We all wish that travel could be more affordable! Even more so, when you are travelling with your family. Money spent on flights, accommodation, food and not even to mention entertainment can add up very quickly! We want to show you that affordable family travel is achievable, and we have enlisted the help of other family travel bloggers to share their proven tips and tricks on how you can enjoy your next family holiday at a more affordable rate. For our sixth family interview, we welcome Anne from TravelTheGlobe4Less who, has travelled to and visited over 70 countries! She shares her experiences and knowledge of using airmiles and hotel rewards to travel luxuriously for less.
To read our past Affordable family Travel interviews, click here!
1. Can you briefly introduce yourself, your family and your blog?
I got the travel bug as a teenager when I spent a year as an au-pair in Belgium. On weekends I would head to the train station and pick a destination based purely on budget. Off I would go with little more than a spare pare of knickers in my bag, an intention to find a cheap bed and a desire to explore somewhere new. Since then I have visited over 70 countries on six continents, backpacked, flash-packed, cruised, sailed and hiked around the globe.
I now share our experiences and knowledge of using airmiles and hotel rewards to travel luxuriously for less on my blog TravelTheGlobe4Less. My husband, Jason helps me out with photography, editing and the occasional post and I've even been known to rope my step-kids (Abbey, 20, Sam 18 and Holly 15) into writing.
2. Why is family travel important to you?
Travelling with my step-kids, especially now while they are young adults, allows us to spend quality time together in a relaxed environment. It also allows me to attempt to convert them into travel addicts although so far, I'm not having too much success in that department, their preference being sun and sand rather than cultural immersion.
Trips together give us family memories to share and on evenings together we often find ourselves reminiscing about prior holidays or pouring over photo albums.
3. How many times per year does your family get to go on a holiday? Are these domestic holidays or international?
We tend to go overseas with the kids once a year although we also book frequent weekends in log cabins around the UK. A short break with a hot tub can be a great escape with little organisational hassle, no visas to arrange and we can take food and drink with us, making it reasonably cost effective.
4. How does your family afford to travel?
Canny planning! I would never book a package holiday with my step-kids, preferring to book everything independently to make it more affordable, even in school holidays. I book budget flights, self-catering accommodation and annual travel insurance (paying per trip is a great way to throw away money!)
5. Which destinations or countries have you found to be most affordable?
Turkey has probably been our Best Buy. For little more than what we would have paid for a Eurocamp caravan for a week, we can book fabulous villas with private pools and have guaranteed sunshine.
We have endured trips to France and Florida where the weather was not kind, meaning lots of additional expense trying to occupy the kids. In Turkey, we have virtually guaranteed sun, and the kids are usually happy to entertain themselves around the pool. Of course, it helps that they are now much older and we can head off to explore together without reluctant children dragging their heels.
We are heading back to Turkey again next week and it has cost us just under £1,000 for all five to travel including flights. You can read more on how we achieved that in my Cheap Family Holiday post but I highly recommend taking the plunge and booking independently (especially if you need to book in school holidays!)
6. Do you have any tips in regards to saving money in the planning stage of the holiday – on flights/hotels/package deals etc.?
DIY your trip by booking flights using sites like Skyscanner or Skypicker and accommodation through, AirBNB or Holiday Rentals. I also recommend jumping on local buses, hiring a car or exploring on foot rather than booking organised tours. I'm not a fan of being herded around on someone else's schedule and this allows us to explore at our own pace and for considerably less money. £40 a person soon adds up when there are five people to pay for!
7. How do you prepare your children for a new country?
When they were younger, the teacher in me (I taught English in France for a year) would have me giving them little French lessons which I'm sure they hated me for.
Generally though, we do very little in the way of preparation, preferring to teach them a few language phrases once we arrive. On previous trips, we have made food and treats conditional on them attempting to speak the lingo. After all, the divine gelato of Italy has a way of coaxing a few words out of even the most reluctant linguists!
Given the recent events in Turkey, we did have a chat with them about potential terrorist threats before booking this trip. My view was then and still is that we are as likely to be the target of terrorism in our country as overseas.
With the recent attack on Istanbul airport, I suspect we will be having a little security conversation but it isn't going to prevent us travelling. Terrorists can strike anywhere, as we have seen, but we will certainly be giving them some pointers for what to do should the worst happen.
8. What is the one item your kids need to travel with?
Sunscreen. My stepson Sam does not tan! The two girls are so obsessed with getting a tan that they have to be almost forcibly manhandled into putting some on. Of course now the youngest is fifteen, they are old enough to take responsibility for their own skin although I'm pretty confident there will be a few red faces.
9. Do you have any tips in regards to saving money whilst on the holiday – meals, activities etc?
Again I am the DIY queen. I like taking trips out to villages on local buses to give the kids more of a flavour of local life. I have a strong aversion to group tours where hoards of tourists are dragged round sites being bored half to tears with endless facts and figures.
I prefer instead to take in the surroundings and do my own research if I'm sufficiently interested in a subject.
10. Many people are bit sceptical of travelling with children; what is your best advice to make a family holiday a success?
Our first family holiday to Florida was a bit of a washout. The weather was shocking and apart from the parks, the kids weren't really blown away. The long flight and constant ‘what are we doing today?’ when the heavens burst quickly made me rethink our holiday plans thereafter.
After that our summer trips were spent mainly in Eurocamps (until the kids became old enough to amuse themselves in the evenings!) where the abundance of activities meant that, although I had to suffer the terrible beds and lack of space of a tin box roasting in the sun, we could all enjoy a stress free holiday.
More about Anne
Anne has been an avid traveller since spending a year as an au-pair in Belgium as a teenager. She has visited over 70 countries on six continents and now spends her spare time sharing her knowledge of using airmiles and hotel rewards to travel luxuriously for less. She also loves scuba diving, skiing, yoga, running and spending time with her Hubbie.
Watch out for the next featured Family Travel Blogger!
SEND A MESSAGE TO EJMONT(AT)WANDERLUSTSTORYTELLERS(DOT)COM.AU IF YOU WANT TO BE THE NEXT FEATURED FAMILY TRAVEL BLOGGER
*(You must have kid/s and have affordable family travel tips and recommendations to share).
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