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.