plane moneybank


What can you afford?

First up, research potential holiday destinations & where you’d like to go. You will know roughly how much you can save each month and have a rough budget in mind, e.g a £4,000 cruise is going to cost you £400 per month for a year including your travel and some spends.

Write down several family holidays ideas that you find, and keep a note of where you found each of these holidays. I find OneNote helpful to keep a note of everything but there’s plenty of other places you can note them down.

Remember you can still have a fantastic holiday in the UK without going abroad, so keep that in mind when you look around. Also, package deals don’t always work out cheaper. See what works best for your family and always take out travel insurance in case of cancellations.

Work out a budget

Next step is to delve deeper into your budget and work it out.  This still may end up being a rough budget but the closer you can get it the better. Try including the following:

  1. Accommodation (hotels)
  2. Transport (flights, ferry, car hire etc)
  3. Fuel if going by car (you can use AA’s trip tracker to cost your fuel up)
  4. Airport car parking (if parking car)
  5. Food Budget per day (Check some tripadvisor reviews for the areas you’re going)
  6. Pet Boarding etc (One recommendation is Digs for dogs with this one if you have a pupper!)
  7. Excursions (These can be expensive especially on a cruise as you’re limited for choice)
  8. Some extra money for postcards, souvenirs etc.
  9. Travel Insurance (Book in advance to avoid higher premiums!)

Once you have got a price for everything, you will then be able to see what your rough total would be.

What I then normally do is count how many months there is to the holiday and divide the holiday total by the number of months. Example – your holiday total was £1500 and you have 6 months to your holiday, then that is a total of £300 to save per month for your holiday.


Can you afford to save that monthly amount every month? If so, then you can look at the potential destinations that you looked at in step 1 and then eventually book your holiday.

To help us save I put away my monthly amount into a separate holiday bank account just for holidays. This means I can’t dip back into the account and take money out.

Not affordable?

Then don’t give up that easily… is there anything you can cut back on per month to help save? Some examples that you may be able to cut back on

  1. Mobile phone bill – are you out of contract soon or can switch to something cheaper?
  2. Weekly food bill – if you buy brand names drop one level down to the shop version of it, Aldi is great for this.
  3. TV and broadband…can you cut down on your TV bill or even cancel it. Do you really need SKY or Virgin etc…freeview or freesat is just as good most of the time, or just get on an internet/streaming package.
  4. Gas and electricity…can you switch supplier and save money?
  5. Make a packed lunch instead of buying your lunch at work, bulk buy your foods and you’ll save £££’s per month here.
  6. Don’t buy magazines or things you don’t need. Always ask yourself…do you need this? Will you use it? If no, then don’t buy it and save the money.


Above are only some of the ideas that you could try cut back on or cut out and save some extra money per month, there’s plenty of options you can do. If cutting back is not an option, then have another look at the holidays you found in step 1 and see if you can find something cheaper or possibly book something a little further in advance.

Look into when is best to book your family holiday. Does flying on a different day work out cheaper? What about 1 less day? What about instead of going away during the summer, you go away during Easter or the October holidays? Sometimes the first 2 weeks in July work out cheaper for people who live in Scotland, as the English schools haven’t broken up for the summer holidays yet. Play with dates and see if you can find any better holidays and always keep .

As a family, we tend to go away in October and still have a fantastic holiday, cruises around the Fjords are rife and even the canaries which can make for the perfect winter summer holiday. Take all these options into consideration and see what you can come up with. You may even need to look into when is the best time to book your family holiday to see if that can cut the cost down too.


By Mike

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