Last minute family holiday ideas on a budget

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Taking a family holiday can often be expensive, especially if you decide to go abroad or to somewhere a bit more extravagant like Disney Land. This often limits families to just one holiday a year, in some cases one holiday every couple of years. Taking a family holiday, however, doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune, there are plenty of ways you can holiday on a budget, which might mean you can afford to take more than one holiday a year, giving you even more family time together.

To help you to plan your last minute budget family holiday, here are some ideas on how you can save money:

  • Camping: if you already have camping equipment then this is a perfect family holiday idea, the price to pitch a tent is minimal and you can buy and cook your own food. If you do not have camping equipment, it doesn’t have to cost too much to buy all of this, you can often buy bundle deals and even good quality second hand equipment. Once you have everything you need for camping you can go as often as you like and to a variety of locations, you could even take the ferry and go camping in Europe. Check out this guide for child friendly motorhome destinations ideas.
  • Caravan or mobile home: you do not need to own your own caravan to go on holiday, you can rent a caravan or you could simply pay to stay in one that is already located on campsite. There are often discounts and deals available on caravans, especially during term time, which means you can grab yourself a bargain.
  • A holiday park: places like Butlins and Haven have excellent discounts on all year round, especially on last minute family holiday deals. This is the perfect way to still go on a beach holiday, without spending a small fortune.
  • Rent a cottage: alternatively you could rent a house or a family room in a farm, giving you all the comforts of home, allowing you to cook your own meals, but still experience a new place and have an enjoyable family holiday.
  • Stay in a youth hostel: instead of choosing to stay at a hotel, why not book into a nice youth hostel, though they are much cheaper, many of them are quite nice and provide a suitable family sleeping arrangement. Remember you don’t usually spend much time in your hotel room anyway, so why not save a little and book a hostel instead.
  • A last minute deal from the internet or travel agent: search online or go to a local travel agent to see what last minute family holidays are available for you and your family. Though you may not have much choice over your destination, you can certainly save yourself some money.
  • Tailor your own holiday: buy flight tickets and make the hotel reservations yourself instead of going through a travel agent. Prices are likely to be reduced the more ‘last minute’ your holiday becomes and by booking this yourself you save yourself travel agent costs along with grabbing some discounts.

There are some other ways you can holiday on a budget as a family, if you book very early or very late, for instance, prices tend to be lower with prices reducing the closer it gets to the departure date. Also consider when you choose to go on holiday, if you can go during school time then do as prices will be much lower. If you can’t go during term time, try to book your holiday during the half-term breaks in either May or October, where prices are significantly lower than they are during the summer holidays.


Since a boy i have been fascinated by travel, people and places which is the reason i have been in the travel industry for over 20 years in numerous roles sales, marketing, operations & e-commerce. These days i run a boutique digital marketing agency in Tunbridge Wells called All Amplified Media specialising in Digital Marketing for online travel agencies.

Posted in Family Holidays, Holiday Types