Travelling with your family is an immensely rewarding experience, and for children it’s so important. The concern for many parents, however, is the cost of travelling with a family — which can add up exceptionally quickly. But, just because it can be a costly affair, doesn’t mean you have to get a second mortgage on your house to be able to indulge in your wanderlust.

If travel is a priority for you and your family it just takes some strict travel planning to create incredible and memorable trips away with your special people. Here are some tips on how you can travel without breaking the bank:

Spend less day-to-day

If I were to ask you what is holding you back from traveling, you would probably say: “money”. Right? The thing is, if travelling with your family is important to you then I guarantee you can find a way to make it work. A good place to start is to examine your monthly household expenses to see which ‘luxury’ spends you can cut down on. Perhaps you can get a cheaper Sky TV package, maybe you can cut back on your weekly lunch dates with friends, consider ditching that gym membership you never use, or cut down on the monthly trips to the beauty salon. If you look close enough there are always places you can save on and it comes down to priorities. If travel is a priority, put that saved money away every month and before you know it, you will be travel planning your next trip.

Make use of reward programmes

Reward programmes affiliated with credit cards have really become popular in recent years. Let’s be honest, everyone likes to be rewarded for spending money. Many reward programmes are linked to travel services and points can be used to purchase flights, rental cars or the purchase of travel-related things such as luggage. Over time, these programmes can lead to big savings. It’s all about travel planning to the finest detail!

Do your research

Research, research, research. Find out which means of transport will be the most cost effective for the family (as well as the most convenient, as travelling for long distances with children can be challenging). Compare ticket prices between buses, budget airlines and trains, look at what it would cost to rent a car, compare hotel prices and even look for holiday destinations where the cost of living is relatively low. Research is integral to travel planning, and do so until you are content that you have found the best prices. Keep ‘hidden costs’ like baggage fees in mind.  Here are some very useful resources for this step:

Skyscanner  — this site scours all the airline sites for the cheapest flights.  — this site has specials on accommodation and flights among other services that are purchased ‘last minute’.

Hotwire — this is an opaque booking site which allows you to book accommodation at sometimes 60% off the normal rate. While the star rating and general area is revealed, the finer details of the establishment are revealed once the booking is made.

Travelocity  — helps you find the cheapest rates on a variety of travel services.

Familiarise yourself with the local supermarket

When you are travel planning, see what your food budget is. While it’s lovely to eat out in foreign lands, it may not always be possible. Make sure everyone eats a hearty breakfast at the hotel and then for lunch and dinner focus on picnic-like meals purchased from the nearest supermarket which you can enjoy in fabulous locations wherever in the world you are (ask the hotel to empty out the mini bar fridge to avoid temptation and to use to keep things fresh). Try to have at least one meal out and choose a restaurant that serves delicious local cuisine.

Travel off-season

When you are travel planning, investigate whether you would be able to travel during seasons that aren’t ‘peak’. For example, if your children are young and you don’t have school holiday restrictions, then try to travel off-season. Hotel and flight rates tend to be much lower in these periods and make it a much more affordable time to travel in general, so choose a destination that is phenomenal all year-round in order to get the same quality of holiday for less.

If you are looking for a destination that is phenomenal year-round then look no further than the beautiful Costa Blanca in Spain. This incredible area has something for all budgets, and at AR Hotels, we have incredible affordable family-friendly accommodation at our hotels in Calpe, with all the luxury but without the hefty price tag.