This week, as you're reading this, my little family & I are off on our first holiday since we became a five...we're staying in the UK for our first one as with so many little ones in tow it just seems easier to keep the travel time low at the moment but lately I have been thinking ahead to future travel plans and all of the places we'd like to visit.
I have to admit, I am quite holiday-happy and if I had my way we would be travelling somewhere new every month of the year! Jon is much more of a , and get's quite irritated by the amount of trips I arrange for us - so this year we've been trying to compromise more by taking fewer short breaks and planning more long haul ones for the coming years.
We have long lists of destinations we want to visit, including the likes of Walt Disney World and Santa's Lapland, but one thing that has really struck me when pricing up these holidays is how huge the jump in price is when you're going as a family of five rather than a family of four.
I had heard people talk about how difficult it is to find affordable holidays as a larger family, but coming from a family of four myself I always thought they were probably exaggerating - after all, one extra child surely couldn't make that much difference to the cost could it?
Well apparently, yes it can! Most of the holidays I've priced have jumped up by a massive £1000 or more when adding in a third child - almost the cost of another holiday! In fact this is the reason why, for our planned cruise holiday later this year, Sailor will be staying behind with his grandparents as we simply couldn't justify the additional £1000 to take him along when he's still so young that he won't really know what's going on anyway...
But luckily there are a few ways to save money when travelling as a larger family, here are some of my top tips!
1) Dine Smart!
Food and drink is usually the biggest expense when it comes to holiday costs at your destination, so finding ways to claw back money there is a big help. I find that going all-inclusive can help to give you a low cost holiday as it means that local drinks and meals are already included on the price everything is taken care of, and you don't need to allocate money for a food budget.
I also always make sure to pack a lot of snacks both for the journey (service station and airport snacks will set you back a small fortune!) and for the holiday itself to avoid having to pay top prices.
2) Do Your Research!
When it comes to holiday activities, a one child family may think nothing of visiting a theme park for a great day but when you're taking 3 kids or more than you could be looking at hundreds of pounds for just one day! Instead it's far more economical to research the area you're visiting, source any low cost or free activities that the family might enjoy (museums, parks, interesting walking tours etc) and try to make a list of potential places to visit - separate them into good weather and wet weather destinations, and then you have a go-to each morning to help you spend your time...and your money!...wisely.
3) Find Deals!
Groupon and other such discounts can be great for finding a bargain when it comes to all sorts of things for your holiday - from low cost accommodation, to bargain dining experiences and days out - it is well worth a look in the months leading up to your trip to see if there are any deals that will help you out!
4) Go Off Peak Wherever Possible
I realise that this may be much more difficult once your children are school age, but we have really tried to take advantage of travelling before they start school as it means we can travel out of seasons for a fraction of the cost! Our Disneyland Paris visits alone would have cost three times as much had we travelled during the French or English school holidays, but travelling during term time meant we were able to get bargains every time!
I hope these tips were useful and if you're a larger family, I'd love you to share your own top travel tips too!
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