Cost-Effective Family Vacations

Summer holidays are right around the corner, and you probably need a break even more than the kids!

Here are some ideas that have something to offer the whole family, without breaking the bank.

Discover our national parks

Australia is blessed with an abundance of beautiful national parks, and many of them will allow you to camp for free or a small fee. Many of these are located just outside of major cities, so even urban families can get away into the great outdoors without the need for too long a road trip peppered with the familiar chorus of "are we there yet" ever, oh, five minutes or so. You can get very decent camping gear for not a lot of cash at the big retailers, and keep an eye out for catalogue specials in the coming months.

Take advantage of AirBnb

The cost of hotels and resorts can quickly add up, especially in the summer months when prices are at a premium. Instead, look around for deals on AirBnb and similar sites in your preferred location. You'll have the added benefit of paying less, with the amenities of home, such as a kitchen to help you cut down costs of eating out for every meal.

In some of our bigger cities, even staying for a few days on the other side of town can satisfy the feeling of needing to get away. Explore new neighbourhoods you usually never visit, find some local gems and you might get away with a 'road trip' under an hour, which can be a blessing with small kids.

Plan a couple of day trips instead of one big getaway

Many of us forget how much there is to offer, right on our doorstep. Instead of budgeting for a big getaway, plus the stress of packing and travel, organise a couple of day trips and even let the kids help plan them. You'll have a calendar of wonderful, varied experiences and they'll have more than one trip to look forward to. Plus, you can give everyone in the family an opportunity to get involved and feel like they have some say in what the family gets up to.

Don't shy away from deal sites

A lot of family-friendly holiday destinations post last-minute deals leading up to peak times as they try to maximise capacity when they've got their full arsenal of services and staff ready to go. Sign up to deal sites and keep an eye out - you might be surprised to find all-inclusive holiday packages, that frequently include flights, accommodation and activities, for a fraction of the cost.

Look outside Australia

Many of our neighbouring countries, especially in South East Asia are very budget-friendly. While it might cost a little bit more in travel to get there than if you stayed domestic, this will often balance out by day-to-day costs being significantly . Taking a late flight that arrives early morning in your chosen destination can help ensure you don't have fidgety kids on the plane - they're more likely to sleep if you're flying overnight, and will wake up raring to go in a new location.

Need to organise a holiday in a hurry? Consider a personal loan to secure your vacation today, and pay it off later!