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What tips would you give families who need to holiday on a budget?

(29 Posts)
CuriousMama Wed 16-Jan-13 22:34:38

Mine would be if you like camping/caravanning to join the Camping and caravan club (or similar) that way you can use the certified sites and stay as low as £5 a night. We used to be members but didn't rejoin last year, will probably join again this year though? Plus dp and I used to stay on our own sometimes for a night, some are behind pubs. Or near to pubs.

Any other tips or budget places to stay? I used to think hostels but tbh cottages aren't much different in price. We often stay in a cottage, just booked one for Easter holidays that sleeps 6 for £350 for 6 nights. Plus it's in a lovely place by the sea.

Dysgu Fri 01-Feb-13 23:16:26

Another vote for house swaps. We use the NCT site and have had some excellent holidays - we did three holidays last year and are heading to Scotland this summer.

Yes, I agree it might not be for everyone but we have young children who simply enjoy 'living' in someone else's house for a week or 10 days. Free accommodation means we have more money to spend on treats and days out (and we always check carefully about any pets!)

Is great for us as we are limited to school holidays because of my job.

5Foot5 Fri 01-Feb-13 22:57:18

Someone asked how you find cottages. We have always found English Country Cottages very good

yummymumtobe Thu 31-Jan-13 21:21:41

Eurocamp! If you can go out of season it's even better. You can self cater which saves loads of money and is also fun as you get such yummy food in French supermarkets! If you want to eat out in hols - eat out at lunchtime. You can get a prix fixe so much cheaper and also if you have kids can't really eat out in evening anyway! Other idea is to travel with family or friends. Cottage for 6/8 much better value than cottage for 2-4.

zumo Fri 25-Jan-13 04:49:16

Try to self cater as eating out is a fortune.
Deal direct.
Travel lodge etc can be good value, especially if you try an area you wouldnt normally go to.
I wouldnt camp as for a few quid more you could get a caravan.
We once bought a caravan out of a shop window for £100, yes it was old and a bit tatty, we tarted it up and had a few god hoildays in it, then sold it for a profit and bought a proper one

mummymeister Tue 22-Jan-13 23:35:57

if we are going for a bargain then we leave it as late as possible to book and are as flexible as possible if not on the area we stay in then definately on the accomodation. we have used in the past but also find that the tourism board sites are good as is contacting the local tourist information centre who know who has space and if they are really helpful how to get a bargain. Sorry wouldnt consider a house swap personally. all agencies charge the owners big percentages which are passed on so we avoid these like the plague. sometimes have found something through an agency and then called the place and dealt direct. hope you have a good holiday.

Sandra2013 Tue 22-Jan-13 14:14:11

Staying at Premier Inn for £19 in a large family room.

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Tue 22-Jan-13 11:30:50

Sorry, web address is

The .com address is something completely different.

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Tue 22-Jan-13 11:29:18


It is an owners website, have used it several times with great results, have rented in France and Spain. Prices a lot cheaper than the big agencies as the owner does not have big commissions to pay.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 19-Jan-13 19:23:07

Who was looking for private Robin Hoods Bay rentals ?

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 19-Jan-13 19:20:55

When we stayed in a YHA I was a bit underimpressed tbh. It was Grasmere and as there were 3 of us we had to pay for a 4 bed room , plus I didn't realise you had to pay for towels - we just got one, and then paid for breakfast so it worked out at £78 for us - I'm sure we could have got a comfier B&B for that. They must have a special offer on at the minute.

Wellies we got a room with a basin, the shower and toilet were in the corridor, luckily we were right beside them because I go to the loo at least once a night.

I have done houseswaps before through the NCT houseswap, a couple were great, but living in someone elses home is not for everyone ( particularly when the usual inhabitants don't tidy away their nick nacks and their blinkin cats come into your bed at 4am in the morning every day)

For direct rentals I have sometimes asked for a discount and been successful - the worst they can say is no.

We tend to stay either in a cottage or caravan, that way you can make your own meals if you want. We like to eat out on holiday but it does mean I can make sarnies to cut down on day time costs.

welliesplease Sat 19-Jan-13 16:34:26

What do you get in a YHA room though? Do you get an en suite?

CuriousMama Thu 17-Jan-13 19:32:12

That's a good deal them Mis.

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 17-Jan-13 17:31:49

YHA in the lakes a family room for 5 with breakfast and evening meal at half term with YHA discount is currently £35. If you want a week away a cottage does work out the same but out of season cottage short breaks can be the same as the weekly rental so for just a shortbreak the YHA looks like an option.

But i have always chosen cottages because of the space and privacy.

I have had some success with phoning/ emailing around cottages about a week before I want to go away and getting a better price direct from the owner. But i don't tend to have a long list of wants from accomodation.

CuriousMama Thu 17-Jan-13 09:46:20

Nice cottage. grin

Mis I found YHA was as expensive as a cottage. Depends where you go I suppose?

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 17-Jan-13 09:36:45

I've not tried it yet but we're thinking about YHA.

finethanks Thu 17-Jan-13 09:35:29

Hi notamomtokids, Our cottage is near Dolgellau in the Snowdonia National Park. It's in a rural location but only 3 miles from town and central for touring and visiting the Mawddach cycle trail, Cader Idris Mountain etc Feel free to pm.

notamomtokids Thu 17-Jan-13 09:28:45

fine where is your cottage?

rubyrubyruby Thu 17-Jan-13 09:24:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CuriousMama Thu 17-Jan-13 09:09:21

We just take a combination of some cash and use debit.

Useful travel money info here.

finethanks Thu 17-Jan-13 09:08:15

If I'm looking for a cottage in a specific area, I just google holiday cottage and the name of that area or town. Usually the bigger agencies come up at the top but if you look further down the results, you will usually find websites for people advertising their own individual cottages.
Have sent you a pm Ragwort.

CuriousMama Thu 17-Jan-13 09:06:37

House swap's a good idea.

It is hard to find cottages that aren't through an agency. There's owners direct website, they didn't have cottages for Robin Hoods bay though I don't think? Not for Easter anyway. But they do have them in the UK as well as abroad. I've booked very cheap apartments through them for Spain before.

Whitby ones says available Easter? more regions on the website.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 17-Jan-13 08:59:55


We've not been abroad as a family before. What's the best thing to do about money? We only have debit cards, so don't want to be charged for small transactions but not sure how to budget the right amount of cash?

rubyrubyruby Thu 17-Jan-13 08:58:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rubyrubyruby Thu 17-Jan-13 08:57:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ragwort Thu 17-Jan-13 08:52:51

How can we find out about your cotttage fine? grin

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