Travelling is stressful. Even without having young kids in-tow, thousands of people struggle to relax until lying on that beach with a pina colada in-hand and basted in Factor 30. It’s also expensive, with a seemingly endless list of travel extras even before you’ve left the house.
To try to make your family travel cheaper (and less stressful!), we called upon some of the best parenting bloggers up and down the country to offer their advice and parenting hacks for family travel.
Make Huge Savings On Your Booking
"The parenting hacks for travel start before you’ve even set foot on the plane. You should start preparing months in advance to make sure when you book your holiday and travel extras you get the best possible deal"
COMPARE & SAVE: Use comparison sites such as Kayak, Skyscanner and HotelsCombined to find the cheapest travel options – there are often huge savings to be made. Don’t forget to use iLikeOffers.co.uk to then hunt down any travel voucher codes for an extra discount.
FLY FOR FREE: If you regularly pay for things by credit card, check if it’s one affiliated with an airline (e.g. Amex for British Airways), as you’ll clock up loyalty points like Avios every time you spend. You can then use these to cut the cost of the flights, or even better, to get them for FREE!
PACK LIKE A PRO: Don’t pay excess luggage fees – instead, pack like a pro. Write a list of everything you need, do a dry run to make sure it’ll fit between all of your bags and then weigh them so you aren’t caught out at the gate.
PRE-BOOK TAXIS: Always pre-book the airport transfers as it’s much easier to budget in a fixed cost.
It also saves the hassle of trying to hunt down a taxi when the kids are dying to get to the hotel.
DISCOUNTED ATTRACTIONS: Check if the company you book with offers concessions for tourist attractions or car hire as it may be worth an extra few pounds to go with one that does if it means you cut the cost of those holiday extras.
Get Organized Before You Travel
"By being super organized before you travel you can make life easier (and cheaper) for when you arrive at your holiday destination. These are really simple tips that should help all parents and keep the kids happy"
CHEAP CALLS: If you’re planning on using your mobile away, either for work or to keep up with the relentless pics being posted by your friends on Facebook, get yourself an international SIM. You can add a set amount of credit and the fees are far less than the roaming charges. If the kids do get hold of your phone you can also sleep easy that they can’t run up a bill worthy of a Daily Mail feature.
HOLIDAY PUSH-CHAIR: Use ebay or local classifieds to pick up a secondhand buggy or push-chair. It’s one of the items that tends to get bent/broken in the hold of the plane and this will save you the expense of having to replace a fancy new stroller.
FREE DOWNLOADS: Download some TV episodes/films on to your tablet or phone the day before you leave.
This way the kids can watch them on the plane or in the hotel room and you won’t have to run around looking for free WiFi when you arrive.
Be A Savvy Saver When You Get There
"Don’t let your guard down and forget how to be savvy just because you’re in another country. By being clever you can make sure your holiday budget doesn’t get out of control"
HOTEL FREEBIES: Embrace the freebies, whether it’s a free breakfast or bottled water in the room.
It’s ok to smuggle some muffins away to use as snacks for the kids during the rest of the day.
KIDS’ PACKS: Save time every morning by putting the kids’ clothes into separate packs when you first arrive, complete with days and names so there’s no fighting about what they’ll be wearing each day.
HAGGLE LIKE A PRO: Make a daily budget and stick to it – you’ll be surprised by your haggling skills if you know you haven’t got enough cash to pay the full asking price. Lots of restaurants may also throw in a round of soft drinks or some ice creams for the kids.
DONE ROAMING: Turn OFF data roaming if you haven’t got an international SIM – your holiday will be ruined if the kids manage to download an episode of Mr Tumble at hefty data usage costs.
Thanks to all those who contributed to these parenting life hacks, including: