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Parenting & Education in Ireland

How to have a low cost family holiday




Taking the family on holiday may seem like it will always hurt your pocket, but it doesn’t always have to. With some careful planning and useful travel tips, you’ll be amazed by how much money you can save.


Here are our handy tips to keep in mind when planning the next family holiday, before you go and while you are away:

Before you go


Keep an eye out for cheap flights - If possible, be open to several different locations and travel dates for your trip. With airlines offering some extremely low cost flights, you can make a big saving in this area. Fly mid week where possible, as this tends to be when prices are at their cheapest.


Consider traveling by boat - Consider catching the ferry across to the UK or France. Often, ferry providers offer family travel deals which can be cheaper than buying plane tickets, and also allows you to bring your own car with you on your holiday - meaning no nasty car rental charges.


Book sooner rather than later - Lots of hotels issue early booking offers, with 20-30% off the usual price. By booking months in advance you can avail of these offers, as well as catch flight prices while they’re cheap.


Consider an early morning flight -Early morning flights are often cheaper than those during the day, and are also less likely to be delayed. Kids are suited to flying at morning time, as they wake early and aren’t worn out from a long day of waiting.


Stay in a B&B - B&Bs are cheaper than hotels and are often even more homely. B&B owners tend to be more personal and helpful to guests, and will be able to fill you in on all the best places to eat and sights to visit.


Research before you go - Spend some time researching before you set off on your holidays. By researching places to go, you won't waste money on sights not worth seeing. Lots of museums have discounted or even free days, so make sure to check for all of these details in advance of your trip.


Try a house swap - House swaps are a great option for families with kids. Usually, house swaps are free as Families simply swap homes(and sometimes cars!) for a set amount of time. If you are willing to lend out your house in return for free accommodation abroad, a house swap is the perfect way to save money on your family holiday.

What to do when you’re there


Avoid touristy restaurants - Avoid restaurants boasting english language menus filled with tourists. These tend to be the most expensive restaurants in contrast to those chosen by the locals, where you will experience more authentic (and often much tastier) food at much cheaper prices.


Take picnics for lunch - Instead of eating out with the kids at lunch time, pack a picnic on your day trip. Buying picnic food at the local shop will be much cheaper than eating out and saves you the hassle of finding a restaurant that will suit the whole family.


Make the most of public transport - Don’t get taxis everywhere. Learn how the local public transport system works and use it! Public transport abroad tends to be cheap and is a great way to get from place to place.


Take free walking tours - If you’re in a city, lots of places run free walking tours around the area. This can be a great way to see all of the main sights in an area and can be an extremely enjoyable experience on a sunny day. While a walking tour may not be ideal for those with young kids, slightly older kids will enjoy this type of tour.


For more on summer and easter holidays along with information on
'where's hot & where's not, please see our
dedicated travel section.