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Some of the most cherished memories I have are of the holidays I’ve been on with my kids over Christmas. We’re by no means a rich family, but we try to get away every year, even just for a few days. Here’s what’s worked for us:

Road or Rail Trip It

Flights can be expensive, especially during the Christmas season. If they’re getting too expensive, consider a road or rail journey instead.

The act of getting to your destination can be an unforgettable part of the trip (I remember, for instance, my whole family doing karaoke in the car), and it can be much more fun than dealing with airports and security.

Stay local

Holidaying interstate can be a breath of fresh air for the whole family, so don’t assume that a great holiday can only take place overseas. Australia is glorious!

If you want to keep it Christmasy, pick destinations that offer things like Christmas markets, parades, carols, fireworks and other events that can help shape your trip and make it all the more exciting.

Christmas markets

Book Flights Early

If you do need to fly, book those flights as early as you can to avoid surge pricing.

Other money-saving tricks can involve going with cheaper airlines, looking for deals, using frequent flyer points, and flying midweek rather than on the weekend, when fares tend to be higher.

Things like travel insurance can also help you out if an emergency happens and you have to cancel your flights.

You Don’t Have to Go Far From Home

Don’t overlook what your backyard has to offer! A break over the holidays can easily be had close to home, and it can work with even the smallest of budgets.

Is there a beach that’s easily reachable? A National Park? Or a city? It’s all about changing your scenery, not necessarily travelling far distances.

When we lived in Sydney, we once took our kids camping in the Blue Mountains National Park for Christmas, and it was a hit.

Family at Christmas

Go All-Inclusive

All-inclusive packages can save you a lot of cash. These will often include accommodation, meals and drinks, sports and beach equipment (e.g. kayaks) as well as things like activities or babysitting for the kids.

We’ve taken advantage of this a couple of times in destinations like Fiji and Bali and it’s made for a much less expensive trip.

Cook Your Own Way

This is one of my favourite alternatives to eating out every night, and it’s saved us a lot. Just make sure that when you book your accommodation, you choose something with a kitchen.

Cooking every night can be a cheaper (and healthier) dining option and if you’re kids are old enough; it can be a fun family activity.

When you do choose to take the family out for a meal, it’ll feel like more of a treat as well, as opposed to just another night out on the town.

Spread the Love

Got family or friends who you’d love to go away with? Renting a local holiday house or villa (ideally one with lots of bedrooms) can be an excellent way to split accommodation costs and save.

We’ve done this twice so far and had a blast each time. The quality time together was fantastic and on our last trip, everyone else even took the kids out for a day, leaving us to relax!

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

    10 Comments

  1. Great options for having a low key Christmas. Keeping the holiday low stress helps make the season more enjoyable!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Brianna! We’ve also found that low key during the holidays is one of the best ways to go 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  2. All valid ways to save and plan for a budget-friendly trip. As a kid, we holidayed at the same place each year by the beach. Even though it was we the same we still loved the experience each year. Great comment about distance, yes you are right no need to go too far just change the scenery

    • We did the same as a kid, visited the same place at Christmas time, and we looked forward to it every year. Even though it’s the same, the experience can still feel new when 12 months has gone by since your last trip there 🙂

      Merry Christmas Mark!

  3. Great ideas for having a low-key and family orientated Christmas. It’s so nice to make time to spend with the family and to do so in a meaningful way is great.

    • Absolutely Vicki – I’ve found from our own family holidays that it doesn’t have to be this huge ordeal; keeping Christmas low key means we’re not distracted from the true meaning of spending time with our family and loved ones 🙂

      Merry Christmas!

  4. Nice ideas and I think the busy traffic and high airfare is always the biggest concert for traveling during holiday seasons.I had some friends going out on a road trip this Christmas but had to return due to traffic control…..@knycx.journeying

    • Definitely the time of year where vacations need to be planned in advance. Sorry to hear your friends had to return from their vacation due to traffic. We always try to leave really early to miss the jams.

      Merry Christmas!

  5. I love the idea of a staycation so staying local sounds good to me 🙂 Great list of ideas for saving money, thanks for sharing. Happy travels!

    • Local vacations are the best! We’ve found that the exhilaration of a holiday is all about that feeling of experiencing something new – so even if it’s just driving 2 hours to rent a shack on the beach, there’s a great opportunity for a holiday there! And local travel is so stress free when compared to an international trip!

      Happy travels Carmen 🙂

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