Top 3 tips on how to plan a budget holiday

By ani - March 21, 2018

My husband and I love traveling and attempt to do it as much as possible. We would rather save some cash and go on a trip abroad than go out every night and spend money on expensive material stuff.

But now with the baby, it’s a different story.  There is no need to say that having a baby is quite expensive, and we’ve had to be very careful with any extra and potentially unnecessary spending lately.  Nevertheless, we got so fed up with the English weather and the extremely cold winter we've had this year, so we decided to plan a budget, baby friendly holiday in May - somewhere sunny and hot.

With so many prerequisites – tight budget, time friendly flights, hot destination, baby friendly place, etc. - the planning proved a bit challenging and took us some time. However, after a careful research, we booked a 7-night holiday from 6th May in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. As we were looking for a hot destination in the beginning of May that wasn’t too far away, we didn’t have much choice; the Canary Islands, Portugal and Cyprus seemed to be the only suitable places. Then we looked at the available flights and a Jet2 flight to Fuerteventura was the only one that was meeting all our criteria. Finally, we also managed to find a pretty good promotion for a 4* baby friendly resort which sealed the deal.

The last time we traveled was in April last year so I am really excited now and very much looking forward to our first trip as a family of 3. I know, I know – everyone says that holiday with a baby is not a real holiday and that it could be pretty stressful, but nevertheless, I am still quite optimistic. :P

To sum up the holiday will cost us about £1,500 for the 3 of us, which is a great price for the value we are getting: daily return flights, 4* all-inclusive resort plus extra 100 voucher to spend there, transfers and rent-a-car for the whole period.

Here are my top 3 tips on how to plan a budget holiday:

1. Do not use agencies and 3rd parties

Every time when we plan a trip or holiday, I look at different packaged holidays and offers from travel agencies and online platforms, and I always end up finding better deals on my own. Especially for hotels, you would most likely find the best rates on their websites or directly through their own reservations office. You might also find some extra discounts and voucher codes online.

Currently, for example, the Iberostar hotel chain is running a winter promotion offering a discount of up to 20% + a €100 voucher and a gift.

If you are more adventurous and not constrained by work and family arrangements, you might also look for some last minute offers. A great place where you can find last minute deals is the online platform for unused, non-refundable flight tickets, hotel and holiday reservations SpareFare.

2. Register for a loyalty programme

Most providers (incl. hotels, airlines, car rentals, etc.) have loyalty or rewards schemes and offer exclusive discounts and bonuses for their loyal clients. Iberostar, for example, provides extra 10% discount to their programme’s members plus points which could be collected and redeemed for future bookings. Airlines also have frequent flyer programmes which offer additional discounts, flight upgrades and free airline miles. So make sure you always register and make bookings through your chosen provider’s loyalty programme.

3. Book through a cashback website

Cashback websites pay you a percentage every time you visit a retailer or provider through their referral platform and make a purchase. On top of cashback, they also sometimes provide additional discounts so you can save and make £100s a year if you use them correctly. My husband and I are using TopCashBack and we always check the website when we need to make an online purchase, especially a big one.

These are my top 3 money-saving tips for booking a holiday. I hope you found them useful and if you have any other tips and tricks, please share them in the comments below.

PS I can’t wait till our first ‘baby’ holiday in May. In the meantime, here is a little throwback to our first trip to the Canary Islands in 2014. Look how young we were! :D

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