Taking an annual holiday is a rewarding opportunity for families to take time out and share some of the experiences they work hard all year to be able to enjoy, but the type of holiday is ususally heavily influenced by our finances.
Here, we show the variety of costs of five different types of family holidays suiting different budgets, but with the common link that for all five, there are ways of saving and getting value for money to make these great family experiences a reality.
Holiday 1 – Smith long-haul two-week family holiday to Disney, Florida, USA, August 2018 – Total cost £9,920
The total for two adults and two children aged 9 & 10 comes in just below £10,000.
The breakdown is £2,532 for flights, £1,838 for a villa, £1,700 for Disney tickets, £1,000 for a family trip to Discovery Cove, car hire £600, travel insurance £150, ESTA (VISA) £100 and £2,000 spending money.
Everything was booked independently. It could have been possible to shave a bit off the cost by booking a package, but this way the Smith's got everything they wanted including a villa in an estate they've used before and enjoyed, Sunridge Woods, Davenport (just 20 minutes from Disney.) They researched all options and costs using the Brit Guide to Orlando.
This is the second time the family have been on a holiday like this and they wanted to do it again before the kids got too old. They definitely think it was worth the spend and got value for money by utilising their own knowledge from a previous trip and the knowledge of others in the guide.
Holiday 2 – Coles short-haul two-week family trip to Lindos, Rhodes, Greece, August 2017 – Total cost £6,650
Again, this was a summer holiday for two adults and two children aged 14 & 13. The family stayed at a nice hotel called Lindos View, but in a one-bedroom apartment on a self-catering basis.
Including return flights, in-flight meals, extra 5kg luggage allowance per person, ATOL protection and transfers, the cost of this package holiday was £3,550,
"We booked a full year in advance which meant we got a good price and choice of apartment."
On top of this cost they paid £30 for family travel insurance, £150 for car hire, £125 for travel to and from the UK airport, Gatwick. For two weeks spending money, including all meals and drinks, they budgeted for £200 a day and just about managed to stick to that. The total spending money for the holiday came to £2,800.
In hindsight, the Coles felt like going half-board may have been better value but they wanted variety now the kids are older. They said that having the freedom to explore the old town in the evenings was their holiday highlight.
Holiday 3 – Staycation Salisbury 10-day family trip to Devon & Cornwall, England, UK, July 2017 – Total cost £2,475
"Our summer holiday last year was a week in Cornwall staying in a small but well-furnished, clean two-bedroom terraced house with a small garden and parking space in Padstow, Cornwall. The house cost £840 for a week."
Padstow is an 8-10 hour drive from the family home in Brighton, East Sussex, so to break the journey up on the way down and to extend the holiday a little the family took their time and had a day in the New Forest. They stayed in a Premier Inn near Bournemouth before going onto Lyme Regis in Dorset the next day, before driving onto Exeter in Devon and staying at another Premier Inn and then making their way to Cornwall for our week in the rented house.
Both Premier Inns were good value, £120 each night for a family room, including a full breakfast for all four. They spent £150 on petrol, £45 on breakdown cover and budgeted £1,200 for spending money over the 10 days.
This was a holiday that gave excellent value for money, particularly the accommodation and they would 100% do it again. "Cornwall, when the weather is good (it was mixed), has so many lovely beaches and countryside, there are plenty of activities to do in nature's own playground that don't cost much."
Holiday 4 – Lancaster one-week family holiday to Scotland, April 2018 – Total cost £2,300
This family also has two adults and two children, but the kids are seven and four and they felt a 500 mile car journey wasn't a great idea with children of this age. So they opted for EasyJet flights from a fairly local airport at £300 for four returns, less than double what the petrol would cost and a 45-minute flight rather than a 10-hour car journey.
Of course, a car was needed once they arrived at their holiday home on the Island of Millport, which is off the west coast of Scotland and about an hour from Glasgow Airport, and a short ferry journey. The home cost £700 for a week and the car was hired from the airport for £200 for the week, including petrol. Total spending money for the week for a family of four came to £1,100, this had to include a budget for eating out and days out with the children most days.
Driving up would have saved money but also taken the best part of two days, a large proportion of a week's holiday and the family would have been more tired and the kids more cranky.
Holiday 5 – Budget camping option – May family one-week in the New Forest, Hampshire – Total cost £761
Obviously, camping in the UK is risky in terms of the weather, but the May family opted for the first week of the school summer holidays at the end of July 2017 and got lucky!
When the weather is good, camping can be a really fun holiday and to camp in the New Forest provides many wonderful moments because of the fantastic location.
The location is wonderful for a family holiday as it has a mix of woodland and open spaces, perfect for walks, games, picnics and seeing wild horses, deer and even the occasional sighting of a wild pig. The surrounding area has interesting towns and villages, a great range of pubs, cafés and restaurants and the seaside is less than 30 minutes away.
A pitch site for a large family tent for two adults and two children cost £236. Petrol costs for the return journey and a week of driving around the New Forest came to £100. Four bike hires for one day cost £55, the cost of food and drink to cook their own meals cost £120 for the week and another £250 for spending money, including two meals out at local pubs.