Travelling with kids can be expensive, especially once they start school and you have to restrict your trips to school holidays. (You can read my post on Why families should be allowed to take term-time holidays here). And if you’re travelling by plane it’s even pricier once the kids are 12 years old and are charged the full adult fare.
There are various ways to make family holidays more affordable though and there are some great apps available to help. Legal & General have asked me to research some of these money-saving apps.
Travelling by car
If you’re going to Europe think about travelling by car. Work out the cost of a ferry or Eurotunnel crossing, fuel, car insurance and breakdown cover and compare it to the cost of flights. If you travel by car you can pack everything that you and the kids are likely to need including favourite foods, toys, books, nappies, toiletries and sun creams rather than being restricted to luggage allowances on a plane and having to go shopping when you arrive. Direct Ferries is a free app which compares ferry prices and availability.
Avoid exchanging currency at airports as the exchange rates are likely to be less favourable than elsewhere. Exchange cash before you set off on your trip and shop around for the best rates – XE Currency is a free app which shows live currency conversion rates. There are also some very good plastic currency cards available which you preload with cash before you travel. We used the Caxton FX currency card in Europe last year and were impressed. If you want to use your debit or credit card abroad check what the fees are first.
Always shop around and use flight comparison websites as well as individual airline websites to find the best flight deals. Check several different websites to compare flight prices as the comparison sites vary and don’t show all airlines. Some which I use include Skyscanner (there’s also a free Skyscanner app), Opodo, Momondo, and Travel Supermarket. Money Saving Expert has a very helpful budget airline flight checker which tells you when to book cheap European flights.
The free iCampsites app will help you to find campsites in the UK and Europe. If you invest in a family tent (September is a good time to buy one at a reduced price) you can camp very cheaply in some amazing places in the UK and abroad. I’ve not met a young child who doesn’t enjoy the adventure of camping, especially if you stay somewhere which allows you to have camp fires. Toasted marshmallow anyone?
Rather than buying guide books you can use free apps such as Triposo and Time Out City Guides to research your holiday – or you can borrow guidebooks for free from your local library.
Track your spending
You can use money manager apps such as Money Lover to keep track of your spending and to help you to budget and save for expenses such as holidays. You can save up for holidays by setting money aside in a deposit account or, if you’re a UK resident, an ISA.
Do you use any apps to help you to save money?
Disclosure: Legal & General sent me a Samsung Galaxy tablet in order to help me to research this post.