School holidays have already begun for some and for others, they’re just around the corner. With the kids at home and a break from work, it’s time to kick back and have some fun.

Family Holiday

But holiday fun can be expensive. If you are saving for a home loan deposit or are up to the hilt in home loan repayments, it can be tricky to fully relax and enjoy the break.

To help you out, we’ve got some tips on how to spend less these school holidays, so that you can have a good time without breaking the budget.

Research your trip

If you want to head out of town, it’s worth doing some research. Check comparison websites for cheaper flights, and accommodation. Last minute deals often crop up, even in school holidays, so dedicate some time on the internet to finding out what’s available.

When you’ve settled on a destination and made a booking, research the area. Public transport can be a cheaper alternative to hiring a car, so get to know routes, timetables and fares. Research free activities in the region such as visiting botanical gardens, going to a gallery, taking a forest walk or a trip to the beach. Many holiday destinations run free events during school holidays, so let Google be your guide.

Consider a house swap

A house swap can be a free alternative to paying for expensive accommodation. Research house swapping websites and connect with a family that wants to visit your home town.

Pack your lunch

Holidays away can be expensive because on top of air fares and accommodation, you also have to feed your family. Without the convenience of home appliances to help you prepare meals, the cost of dining out soon adds up. Try staying in self-contained accommodation where you have access to a kitchen and can cook in the evenings. Even if you’re staying in a hotel, you can still pack lunch and snacks to take with you for the day. That way, you’re not depending on cafes and restaurants. Being a little organised can go a long way.

Take to road less travelled

It can be tempting to hit the famous destinations but taking the road less travelled is often cheaper and accommodation easier to find. Talking to friends and using the internet to learn about destinations you’ve never heard of can lead to some surprising finds.

Home is where the holiday is

With all the pressure to have fun, it can be tempting to try and do everything. Sometimes, just relaxing at home can be the best use of your free time. And the bonus? It’s less expensive. Think of unusual or fun things to do close to home and save on travel and accommodation expenses.

Save for next time

A less expensive holiday now might mean you can start saving for a bigger trip next time. Dedicate a little money each week to your holiday fund. If you want something more elaborate, chat with your Smartline Adviser about restructuring your loan, and accessing more funds.