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What's a sensible budget for a family beach holiday?

(27 Posts)
NoParking Mon 08-Jun-15 11:21:09

I've never taken the kids abroad, and now they're finally old enough to notice that everyone at school has been on a plane and they haven't. So, I'm planning on saving up for a week abroad next summer. I'll be looking for short haul, nice swimming beach and pool and either a little apartment or connecting rooms (they're 6 and 4). I really don't want to drive abroad, either, if I can avoid it.

I've had a look but I don't know where to start, and everything looks so expensive. What would be a reasonable budget for this type of holiday (2 adults, 2 kids, beach, school summer holidays)?

lauraa4 Mon 08-Jun-15 12:45:05

Were you thinking of hotel or apartment? Self catering or all inclusive?

There are some great holiday websites for hotel holidays but there's also a really good website I have used when renting a private apartment for a week in Spain.

NoParking Mon 08-Jun-15 13:27:16

I don't want to have to drive to an apartment or to shops, so either an apartment near a supermarket and a beach or else a hotel with restaurants nearby for the evening meal. I was thinking half board if we were in a hotel, so would need a shop that could do snacks things for lunch and then go out in the evening. I don't want to be stuck in one room its the kids - I don't sleep well with them in the same room and nor do they.

I have a daydream of the kids playing on the beach while we eat in a quiet taverna...

We don't need a kids club or anything more than a beach and pool - that will keep them happy as long as the weather is good.

Costacoffeeplease Mon 08-Jun-15 13:48:28

I live in Carvoeiro in the algarve, you'd find what you're looking for here smile

For accommodation try homeaway, owners direct, holidaylettings etc, and for flights check out skyscanner to see which airlines fly to Faro from your local airport

Good luck!

SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 08-Jun-15 14:03:04

We booked a 2 bed apartment in Corfu, total cost including flights and accomodation is about £1,800 for 2 weeks in July/August.

Last year we went to same time of year to Turkey and spent about £2,000 total for a 2 bed villa.

We do book early though and flight prices are high at the moment. have a look at Skyscanner for flights.

NoParking Mon 08-Jun-15 14:10:52

That's really useful, thanks! Particularly the sort of price I should pay, I was having real trouble working out what was luxury and what was reasonable.

I hadn't thought of Portugal, as I thought the sea was normally fairly rough, and the nearest it is to a millpond the better it will be with the kids, I think.

It's also made me think about what I want more clearly - I think I want flight, transfer and an apartment with a pool and a nearby beach in a little seaside village with a small supermarket and a few restaurants.

Are there any websites that are particularly good for that sort of thing, or are they all pretty similar. I have literally not booked a holiday for eight years...

NoParking Mon 08-Jun-15 14:11:57

Sorry, just re-read and saw the website recommendations! Had missed them on my phone.

Chasingsquirrels Mon 08-Jun-15 14:25:07

I've just paid £920 for flights to Murcia, would have been cheaper if I'd booked earlier or could have been more flexible with dates.
Accommodation will between £550 - £900 for 2 weeks depending on what we go for - but will be 2 bed apartment on complex with pool near to beach and restaurants and reasonably near to supermarket (all walking). Plus airport parking, transfers (about €60).

Where can you fly from? That might limit your options.
I look at Holiday Rentals, Holiday Lettings, Trip Advisor, HomeAway etc for accommodation.
People letting out property can usually arrange transfers or put you in touch with someone.

NoParking Mon 08-Jun-15 14:29:51

I'm in S London so we can fly from Heathrow or Gatwick easily. Hopefully that opens up plenty of options.

I've just had a look at holidaylettings and spotted a few possibilities, it's really useful to be able to filter by car-free, beach nearby etc. the one other thing I want is a pool with a shallow bit so my youngest can actually touch the bottom, but I admit that's a bit of a specialist requirement smile

Costacoffeeplease Mon 08-Jun-15 14:35:12

Not really, most complexes have children's pools alongside the bigger ones

The Algarve is on the Atlantic but the sea isn't that rough, especially in Carvoeiro as the beach is a horseshoe shape, protected by cliffs on each side. The west coast and up by Lisbon is where you get the big waves and surfers!

There are lots of apartment complexes, lots and lots of choice of restaurants, shops, cafés etc, 45 minutes by car from Faro, plus a couple of water parks nearby to visit

Branleuse Mon 08-Jun-15 14:45:28

If you want to save money, try looking at the end of may/beginning of june holiday week. Its a lot cheaper, and generally still good weather

NoParking Mon 08-Jun-15 15:03:58

Branleuse It has to be school holidays, I'm afraid. Otherwise I would definitely do that.

