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We are a big family of 9 and have found it difficult to plan holidays due to the logistics and expense. What are the best cheap holiday options for large families and how can we find those great deals online?
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Planning a holiday for a big group of people can be a challenge - especially when the budget is tight. If you enjoy camping holidays and have the necessary equipment, this is probably one of the most affordable holiday options. If you don't have camping equipment or if roughing it is not your idea of a good time, you can try using a platform like Airbnb to book a house in the area you'd like to vacation in. The great thing about renting a holiday home is that you have flexibility around things like meal times and kids can run around rather than be constrained by the "rules" of being in a hotel or at a resort.
When it comes to more traditional holidays at hotels or resorts, you will get the best deal if you can travel outside of peak tourist season. If there is a destination you like, try signing up to resort newsletters so that you can get updates about special rates. Your local travel professional will also be able to help you find good package deals - if you can find a resort that is fully inclusive (i.e. includes meals and drinks) and offers entertainment for your kids, you might find this to be one of the most cost effective options at the end of the day as you will have no unseen costs.
Lastly, many cruise liners are kid friendly and offer great package deals for families or groups. Cruises usually include all food and entertainment (drinks are normally excluded), although there may be additional costs if you decide to disembark at any ports or participate in any off-ship activities.
Although many people opt to book holidays online with no assistance, I would always recommend booking through an agent if you can. Not only can agents often negotiate better deals than you can find online, but they are on hand to help you out if you are stranded or if there is a travel emergency. You're are also helping keep their businesses afloat during tough times.
Our nuclear family rarely travels alone. Instead, we have large crowds of family that typically book a large house or adjoining condos.
We have found that VRBO and Airbnb are much less expensive than hotel rooms. We try to book off-season slightly to get a better price. We had to sacrifice a few things on our wish list this year as the prices have skyrocketed. Instead of being a few steps to the beach and a pool to use, we are renting a friend's beach house, which is a few blocks from the beach. We will not have the luxury of a pool, but we are happy that we still get to have a large family beach vacation.
We also camp or rent cabins that have proven cheaper than beach rentals. The kids love the camping experience, and sometimes there are fantastic kid and family activities planned if you book at a campground.
With a large family, I can see why you would need to plan carefully for a vacation.
Have fun wherever you go.