For us who found ourselves from traveling as a couple to traveling as a family of four, literally from one day to the next, this is a problem we had to come up with a solution soon.
Flexibility is the key:
How to find cheap air tickets
1. Please travel with your babes before they turn 2 years old.
2. Look for airplane tickets on different dates and different destinations. Be versatile. On some destinations, on some dates, the tickets will cost you 25€ each, while for others, 300+ each. We will obviously choose to travel, for example, to Jordan in February than to fly to Portugal in August.
3. We’d rather travel off season.
4. I receive newsletters by airlines with offers.
5. We avoid traveling with luggage. We have bought 2 bags, hand-luggage size. We were careful to purchase the ones with the smallest possible dimensions allowed, as we saw on our flight back from Santorini with Volotea passegers being charged with 60€ because their hand luggage didn’t comply. So we pack smart and manage to fit all our stuff into 2 hand-luggage and 4 backpacks. See how here.
6. We fly close by.
7. We like budget airlines.
8. We use skyscanner, which has all flight offers.
1. We travel off season. Traveling during high season or on some Greek holiday, or if it’s a holiday on your destination or the weekend, tends to make costs sky rocket.
2. We use trivago to look for hotel offers.
3. If we have a particula hotel in mind, we book from their website, as they tend to have offers.
3. Since hotels give 2 rooms to families of four or more, we prefer to look for apartments (airbnb and booking).
4. We stay in hotels that offer two or more meals within price.
5. Booking accommodation 3+ months beforehand, will cut cost by -50-80€ per night, depending on the destination and type of accommodation.
6. Staying for 4 days means less expenses than staying for 10. You definitely really see a city in 4 days. Unless of course you opt for camping sites, where a 10 day stay may cost just as much as a 4 day stay in a city hotel.
1. If you can, drive to your destination. It’s cheaper.
2. There are sites with offers.
3. You don’t have to book a car for the whole time you’re there. You may be able to use public transport to go to and from the hotel and spend some days by the hotel pool.
4. Leaving the car in a different country from the one we rented in at adds to the cost.
5. We bring our own car seats for our babies/toddlers, as renting them abroad also adds to the cost.
See more about road trips abroad here.
Meals and other expenses
1. We know our kids. We never order for four.
2. Do you go shopping when you’re abroad? Do you buy souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones back home? Do you do laundry? We don’t. We also look for online theme park offers and learnt that visiting museums with toddlers is a waste.
3. I also like to cook in our apartment. Not every day, but at least once.
4. If our hotel offers 1 or more meals within price, it helps cut down the overall expenses.
Choosing where to go
In Norway or Switzerland, a pizza might cost up to 50 euros. In Bulgaria, this can be the cost per night for a 2 bedroom apartment.
Choosing when to go
The mountains of Bulgaria are a winter must. But they’re lovely in the summertime, too. And much, MUCH, cheaper. Also, in Europe May-October is high season. So if you go to Greece in April or Prague in November, the weather might not be ideal, but accommodation, air tickets and everything else will be so much cheaper.
Ages and number of kids
Traveling with one or more infant (under 2) is like traveling as a couple, money wise. A family of 5 will need to stay in 2 hotel rooms and 5 air tickets. So better go for an apartment, camping or an rv.
What other hacks have you got to be able and travel abroad with your offsprings?