Money worries for new parents and young families need not put pay to enjoying some quality time together this summer. If you are watching your budget more than ever this year, Philips AVENT has teamed up with Sue Hayward, one of the country's leading personal finance experts, to offer some tips to help you be savvy when it comes to your summer holiday.
One in five of us will be enjoying a 'staycation' this year, which may mean enjoying days out closer to home rather than a two week break abroad. But whatever your holiday plans, there's lots of ways to make your money go further……
Try somewhere new
Look beyond the euro zone countries and check out destinations like Egypt, Bulgaria, Turkey and Tunisia as they're tipped to be cheaper as their currencies are offering better value compared to the euro if you are converting pounds sterling. And when comparing holidays, don't just look at the brochure price; add in what you'll spend once you're there. That includes all those meals out, bottled water and your hire car bill.
Booking your holiday
Protect your holiday. Over twenty airlines went bust last year, along with big holiday companies like XL, so always look for ATOL bonding when booking. This means you'll get your money back or get flown home free if your tour company goes bust. And booking through an ABTA member, (the Travel Association) gives you extra protection too.
Booking flights on airline websites doesn't offer the same level of protection so pay by credit card if the cost is over £100. Under consumer law this makes your credit card company liable if the airline goes to the wall so you're guaranteed a refund.
Don't buy a policy from a travel agent; shop around to save up to 30%. If you take more than one break a year it's often better value buying an annual policy which covers UK breaks as well as abroad.
Look at the payout not the policy price – minimum medical cover of £2 million is recommended for European holidays by the insurance industry. And worth taking an EHIC, (European health insurance card) too, as this gets you free medical treatment across Europe. It's free – get a form from the Post Office to apply.
Take a 'staycation'
Children may prefer this option as they won't spend hours in airports, cars or on planes so go for family days out. Look in the papers and on websites for discount vouchers for theme parks or get four times more for your money cashing in Tesco clubcard vouchers.
Go self catering for flexible holidays; no fixed meal times and save money ordering your food shopping online before you go if you are holidaying in the UK. This way it's delivered to your holiday home which saves a tiring shopping trip when you arrive and the kids want to hit the beach!
Free or low cost days out in UK
Consider camping – you can save money buying a tent and any equipment on eBay and the kids will love the excitement of a holiday under canvas. And there's lots of free museums across the UK – have a look on the internet or check your local paper for details of activities for kids during the summer holidays.
Swap your home
There's lots of house exchange websites where you sign up and offer to 'swap' properties. You'll save money as you won't be paying a hotel bill and as you won't be staying in the tourist areas you won't pay rip off prices for food, drink and souvenirs. There's usually an annual fee to register your property and you can swap in both the UK and abroad and it's often a way for kids to learn more about the local culture.
19% of us opting for staycation – figs from Legal & General's Changing Face of British Home release (April 4th 2009)
- Sun cream costs from Thomas Cook 'Holiday Cost of Living'
- Philips AVENT has teamed up with Sue Hayward to offer financial advice as part of this year's AVENT Angels campaign.
- Philips AVENT is keen to provide parents and parents-to-be with expert advice to help and enhance their experience with their little ones.
- Sue Hayward joins baby feeding and wellbeing advisor, Vicki Scott, and their new dad advisor Dennis Julien as part of the AVENT Angels