The school holidays are just around the corner so it's a great time to start exploring time away with your kids.
There's no doubt about it: Going on holiday is great fun. But it can also be expensive. According to a Visa Global Travel Intentions Study (2013), Australians spent an average $4118 on their last trip, making them some of the biggest holiday spenders on the planet.
Throw kids in the mix, and your holiday could become that much more expensive. Here are some smart tips to keeping your spending in check when travelling with the whole family.
Set up a high-interest savings account
Before you jet off or jump in the car, it's essential to have funds at your disposal for holiday spending.
Open a high-interest savings account well in advance and deposit a set amount each pay cycle. It can be very motivating seeing the money build up for your next family trip. Plus, because it's a dedicated account, you'll know exactly how far off you are from achieving your savings goal.
Whether you save $200 or $2000 is entirely up to you, depending on your means and travel intentions.
Pitch a tent
For a family-friendly holiday the kids will love, why not go camping?
This is a great option when the weather is starting to warm up. There are plenty of activities that will help your family bond, from beach walks and wildlife spotting to outdoor cricket.
It's a cheap holiday option too — you'll need to pay for food, petrol and possibly a campsite fee, but it can be an affordable, family-friendly option.
Pack your own food
Kids often get hungry at the most inconvenient times. There's nothing that will provoke a tantrum quite like an empty belly!
Having snacks on hand — think rice crackers, nuts and muesli bars — will keep children content between meals, keeping your costs down.
Hunt out the deals
Many hotels offer family package deals — for instance, when you book for parents and a child or two, an additional child might get to stay for free.
Some resorts offer free meals for kids when adults buy dinner, while others provide a free night's accommodation when you book for a minimum specified period.
Review your credit card rewards
Did you know that many credit cards offer bonus travel points with key airlines?
This means while you're swiping the plastic on everyday expenses, you can build up points, which can eventually be redeemed for travel.
There are also credit cards aimed at overseas travellers, which have no or low rates for using foreign currencies.
Just make sure you're smart about your spending in order to cut down your family travel costs!