Well, the school holidays are here again. They’re great for spending time together as a family – in fact, 78% of parents look forward to them* – but they can also be an expensive time to travel. We know Aussies can be creative, especially when it comes to saving money, so we asked what your tricks are for making the most of school-holiday travel. The results* were surprising and occasionally a bit cheeky!
- 55% of Aussie parents have lied about their kid’s age in order to get a freebie while travelling
- 22% have snuck their kids into accommodation without paying for them (note: we definitely do not recommend this)
- 38% have chucked a sickie to take a few extra days off with the kids during the school holidays
- 48% have travelled interstate to avoid their own state’s school holidays, hoping to beat the crowds and save some cash
- 25% have taken their family or kids with them on a business trip that happened to coincide with the school holidays
While we love your ingenuity, there are some easier ways to save on school-holiday travel – and they’re all completely above board. Our top five family travel hacks are…
1. Look beyond cheap airfares: While you might find a great airfare, do your research and look beyond the first part of your holiday. Check out the family accommodation options within the region to make sure there are stays available that match your travel dates and your budget.
2. Apartment vs. resort accommodation: While apartments can provide great value for families, it’s worth weighing up the facilities you can access while staying at a resort or hotel. Resorts often include pools, tennis courts, and kids’ playgrounds, which mean hours of free on-site entertainment. In an apartment, without such perks, the kids may get restless, leading you to spend more money on activities.
3. Search for added bonuses or ‘kids stay free’: Keep an eye out for hotel inclusions like free breakfast or parking. When you’re searching on Wotif, you can narrow down your results to only show properties that include these bonuses by ticking options in the ‘amenities list’ (on the left-hand side of the search results page). Another thing to consider is that many hotels and resorts offer fantastic savings for families, particularly destinations such as Fiji and Bali. For example, kids under 12 stay free at the Radisson Blu Resort Fiji.
4. Activities: Most cities have joint-attraction discount passes that give you cheaper admission to a number of popular activities and tourist sites. We have many passes available through Wotif Activities, including the fantastic Gold Coast 7-Day Super Pass. On top of saving your money, (sometimes close to 30%), an attraction pass can let you skip the line at many tourist hot spots.
5. Be flexible with dates: If you can – and if you have permission from your child’s school – consider travelling outside of school-holiday dates. For example, Coffs Harbour is one of the most popular family destinations these school holidays, but if you wait a month and travel in May, you could save close to 25% on your accommodation**.
Plan your family getaway today!
*Based on responses from more than 1,200 Australian parents via the Wotif Insider blog from 21 March 2018 – 26 March 2018.
**Based to the average daily rate for 3 – 5 star-rated and self-rated accommodation on Wotif.com between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017 for travel from 9 April 2018 – 23 April 2018, compared to travel from 14 May 2018 – 28 May 2018.