There can be a huge difference between cheap and good-value family holidays. While it's evidently in your best interest to get the best rate for a hotel room or best price for a package holiday, sometimes it's worth investing a little more to ensure your break represents the best possible value.
Should I Book Online…?
You're increasingly likely to find the best value by booking online. Most hotel companies now have best rate guarantees, and many tour operators offer exclusive on-line discounts. On-line agencies such as lastminute.com can also negotiate very competitive rates and fares, while comparison sites let you shop around for the best deal.
Check out our Special Offers pages for our exclusive deals with our hand-picked travel partners.
...Or Use an Agency?
If an agency is merely 'taking your order' and not providing valuable advice, you may get a better deal by going direct. On the other hand, a good independent agency has highly trained, knowledgable staff to guide your family to the destination and accommodation that truly meets your requirements. Take the Family is independent, ABTA bonded and ATOL protected. So consider us too and enquire to secure a great deal on a family holiday.
Should I Book Early…?
Most families book neither early nor late but in-between – which is just about the worst thing you can do! Until recent years, you generally got a great deal by waiting until the last minute, although this approach has always been riskier for families due to their more complex requirements. But 'low cost' airlines and other travel firms now charge less for bookings made a long time in advance and raise the prices as the departure date approaches. Hence, if you're booking independently, the further in advance you can commit, the better. Tour operators also continue to use early-booking incentives, including free child places, to encourage firm bookings a long time in advance.
...Or Last Minute?
There will always be deals on unsold capacity unlikely to be sold at regular prices – but bear in mind that the choice might not be as wide and you may miss out on your preferred resort, the best rooms, childcare places and so on. Especially if you are constrained by school holiday windows.
Other Money-saving Tips
If you're planning on doing a lot of sightseeing, look into visitor's/city passes for reduced-rate entrance to local attractions and, sometimes, cheaper public transport.
Consider taking out an annual family travel insurance policy, which will probably pay for itself after just a couple of trips – but check first if you have existing coverage via a bank account.
Travel just before or after the school holidays if your children are not yet in full-time education.
Choose self-catering over a hotel – apartments, cottages, villas and gîtes generally work out substantially less per night as well as giving advantages such as more space and flexibility.