Your kids are costing you so much money to raise that it’s about time they started helping the family save some cash. No, we’re not suggesting you enrol Junior in an “internship” at the nearest sweatshop.
What we mean is that family holidays can cost a lot less per person when one (or two, or three) of those people are pint-sized. Here are some tips for keeping the cost of your family trips down.
1. Bulk ticket purchases and kiddy discounts
When buying admission tickets for a tourist attraction, never just rock up to the box office and say “four tickets, please!”
Attractions such as zoos and theme parks usually have child or student prices. Better yet, many offer discounts when you purchase tickets in bulk or enter as a family.
For instance, at Perth Zoo, where adult tickets cost $29 and child tickets cpst $14, a family of four can get in at only $75. That’s a discount of $11 per family.
2. Check if taking taxis or renting a car is cheaper than public transport
Any cost-conscious solo traveller knows that taxi drivers just want your souls. But when you’re travelling in a big group, it may not always be worthwhile paying for 4-6 individual subway tickets.
For instance, getting from Melbourne International Airport to the city costs $18 per person on the Starbus while a taxi ride costs $50 to $65, so if you’re travelling alone the shuttle bus makes the most sense. Public transport is highly expensive there as well so many people in small groups actually rent a car as it’s much cheaper.
3. Rent an entire apartment
Realising as a solo traveller that you can’t afford the cheapest available hotel room and are forced to check into a hostel dorm room is enough to make anyone’s heart sink.
As a family, you get to enjoy the reverse. With a party of 4 to 6, you might be able to rent an entire apartment with cooking facilities, and have it still cost less than booking into a hotel or hostel.
For instance, this apartment on Airbnb in the very centre of Rome will cost a family of 4 just 78 euro (120 SGD) a day to rent. That works out to just 30 SGD per person, and you get to use the kitchen and washing machine, too.
4. Don’t spend on full restaurant meals for kids who eat less
Anyone who’s ever miserably looked on as happy groups tucked into their steamboat or Korean BBQ meals, and then grudgingly ordered the fried rice for one, knows the power you have in numbers when it comes to food.
If you’re renting an apartment with cooking facilities, you can save a ton of money by cooking some of your meals at home. Besides, you know the kids are going to be asking to eat at McDonald’s anyway. Buy a box of cereal and some milk, and breakfast for the rest of the trip is settled.
If you’re vacationing in Asia and have small children in tow, it’ll be cheaper to feed the brood by ordering a couple of dishes to be shared between everyone, rather than individual meals for each person. That’s because kids usually eat less and seldom warrant an entire meal to themselves.
5. Make the most of your credit card benefits
Taking a little effort to make sure you make the most of your credit card benefits can go a long way to helping you save some money on your holiday trip.
For example, the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard doesn’t have a cap on how much cashback you can earn at 5% rebates, but it does have a per-transaction cap of $600, so if you are booking flight tickets for your family, you might want to look at splitting up your flight bookings to maximize the accrual of your rebates.
Alternatively, finding a good air miles credit card specifically for your flight bookings can help maximize your air miles accrual as well. Cards like the DBS Altitude Visa Signature Card gives you an increased miles accrual rate when it comes to flight bookings.
Other cards give you a higher accrual rate overseas, such as the ANZ Travel Visa Card, which has the highest overseas air miles accrual rate, with a $1 = 2.8 miles rate for spend in Australia and New Zealand.
Challenge yourself to maximise your credit card benefits with the air ticket and/or accommodation purchases you’re making for the entire family.
How do you save money when travelling as a family? Tell us in the comments!
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