Holiday · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh · Money saving tip

Guest blog : How to save money when booking your next holiday

Hey! I’m Laura and I’m thrilled to be writing for Epril and Amy today. After spending 8 months travelling in the last year, my travel and lifestyle blog is filled with adventures, stories and advice about backpacking around the world. Follow my adventures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or subscribe to my blog to keep up with the latest travel, food and lifestyle updates. Now, onto those money saving tips… 


It’s time to book a holiday! Among the excitement, picking the right one can sometimes be a minefield: we want the best deal but also convenience and hassle-free booking. While these things don’t always go hand in hand, I’m going to share with you a couple of really simple ways that you can save money on your next holiday. Whether you want a solo adventure, couples retreat or a fun family getaway, these tips should work for everyone!

Plan your dates

It’s an old favourite but if you can avoid peak travel times, you can save hundreds on your breaks. July and August is peak summer season in Europe while the price of travelling to Asia soars during the cooler months of December to February. If you need to work around the kids holidays, the best deals can often be found in October and February half terms – and the weather is still warm in parts of southern Europe. Bonus tip: if you’re unable to avoid jetting off in peak season, flying midweek is often still cheaper than weekends!

Search for added extras

Bonus freebies are my favourite thing. You know those deals where they throw in a three course meal or free upgrade? Yep, I’m all over them. From kids eat free offers to free airport transfers, it’s always worth having a look if your tour operator or hotel is offering any extras that you’re already expecting to pay for. Backpackers, even hostels are on the ball with this one! My favourite hostel extras include free breakfast, social activities and even a load of laundry – hey, it’s the little costs that add up!

Think outside the box

Often, the first thing we do when we search for accommodation is head to one of the popular booking sites or get it all wrapped up in a package deal. Now, I’m definitely not knocking the ease of these deals but with just a little extra time to look you can find awesome places to stay that could even save you a chunk! Take Airbnb: if you prefer to self cater, apartments or holiday homes to rent can often be a better, cheaper option than a hotel room. Plus, you’ll often have a host contact who can give you local tips to help you see a new side of the area.

Location, location, location

Unless you’re staying in a small town with everything in walking distance, location is crucial. It’s all a balance between the cost of your accommodation and transport. You might save £50 on that hotel outside of the city centre but if you account for the cost of transport each day, it can sometimes work out better just to pay a little extra to be right in the thick of it. This isn’t always the case but it’s definitely worth checking it out before you pick an area.

Carry snacks

This advice, I live by. Whether you’ve got a hangry other half with a seemingly bottomless stomach (I’m definitely guilty) or you’re trying to save money on pricey cafes, carrying a couple of snack bars can alleviate a surprising amount of troubles. If you’re enjoying a day out at the beach, heading to a supermarket to buy a picnic can be way cheaper – and more fun to eat! – than having to pack up and leave for a restaurant. Similarly, if you’re packing in a ton of city sights into a short time, having something in your bag means that you can eat on the go with more time for the sights!

Keep an eye on the exchange rat 

It sounds boring but a saving is a saving, right? Before you go, use a comparison site to find the best, commission free rate for more money in your pocket before you even start! While you’re away, a good rule to keep in mind is to live by the local cost of living. For example, if you visit Vietnam, paying £5 for a meal may seem cheap by UK standards but actually, you’ll end up spending way more than you should.

Busy area? Take advantage

In popular tourist hotspots, there’s often a ton of competition and this can mean that ou can bag yourself a great deal by being a little savvy. Different restaurants will have happy hour deals or special lunch offers to persuade you to eat there – scope out the best ones and enjoy! Venturing off into a quieter side street can also reveal hidden gems. You can often bargain tour prices down a little too, especially if there’s a group of you. But remember, while not being ripped off is important, be sensitive in poorer areas too. While haggling down an extra one or two pounds may not make much of a difference to you, that could be a days worth of meals in Cambodia.

How do you like to save money on your holidays? Leave your comments below, I’d love to know more!

Laura x

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Holiday · Home & kitchen · Life

Dreaming About Buying A Holiday Home? 