Artandco Mon 08-Jun-15 15:06:51

No - they always have half term at the end of May though surely?

nottheOP Mon 08-Jun-15 15:08:02

Just diy rather than thomas cook etc. They're so expensive. Spain, Portugal and Italy are all a reasonable flight time with 2 smallish ones too.

nottheOP Mon 08-Jun-15 15:09:15

art the may bank holiday/ school holiday flights are dear but the weather is perfect

Artandco Mon 08-Jun-15 15:28:51

It's always cheaper may/ June half term than August still imo.

The thing that may put the cost up is not wanting to drive as that extra 5 mins by car can get a much larger range of accomadation

Look at Croatia. Lots to see and do, lovely sea and beaches

Branleuse Mon 08-Jun-15 16:39:19

end of May IS school holidays OP smile

we get a week for half term.

Theres also 2 weeks in april for easter, but youd have to go a bit further for beach weather in april

NoParking Mon 08-Jun-15 20:31:05

You're right, I complete forgot about half term! So focused on the summer...

I'll look for then too, and see when has the best deals.

I had a wonderful holiday in Croatia years ago, I'd love to go back. I'll have a look.

Buttercupsandaisies Wed 10-Jun-15 07:22:38

If your looking for cheap go all inclusive. For me, two weeks in August for under 2k is not cheap as you'll spend 2k when you're there unless you intend on cooking throughout etc.

We got July school holidays family of four to an all inclusive in Majorca last year for £1800 for week with free waterpark access. We spent £50! I know not everyone likes all inclusive but if you don't like feeling on a budget and having to go the supermarket and clean up etc, it's a good option.

Chasingsquirrels Wed 10-Jun-15 07:39:50

Depends on the holiday. DP went all inclusive in the Caribbean for a week earlier this year, was fine but I did miss just being able to sort food out for myself, or choose where to go.

For a holiday with my kids (as below I'm paying around £1300 for 13 nights flights & accommodation this year). I prefer the space and freedom an apartment gives.
We usually eat breakfast in (freshly cooked french bread - v local shop, and jam plus fruit) but v occasionally have a cooked breakfast out but at about €3 pp that's a preference not a cost thing, we have soup and bread, or bread and ham and cheese and pate, or pizza etc for a light lunch then eat out in the evening, mostly around €50 for 4 - 1 DC on child portions, 2 adults & 1DC on adult portions.
We buy drinks and ice creams in the supermarket to have in the apartment.
I don't drink alcohol (nor do the kids obviously) so that's considerably less and all inclusive is priced to include that.
I'd say last year we maybe spent £1,000 there, including a couple of trips to the fair etc.
I don't feel we are scrimping in that, it would obviously cost more if we ate breakfast and lunch out as well - but we don't want to.

Cost wise I'd say those 13 days are comparable or slightly less than 2 of the pp's all inclusive weeks. So I agree it doesn't seem significantly cheaper - but it could be if you wanted (eat in more).

Chasingsquirrels Wed 10-Jun-15 07:41:09

That should be £1500 (not £1300). Although if I'd booked flights earlier it would have been cheaper.

mandy214 Wed 10-Jun-15 11:44:40

We have just come back from a beach type holiday. We are lucky in that we get 2 weeks at May half term so it makes it significantly cheaper than an August holiday. We used Owners Direct for part of the holiday too – you will definitely get better rates for May than you will for August. Depending on where you are going (and whether it is out of season), hotels will be cheaper too.

As others have said don’t forget to factor in the cost whilst you are there on top of accommodation and flights. We did a hotel for the first week (B&B – so had a large (usually cooked) breakfast at the hotel (omelettes / lots of local bread etc), maybe just an ice cream or crisps during the day, plus drinks, then went out for dinner in the evening). 2nd week when we had an apartment, we had a smaller breakfast so needed lunch, then went out for dinner. Found food in supermarkets etc actually quite expensive. No real difference in daily expenses probably between hotel / apartment unless you’re happy to cook evening meal. We were in a relatively cheap country (not Euro) probably spent about £60-70 a day (for a family of 5). We have done AI before (it worked well) but it can get a little repetitive and for me personally, I like venturing out and sampling different restaurants.

Other points – don’t forget to factor in holiday clothes if you need those, sun cream (adds up!), travel insurance, travel to airport / transfer to resort if you’re going independently.

NoParking Sat 13-Jun-15 22:30:43

Just re-found this thread - thanks for all the replies.

I was put all all inclusive by a nasty bout of food poisoning years ago,'though the water park sounds fantastic.

Good points about the extra costs, worth knowing about and budgeting for.

wannabestressfree Sun 14-Jun-15 12:18:43

How far in advance can flights be booked? I always worry about getting it wrong..... Is it best to do flights first or book accommodation far in advance?

GirlsonFilm Sun 14-Jun-15 15:58:27

Flights can be booked 50 weeks in advance (depending on the airline ) get your flights first and then accommodation.

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