So, you’ve just realised December has snuck up on you – and Christmas is just around the corner.


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Where did 2015 go? Is it too late to find good accommodation for a summer family holiday? Well, yes and no.

There are places that families will re-book every year and some of the more popular properties and destinations may well be long booked out.

However, there are some ways you can still have your family summer holiday without breaking the bank.

Here are some tips to get that holiday booked:

Tip 1: Don’t go to the beach

Summer holidays are when most families will inundate coastal towns and hamlets. So why don’t you do the opposite and head inland?

There are wonderful regional centres and small country towns that offer a range of activities for your family and you might be pleasantly surprised at how cheap some of the accommodation is on offer.

Personally, I would try and book somewhere with a swimming pool, just in case the temperatures soar. But also seek out local information about safe rivers and swimming holes.

Note: If you book accommodation in a bushfire-prone area, do not forget to check their conditions relating to cancellations in the event of a bushfire danger being declared or if your travel is obstructed by fires or other natural disasters.

Tip 2: Don’t travel far

That means if you don’t have to, don’t fly. If you can squeeze on a flight, you will most likely pay quite a sum for it. That’s because holiday makers are battling with those visiting family for Christmas.

Instead, choose a destination you can drive to – how far that is depends on how well your family travels in the car.

My advice is to determine how far you are prepared to drive, then look at a map to consider destinations within that distance.

Tip 3: Tone down expectations

While most of us dream of luxury furnishing and high end specs, you can miss out on some great accommodation that is comfortable and clean – just out-dated in the furniture stakes.

Check out 3 star accommodation or a rental home which still has décor from the 1980s. If it practical and clean and you can live with a pastel pink floral lounge suite, go for it.

Tip 4: Share with another family

The fact is some of the more expensive holiday houses (which are still available because they are expensive) can sleep a lot of people. Have you considered sharing one with friends or extended family?

This can be a great way to save costs and stay in a style and type of accommodation you may not necessarily be able to afford on your own.

The only thing about sharing with another family is that there might be some restrictions you would not necessarily have on your own. However, these can be overcome with a bit of planning.

Tip 5: Stay with family and friends

Do you have relatives or friends who live further away and who you don’t see as often as you should?

My parents live on a lake, so we often go for a few days. The kids swim off the jetty and go canoeing. In return, my parents stay with us and do ‘city’ things they can’t do at home.

If house sizes restrict such a family gathering, how about considering a house swap with them for a week or so?

Tip 6: Pitch a tent

If you have a tent gathering dust in the shed, maybe it’s time to get it out? Many caravan parks still have availability to pitch a tent. All you really need is your bedding and some basic crockery, cutlery and pots and pans.

That’s because most caravan parks have great camp kitchen facilities and there are always bbqs to utilise too. Combine this with eating out and you might find it more enjoyable than expected.

Tip 7: Holiday in late January

If you can postpone your holiday until the end of the school holidays, do it! Airfares tend to come down in price from mid-January. A lot of holiday accommodation also comes down from peak rates. This is the perfect time to holiday. In addition to saving money, it is generally quieter too.

So, these are my tips for how you can still book your summer holiday.

Do you have any other tips to share? Please comment below.

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  • With covid many people are wanting to holiday closer to home now.


  • Great suggestions! maybe this year we will have a holiday :)


  • We went to Tassie – tranquil and lovely.


  • oh, I could do with a holiday!


  • Some great ideas. We’re planning a late Jan getaway to avoid the crowds (and inflated costs!).


  • Love planning holidays and all of your ideas are terrific. Happy Summer hols to everyone!

    • Thank-you and happy holidays to you too :)


  • We always leave it rather later than we should. However, online there are still some good deals and options to be had.

    • There are definitely some deals and availability – maybe not a first choice, but a Jan holiday is still possible.


  • some good tips. I cant believe how quickly the holidays have crept up on us!


  • Great tips! I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. I had all intentions to save a little toward a holiday but having 4 children and only hubby working it’s impossible. This year we are doing day trips and drives and the aquarium,zoo and museum.

    • Have you thought about a night away – just you and the kids? I often do that if hubby is working. The kids love it and we feel like we’ve had a little holiday.


  • I miss house swap on this list ! A great way to enjoy a cheap holiday in an different area.

    • A house swap is a great idea. I haven’t used an official house swap website, but you could also informally do it with friends or family or live somewhere else too.


  • We have fantastic holidays travelling less than 2 hours from home and/or staying with family and friends. Our daughter often asks for “bigger” holidays like her friends have. We tell her ours are better as we can take the dog! We also tell her that the bigger holidays she can look forward to when she is older and can do more.

    • I agree – a great holiday does not equal having to travel a great distance.


  • No tips from me but these are great


  • We still have to book a holiday. “If” we get to go on holiday this year at all. We are thinking of going to some farm, bringing our dog too. Maximum 3-4 hours driving.
    stayz.com.au is very useful in finding pet-friendly accommodations. We will be quite flexible about when to go in January, so I hope it won’t be a good problem.


  • YES! i am glad that it is not just me! i swear yesterday was october! How is it nearly christmas and the end of 2015? Great tip about the January holiday


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