Today, a lot of families love to travel, using every school holiday and bank holiday to get away. The only downside to traveling as a family is that once the kids reach school age, you can only really get away in the school holidays when prices triple. How a lot of parents are getting around this issue is by investing in a holiday home of their own, so that when it comes to traveling all they have to pay for is the transport. Continue reading “Dreaming About Buying A Holiday Home? “

Earn & save money · Holiday · Life · Money saver · Money saving tip

Top tips on saving for a holiday.

Going for a holiday outside the uk can be a bit expensive, especially for a family of 5 like us. We love to go to our native country, the Philippines, as much as we can. We can only afford to go for a holiday to the Philippines every few years since the tickets are very expensive. We’ve went there last year so going for a holiday again this year is out of the plan.

However, my husband was checking prices everyday and took advantage an offer. We are going in August which means there is only a few months left for us to save for our holiday. Continue reading “Top tips on saving for a holiday.”

Days out · Holiday

Orlando, Florida; where to visit which isn’t Disney/Universal theme parks?!?

It is my 10th wedding anniversary this year and my husband and I decided to take a trip to America, without the children! Our first proper holiday without them since our honeymoon!

We have booked 10 days staying in the Hilton Double Tree, International Drive, Orlando (I will be reviewing this hotel after our trip so check back!). We are taking the children to Disney next year so I am not interested in going there this time and as much as I love Harry Potter I have decided the cost of Universal Studios outweights my need to see Diagon Alley and Hogsmead. So, I asked some of my blogging friends where they suggest and the results were:

  • Discovery Cove; we have booked this for the day of our anniversary. Swimming with dolphins, tropical fish, fresh water animals…an all day water experience. As recommended by Samantha  


Photo from Laura  

  • Gatorland, get upclose to gators and has loads of amazing photo opportunities. As suggested by Nicola  

Photo supplied by Tracey

We also had suggestions of some restaurants to visit:

  • Laura also recommended we make sure we go to Cheesecake Factory and also have the cookie skillet dessert at the outback steak house as it’s amazing!!! 
  • Jon suggests we go to The Village Inn opposite the Hilton Doubletree. BEST PIES IN ALL OF AMERICA!!
  • Raglan Road in downtown Disney is great fun. Dinner at the Ritz Carleton near Seaworld is amazing. Ask for the terrace. Suggested by Kate of http://www.modernmum.net/

Does any one have any further suggestions we need to visit?!?

Days out · Holiday · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh

Avoid These Family Summer Holiday Disasters

Holiday are important, right? We save up for them and look forward to them all year. They get us through that awful day in the office when we have so much work we can’t even think about getting home on time. Or when the kids are up at 3 am and won’t stop crying. That is why we need to do the best we can to avoid any holiday disasters. Nobody wants that special vacation time ruined.

So read on to find out the sort of thing that can sabotage your break, and how to avoid them.

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Lost luggage

How long does it take for you to pack the suitcases for all the family, including all the shopping, ironing and washing that need to be done? Ages probably, that is why when your cases go missing between checking in at the airport and boarding the plane, it can be nothing short of a disaster. Especially if you have very young children that need special items like milk formula and nappies.

But what can you do to avoid this?
Well, first of all, a lot of this issue is out of your hands as it’s the airline that misplaces your bags. But you can make it easier for them by labelling your luggage very clearly with your name, address and the location that you are flying too.

Then at least you have a fighting chance of someone seeing it if it ends up on the wrong conveyor belt.

It’s also a great idea to pack essential items like, medications, baby stuff, and anything else that you cannot do without into your hand luggage, which you keep with you at all times. Then at least if the rest goes walkies you will have the bear basics to survive.

Kids are bored 

Another disaster you can have on holiday is that you get there and love it, but the kids are bored out of their minds. This never bodes well, as you are unlikely to get the rest you have been looking forward to and deserve if you are constantly having to come up with new ways of entertaining your brood.

So before you book, check out what is on offer at the location you are considering in terms of activities and day trips. Remember the perfect break is something like these summer adventures for kids, rather than a trial of patience for you!

