The summer may be drawing to a close but the vacation season is by no means over yet. If you're in the process of booking a your next family vacation – or you're already planning next year's Summer vacation – take note of these handy money-saving tips, brought to you by Gladstone Brookes, a PPI claims company based in Warrington, UK.
Don't assume package is cheapest
If you're a busy mom (is there such a thing as a non-busy mom?!) then you'll no doubt be tempted buy a package for your family vacation. Going online, clicking through a few simple steps and having your vacation done and dusted is certainly appealing. But many package vacation firms, especially those that charter flights, are not actually the cheapest option. By booking your flights and hotel separately you could save a small fortune. If you really don't have time to trawl through flights and hotels, use a comparison site such as Priceline.com, which will source the cheapest deals from a variety of other websites. And always go for the Kids Go Free deals.
Be wise when it comes to all-inclusive
Before you choose to go all-inclusive on your family vacation, ask yourself how often you'll be eating at the hotel and how much time you intend on spending there. If you're not planning on doing much exploring on your vacation then all-inclusive could be the most cost-effective board basis for your family. But if you plan on going on day trips and eating out a lot, paying for all-inclusive board is probably a waste.
Be flexible with time and dates
We know you are somewhat restricted in when you can travel because of school timetables but a little bit of flexibility can still go a long way in saving you money. Flying at unsociable hours will save you a hefty amount and if you are not tied down to a particular week, be sure to check if moving your vacation back or forward a week makes any difference to the price.
Check where you change your money
Many of us choose to change our money at the airport because it seems the easiest option – when you're a busy parent having one less thing on your pre-holiday to do list is certainly a blessing. But by changing your money at the airport you can't be sure you're getting the best deal on your currency exchange rate and in these frugal times every cent counts. Do your research before hand to find out who is offering the best deal. Opting for a company with a price promise, such as World First (us.worldfirst.com) is usually a safe bet. World First's promise – “if you find a better rate anywhere else, we'll match it”.
Beware of excess baggage fees
Baggage fees are one of the things many people forget about when going on a family vacation but they can really mount up. For example, if you're flying within the US with US Airways you'll pay $25 for your first bag, $35 for your second bag, $125 for your third and $200 for your fourth. For transatlantic flights, US Airways charges nothing for one bag but you'll pay $100 for your second and $200 for your third. In other words – learn how to travel light!