It can be one thing taking a weekend trip on the Eurostar to take a weekend trip to Paris, or having a luxurious long-haul trip as a couple. But when you introduce a baby into the picture, going abroad can look like something completely different. It can feel quite daunting and almost seem a little bit impossible. For starters, travel might not be the top of your priority list. But likewise, there are many good things about travelling with children, so it shouldn’t be way down the bottom of the list either. Travel can give us a glimpse into how other people live and can change our worldview, which is a wonderful thing to show to children as they grow.
Even if you are a couple that is totally sold on the idea of traveling as a family, then there is still the challenge of paying for it all. Plane tickets for even three can add up quickly, not to mention extras like hiring a car, and so on. So before you give up the idea of ever being able to go abroad again, here are a few ways that you could make international travel more affordable for a family.
Travel in the Off-Season
If you have some flexibility with when you can travel, which is great when children are younger and not in school, then you can save quite a bit of money by going when it is off-season. Cheap times to fly can be in the autumn and in the spring, but it does depend on where you are looking to go to. Hotels will tend to be cheaper and have more availability in off-seasons too, so it can be a good idea for a number of reasons.
It is a good idea to have one credit card in the house that is connected to an air-miles provider. If you are spending it on the things that you can afford and would have been buying anyway, like groceries and petrol, then it can be a good way to get something extra to put towards your flights. There are a few cards like the British Airways American Express card where you can get some original sign-up bonuses to get some extra air-miles.
If you want to cut down costs then staying a bit more local, and driving over to Europe can be a much more affordable way to travel for a family. As long as you have budgeted for the fuel and you’ve got some breakdown and car insurance that covers being abroad, then you’ll be good to go. To cut costs even lower, you could go down the camper van route and stay in your car. If you have a Volkswagen, for example, you could look into Volkswagen camper van conversions to make the most of the space that you have got. It can make a difference and be lots of fun when the children are younger.
Have you got any other tips that you would add to the list? It would be great to hear what you think.