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Tips for Holidaying with a Toddler on a Budget

Myself, Bear & Bear’s daddy recently went on a family holiday together (if you follow me on Twitter, you probably already knew this) and we had such a lovely holiday, whilst also being on a budget. We even met up with the wonderful Amy & her little dude and had such a lovely time. Because we have family in different areas of the country, we will take little breaks to visit them but this time, we wanted to go somewhere different and see different things. We stayed in South Cornwall for a week and honestly, we didn’t have any trouble with money or not having anything to do etc. Bearing in mind we also drove (I drove) all the way from Wigan in Manchester to Southern Cornwall and we had an 18 month old in tow, it was challenging. But so worth it. I want to share my tips on holidaying with a toddler whilst on a budget.

1. Look for Bargain Trips. We got our holiday through The Sun newspaper deals (you know, the ones from £9.50). Depending on the time you go, depends how much the total is but it’s bound to be a good saving from not finding the deal. The good thing was, we had months from booking it until our date of arrival too so plenty of time to prepare. I also know that sites like Living Social, Groupon & Wowcher amongst others, also provide budget friendly deals. Just have a look around. It might take a bit of time to find the perfect getaway, but it will be so worth it. You could also search through DealsDaddy who provide voucher codes for all sorts of items you may need such as clothing, shoes, accessories, pet supplies, home decor, furniture and more.

2. Plan your Break. If you have some time before your journey, get online. Have a look at the area you’re staying in, look at what’s nearby. Any attractions? Things you like the look of doing/seeing? Get some prices, find out the times of opening, what it’s like that season. Maybe make a rough itinerary of your trip allocating days for different activities, but make sure it can be mixed up a bit. You may plan to visit the beach but when you get there, the weather might be hit & miss so maybe you could swap that activity for another day when the weather might be nicer, or maybe you just don’t fancy it that day when it comes to it. We also looked for free things to do/areas to visit as well as ones that cost. As I said, we met up with Amy who I’ve been talking to for about 2 years now but never met so we had some lovely times with her and her little one too. It’s about the memories more than money, especially if you have a young toddler.

3. Shop Around. Need some new clothes? Need some holiday appropriate items? Have a look around! We went on holiday at the beginning of September, so all of the summer wear was on sale in stores. This meant that some items of clothing we wanted to pop in our suitcases just in case (let’s face it, British weather isn’t that great 60% of the time) were on offer or end of season sales. One place I did like looking for holiday wear was Love the Sales*. The site gathers information on sales from hundreds of other sites to find you just what you’re looking for rather than having to search every individual site. I managed to get some Jeans from Dorothy Perkins, some leggings & pyjamas from Very & a top from a site I actually hadn’t heard of before. I was so impressed though, and even though I was looking at the time of end of season sales, there was so much choice. It really is worth looking though as you will find so many things you will need. I also really love bargain places like Primark, Home & Bargains and supermarkets for scouting out other items I needed.

4. Budget for Petrol/Food/Necessities First. I found that it made things so much easier by roughly working out how much petrol I might use & making sure we could get food in rather than eating out all of the time and the rest of our money was ours to play with. I looked up how many miles the journey was (a full tank of petrol) times that by the journey down, the journey home & petrol down there and that was a maximum of around £150. I then worked out that a weeks worth of breakfast & teas (with a few dinners thrown in) would be approximately £50 with room for any essentials we might need to top up on=£80. We didn’t ever say ‘no’ to eating out, we just felt it would be better for our pockets & also to keep a bit of routine for bear, that we had meals in the caravan too. We had tea out on 2 evenings & had dinner out twice also along with little snacks like Cornish Ice-Cream & the seafood I was craving so much.

5. Save, Save, Save. If you can of course. But if you’ve got plenty of time before your holiday comes, try and save a little. Maybe even throw a couple items in your shop and it’ll soon build up. For example, if you have 7 months until your holiday and you work out that you can save £100 a month, that’s £700 of holiday spends. It all works out, whether you have less than that or more, that’s not the point, you can make all the memories on very little budget.

I’m definitely going to start hunting for our next holiday with lots of planning ideas to use. As I said before, we visit family a lot so even just visiting them is classed as a holiday. You don’t have to leave the country (though you could find good deals on foreign holidays) but free accomodation is better than nothing haha. One major tip I also have, is to make lots of stops on a journey if possible of course. I think the journey was around a 7hr drive for us. The thing was, my legs needed a rest every so often & the toddler definitely needed a rest to have something to eat, have a nappy change & stretch his legs a little. It did make the journey that bit longer but at least we were’t too grumpy ha!

What are your tips for holidaying on a budget or with a toddler? Do you have any holiday recommendations? I’d love to hear them.

*DISCLAIMER: I was sent some products for a feature in a blog post. All opinions and words are my own.

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  • Reply Maisie

    Such useful tips! I’m a bargain hunter so I know that I’ll be checking out the sun deals when we start looking at holidays! x

    September 28, 2017 at 8:11 am
    • Reply Claire

      Oh definitely do! I remember going on one when I was about 17 I think with my ex and 2 friends and it was an alright holiday. Some of the parks they have on the list are really fab too and super family friendly! xx

      December 17, 2017 at 9:45 pm
  • Reply Alice

    Ah these are so useful! Hope you all had a lovely time xx

    September 28, 2017 at 9:43 am
    • Reply Claire

      We did thank you so much 🙂 xx

      December 17, 2017 at 9:46 pm
  • Reply Gee gardner

    Some great tips I will be using! We are yet to go away with the kids so I think it’s about time! Hope you had a fab time! X

    September 28, 2017 at 11:35 am
    • Reply Claire

      Oh my gosh honestly do have a look, the holidays are so much cheaper and you can get some amazing bargains like the clothes I got etc. xx

      December 17, 2017 at 9:47 pm
  • Reply lucie

    Some fabulous tips! I LOVE lovethesales! I’ve got some bargains from there! I know we want to go away next year so will be checking out the sites to hopefully find one!

    September 28, 2017 at 3:49 pm
    • Reply Claire

      I’d never actually been on the website before now but it was so good! I’m definitely going to be using it again, especially when we need things 🙂 xx

      December 17, 2017 at 9:48 pm
  • Reply Kirsty McManus

    I love Love The Sales, although funnily enough I’ve never actually bought clothes from them, only nursery decor! I’ll definitely have to check them out for clothing bits!

    September 28, 2017 at 8:29 pm
    • Reply Claire

      Haha I didn’t actually know you could get nursery decor from them before, I thought it was just clothes but when I had a really good look at the website I found out that they literally have everything on there haha xx

      December 17, 2017 at 9:49 pm
  • Reply five little doves

    Fab tips! We always look for good deals or use discounts, I just need to be more organised so we can save more throughout the year and not just the month before!!

    September 28, 2017 at 10:46 pm
    • Reply Claire

      I do this all the time too! Thinking it’ll be alright then getting stressed because I didn’t plan sooner haha! I can’t wait to see where our next holiday takes us! xx

      December 17, 2017 at 9:50 pm

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