Family holidays can be expensive, especially if you have school-age children and can only go away during the school holidays (you can read my posts about the current UK term-time holiday regulations here and here). There are various ways which can help to reduce the cost of family holidays, including camping, home swapping and working holidays – I’ve written more about these here.
TSB have asked me to write about ways to save up for large purchases, such as holidays.
How to save up for holidays
- Determine your budget for your holiday by working out what you can afford to spend. Look at your income minus your expenses.
- If your expenses are more than your income then look more closely at what you’re spending. Apart from the essentials of rent/mortgage, utility bills, food and clothes, is there anything that you can cut out or spend less on in order to save up for a holiday? Even small expenses like buying magazines or drinking coffee at a cafe can add up to a lot of money over a year.
- Look at your weekly food bill to see if you can save money there. Could you save money by planning meals, writing a shopping list and going shopping once a week rather than more frequently?
- To save money on children’s clothes, can you swap with other families who have children of different sizes? My son’s received many clothes from a friend of mine who has an older son – when he outgrows them (if they’re still intact) we pass them on to a neighbour.
- If you can afford to, put aside some money each month to save towards your holiday.
- To stop yourself from spending the money that you’ve saved, put it in a savings account which is separate from your current account.
- If there’s somewhere that you really want to go but it’s out of your price range, how about having a very cheap holiday (such as camping) one year so that you save for your dream trip?
- Only pay for stuff (including holidays) by credit card if you can clear your balance at the end of each month. If you don’t pay off the balance each month you’ll have to pay a lot of interest.
Saving money on holiday expenses
- When you book your holiday, shop around to find the best deal. There are usually discounts on offer for early bookings and also (but with less choice) for very late bookings.
- If you book a package holiday, rather than travelling independently, you may be able to spread the payments over a few months.
- If you’d rather travel independently than go on a package holiday think about saving reward points which you can use to pay for flights. We often use Avios points to buy flights – you can read my post about using reward cards here.
- If you’re a UK citizen and you’re going to Europe, make sure that you have a free EHIC card before you go – it will save you money if you need medical care while you’re away. (Post-Brexit, when your EHIC expires you can apply for a free GHIC Global Health Insurance Card to replace it).
- Take out comprehensive travel insurance in case anything goes wrong – you can read my post about finding the best travel insurance here.
- Shop around to find the best deal on foreign currency.
For my top 10 family holiday budgeting tips click here. Do you have any tips to add for saving up for holidays and other large purchases?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by TSB but all words, images, opinions and ideas are my own.
mummy little blog says
some great tips here, school holiday are so expensive! Everywhere also puts the prices up too!
mummy little blog recently posted…My Sunday photo – 6/09/15
Zena's Suitcase says
There is nothing worse than taking a holiday and then worry about how much it’s cost. It takes the fun out of it. Great tips and advice here
Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…How To Lose A Stone Without Dieting
Adele @ Circus Queen says
This is something we really need to start thinking about. We haven’t ever had a proper holiday just us. We usually just go away for a weekend or if we go, we go with family. We’d like to go away somewhere next year so the time to start saving is now.
Gretta Schifano says
Good luck with it – I hope that you manage to go somewhere.
Erica Price says
We put some money aside each month and if we get any windfall cash, some of that usually goes in too. We try to do a bigger holiday every couple of years.
Erica Price recently posted…Going Green
Claire at Tin Box Traveller says
I hate to think how much money I spend on shop bought coffees each year and I know I could save more on my shopping bill. It’s time to start thinking about 2016 and all the lovely things we could do by making a few small changes!
Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…A visit to the National Marine Aquarium
Thank you for all those tips, you listed some I had never thought of doing or trying x
Rachel recently posted…Michael Kors White Eau de Parfum
Thank you for the tips, we recently shopped around for our holiday next year and got a really good deal.
Rachel recently posted…Fat to fit Friday
Gretta Schifano says
How exciting – where are you off to?
Great tips – our holidays are the biggie that we work and save for!
Michelle recently posted…Random Crap – Project 365 : 2015 – Day 232
I hate credit cards so the only way we can afford holidays is to save. I try and put a little away every month to help
Kara recently posted…Vloject 52 – Week 34
Bek Dillydrops says
I think I need to try some of these. I’d love to take my children on holiday again but saving is a long-term thing for this. I always end up having to use the money for something going wrong, like car repairs, new fridge, etc. One day, we’ll go again. I like the idea of camping as a cheaper alternative.
Bek Dillydrops recently posted…The 30 Day Blogging Challenge #30DBBC Week 4
We haven’t been on holiday this year because finances were tight and four of my five kids have birthdays during the summer! I’m going to plan better for next year…starting right now!
Anne recently posted…How Much Do You Share Online?
Sarah Bailey says
I really need to take some of these tips and use them, I am awful and spending my savings :/ x
Sarah Bailey recently posted…Floral Storage Bag from Qwerkity: Review
Great post, very helpful. Thanks for sharing
Gemma recently posted…Our Honeymoon travelling around Florida, USA
Jen aka Muminthemadhouse says
Fab tip-s, espeically as we are stuck with school holiday dates only
Jen aka Muminthemadhouse recently posted…Rhubarb Brulee Cheesecake – cooking with kids
I love saving for holidays, I put some money away each week in a pot at home and it just adds to the excitement of the impending holiday for me 🙂
Sonia recently posted…New Business Feature – Meet other Mums
Gretta Schifano says
Well done, that’s very organised!