How to save money when booking a family holiday

Holidays are not cheap. Fact. Read on for Mumsnetters' top travel booking tips to help you save on family hols 

Share this on Facebook

1. You need to go undercover to grab a bargain

If you've found your perfect holiday, it's WELL worth bobbing on to another device before you hit the 'buy' button. Sometimes a 'new' customer gets a lower price - so if you've researched on your phone/tablet, login via a desktop to make the final purchase, or vice versa. You can also delete cookies in your browser settings to remove any trace of your search, for the same result.

2. Book right now. RIGHT now.

As tempting as it is, if you have a specific date you want to travel on, need a specific room set-up, or if only a certain cottage will do, don't mess around. Book flights as soon as they go on sale - especially for low cost carriers, as these only ever go up in price. 

3. Or, play it cool

On the other hand, if you don't need to fly after lunch on a Sunday and are happy with whatever room is available, then hold your nerve and leave it a little longer. Not too late, mind - you want to be looking about three months in advance, just as travel companies start to panic about all the stuff they still have to sell. 

4. Just never book flights on a Friday

Industry experts recently pin-pointed Friday as the day airlines hike their fares, so avoid booking then if you can help it. Booking on a Sunday or at the start of the week is a good bet to nab the cheapest tickets <taps nose>. 

5. Points *do* make prizes 

Tesco, Nectar, flight loyalty cards et al, can all be used on travel purchases so use these to help spread the costs.   

6. Mix business with pleasure

For weekend travel, business hotels are where it's at. You won't necessarily be in the heart of the action, but you're often just a short metro/cab ride away. Standards can be high and savings significant.

7. Wednesday: it's the new Friday

A quick nosey at ferry crossings to France reveals that midweek fares in August are almost 50% cheaper than weekend departures. Flights too, are typically cheaper between Tuesday and Thursday, with the earliest flights in the day achieving peak bargainosity. It might seem a faff if you work Monday to Friday - but travelling mid-week can save you loads, if you can arrange your accommodation and annual leave to suit.

8. Watch out for the sneaky extras

Do go through your booking with an eagle eye and check you've not been charged for optional extras you don't need (or do need but don't need to buy from the airline). We're looking at you in-flight meals, speedy boarding and travel insurance <un-ticks boxes>. 


9. Avoid the Brits

Head somewhere away from the usual tourist haunts and you should find costs cheaper across the board. The likes of Croatia and Hungary are frequently tipped on the Mumsnet Talk boards as destinations to consider.  

10. Do visit Mumsnet discounts first - natch

We've secured some great exclusives for you including Mark WarnerHoseasons, Butlins and  You're welcome. 


Liked this? Try these:

Family ski holidays on a budget

Advice for travelling with children

Mumsnet Discounts - latest offers


Last updated: over 1 year ago