Having kids changes everything! And I mean, everything! It changes the way you spend your weekends, it changes the way you do date nights and it changes the way you spend your holidays. It even changes the way you pee! (Here's to dreaming of a solitary bathroom once in a while).
So although life is now one massive change from what it was pre-kids, it doesn't mean you can't still plan and enjoy some awesome family holidays. The problem with this though, is that you are often way more financially disadvantaged than you were before. Think single income family with a bunch of rugrats. This however, shouldn't stop you from travelling altogether so here are some pointers to having a great family holiday even without the second income.
1. Plan your holidays in advance - although it was fun to spontaneously drive to another state for the weekend, or book a holiday a couple of weeks out B.K (before kids), you need to be way more organised now, especially when it comes to paying for your trip. So plan your trip dates well in advance but remember to be flexible if you can.
2. Work out what kind of holiday you would like - camping, 5 star resort, AirBNB, staying with relatives, squatting... whatever floats your boat.
3. Work out how you are going to get there and how long your trip will be. Then work out roughly how much the entire trip is going to cost you,including travel, visas, accommodation, food, spending money etc.
4. Now work out how much money you can put aside to save for your holiday. Now just divide the total holiday cost by the amount you can save each week and that will tell you how many weeks you need to save to get your holiday. Yeah, that number may be quite depressing but before you reach for a glass (or two) of wine, there are ways to reduce that number but firstly.... are you okay with this number? If yes then set up your savings to go directly into a separate account every week and watch the numbers grow! If no, then there are ways to bring your holiday closer by either reducing the cost of the trip, earning some extra money or selling off a few members of the family (jk).
Here are some ways to reduce your holiday costs:
* Book out of peak season
* Change your accommodation to a less expensive option
* Use the deal sites such as Groupon, Cudo, Holiday Deal etc to get a better deal
* Fly with a budget airline
* Get a bigger suitcase and smuggle your husband in that to save on airfares
Once you have reduced the cost of your trip as much as you can there are still some ways to get you a little closer to your holiday....
* Cut back on some things at home to give you a little extra cash - maybe you can give up chocolate for a few months (yeah right!) or cut back on cafe dates with your mum friends. Maybe you could disconnect Netflix for the time being or switch to some cheaper brand grocery items.
* Make a little extra cash if you can by babysitting some of your friends kids now and then, selling items on eBay and Gumtree or picking up some jobs on sites like Airtasker. All these things will really add up and you may be surprised at how quickly you can actually save for that amazing holiday you have been dreaming about.
If you do your budgeting well, you will be surprised at what money you can find when you work out what your priorities are.