Hotel isn’t as expected

Something else that can be a real holiday disaster is when you arrive at your destination, and your accommodation is nothing like you expected. Maybe your room is sub par, or the whole resort is more like a building site that a relaxing oasis that you were promised?

But what can you do? Well, first of all, don’t be afraid of complaining. Complain to your hotel and get them to change your room. Then make an appointment to see your holiday rep the next day and insist they do something about this.

You can also mostly prevent the issues of this nature by checking independent reviews on sites like Trip Advisor before you book. To see what thing are like before you part with your money.

 

Days out · Holiday · Life · Live, love, laugh

Perfect Planning For The Family Trip Of A Lifetime


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Traveling with inquisitive kids is a real treat. The innocent way they approach new sights, sounds, and experiences adds a whole new level to a holiday that an adult just can’t experience without them. Every adult has a dream holiday destination in mind. Many people wait until the last kid moves out to head to the four corners of the world to explore. 

But these days, more and more people are taking their children to exciting and exotic destinations to give them the adventure of a lifetime. The theory is that kids who are exposed to interesting new sights and cultures at a young age will grow up to be more inquisitive, adventurous, and it’s a great self-esteem builder. Don’t want for the kids to move out before you head off for your holiday of a lifetime – take them with you.
Decide on a budget

Granted, it’s cheaper to travel as two adults alone, without kids in tow. But at least they’re cheaper than extra adults, right? Before you get your heart set on a destination, you’re going to want some idea of a budget. How are your savings looking? Is a loan viable? Homeowners with a bad credit history are now able to get poor credit loans, which are perfect for a little bit more money to pay for the family holiday of a lifetime. Otherwise, people with stronger credit histories might be able to purchase a fantastic adventure holiday for a small deposit and finance. There are many options available, so be sure to do your research before you set your heart on your destination.


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Beach or adventure?

What sort of holiday do you all desire? Is a city break your dream holiday? Would you prefer a road trip, a relaxing beach trip, or an adventure through the wilderness? The beauty of adventure holidays, including road trips, is that they can be super engaging for children of any ages. The educational aspects of these types of holidays are part of what is making them increasingly attractive to families in recent years. 

City breaks tend to be packed with beautiful sights, and interesting museums and shops, but can often be stressful for families. The busy streets and stress of navigating can make it less popular with families. Choosing the type of holiday that you’ll all enjoy is essential before you start looking properly.

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Sound the kids out

This is their holiday too, so their input is essential. What sort of holiday do they want to do? What are some of their current aspirations? Do they dream of riding on an elephant, zip-lining, visiting a space centre, or seeing lions in the wild? The family holiday of a lifetime should include things that every family member wants to do – even the tiniest toddler. 
Dates vs destination?

Depending on your budget and school holidays, you might find that you are required to compromise on some aspects of your trip. Are you able to travel during school terms? This is obviously one of the best ways to keep travel and accommodation costs low. Otherwise, are you willing to compromise on the destination or the length of the trip to keep travel costs down? 

If the dates you’ve chosen are fixed, it can seriously hike the price up. The flexibility of a week on either side could really help you to find cheaper flights and accommodation, even outside of term time.


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Get packing

Traveling as adults is straightforward – passports and visas are basically all we need, almost everything else we can source at the airport or our destinations. When traveling with children, it’s a whole other kettle of fish, especially for long haul flights. Taking provisions is essential, not just for their comfort, but for your sanity too. Food, entertainment, comfort blankets, pillows – basically the kitchen sink – are imperative. 
Get organised

Do you need a visa or visa waiver? Do your children need one too? Does your travel insurance cover the children, or do they need to be added too? Does the accommodation you’ve booked accept children? Are there any safety concerns for your destination that need to be accounted for? Are yours and your children’s vaccinations and boosters up to date? Getting organised well in advance avoids the mad rush that comes before traveling. Knowledge about your destination and any of its nuances will also help to put your mind at ease about traveling with children. Organisation is everything.
Taking children on the holiday of a lifetime can be stressful, but incredibly rewarding, educational, and inspiring. Have you ever taken your children somewhere a little bit obscure? 

Leave a comment and let us know!