflatable mattress up then maybe glamping will be for your. Glamping is a relatively modern phenomenom and like staying at Caravan Parks offers can be identified by signing up to campsite mailing lists or researching offers online.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF FAMILY HOLIDAY EXTRAS
When holidaying with children it is also worth looking to see whether hotels are offering any deals which include free days out. There appears to be an increasing trend in the UK of hotel offers connected to free days out and these can be worth their weight in gold especially if one of the main reasons for your holiday in a particular area is to visit a nearby attraction. Two that immediately spring to mind are the deals offered by Legoland and the “StayPlayExplore” deal which is offered in Leicestershire and includes admission to a variety of local attractions.
If you are flexible with dates in which your intend to go away then discount websites such as Groupon, Wowcher or Hot UK Deals can also be great places to look to identify cheap domestic family getaways.
If you shop or refuel at Tesco then collecting Tesco Clubcard points which can be cashed in for days out and at restaurants can often be used to save valuable pennies when going away.
Another way to save money when going away is to purchase pre loaded gift cards. It can be seen that many online sites offer a discount on purchases for example their maybe a 10% of if your purchase a £50 gift card therefore if you know you are going to eat out at a particular place then this can offer quite a saving plus if you go through a cashback website then there is an opportunity to make even more of a saving.
BUDGETING AND RESEARCH
It is also worth researching and planning your holiday prior to going away as this will help you budget exactly how much it is going to cost your whilst your are away. This will also allow your to pre purchase any attraction tickets you may require quite often at a discount if purchased on line.
You should also keep your eyes open and start collecting any discount vouchers which you may potentially use whilst you are away and these can be found anywhere from cereal boxes to magazine articles. It is also worth researching the local area you are going to, to identify any particular deals such as “Kids Eat Free” offers.
Finally, I would always recommend where possible taking a picnic with you on your days out. A family picnic can offer quite a substantial saving on eating out, there is often less wasteage as you will have tailored to everyone’s taste and from my experience the kids absolutely love them.
ACHIEVING A FAMILY HOLIDAY ON A BUDGET
As with any holiday experience it is possible to have a fantastic time without breaking the bank on a UK family holiday. All it takes is a little of planning, research and being proactive in taking advantage of as many deals as possible.