Traveling with a family and sticking to a budget don't always go hand in hand. Follow the tips below to find your perfect family vacation without breaking the bank.
Surf the net
Booking for your trip online can also save you money because Internet booking companies often have no administration fees, especially if they issue "e-tickets." Basically an e-ticket is the confirmation of booking page printed from your own computer seconds after the transaction is confirmed, traditional tickets are done away with completely.
When searching online there are several options to choose from -- do either a single search for a vacation package (which in this case means both flights and accommodation) or book them separately from different websites. If you find amazingly "cheap" flights to your destination, it is a good idea to do a separate search for inexpensive accommodation in the city. If you do decide to do this don't limit your choices as to type of accommodation because while two- and three-star hotels are fairly reasonably priced in most cities, you might be able to find accommodation closer to 4-star standards if you are prepared to book a self-catering apartment or house.
Self-catering apartments are ideal if you have children who are fussy eaters and you want to prepare their meals yourself or don't want to be restricted by the set restaurant timetable at your hotel.
Another "trick" is to find reasonably priced accommodation online then phone or fax the hotel/ rental company direct and find out how much accommodation is on its own -- you might be surprised at the difference in prices. Also, it is a good idea to ask the hotel about any children's activities/places of interest in the area and have them send you a corresponding list.
This immediately involves your child in the whole holiday booking process and helps them feel excited about the holiday. It also helps you to plan your itinerary, which can be a good idea if you want to stick to your budget: you will then have set plans to stick to and not land up wandering around your holiday destination spending money in an effort to keep your children entertained.
Off peak flying times
Special deals / Airline miles
Other ways of saving money
Emily Gordon, senior travel consultant at CWT Global says "travel is an immensely rewarding experience, made even more so if you have planned it all yourself. Combining the resources of the Internet, word of mouth and travel agent, the world really is your oyster."
Never before has finding and booking your perfect holiday been so easy. With literally hundred of holiday deals to be had, and with the introduction of so many no-frills (ie. budget) airlines, especially in Europe, there is no reason why you shouldn't jump on board and take advantage of what used to seem like an impossible venture.