I often hear the question: “How do you manage to travel so much with the kids”? It must be so expensive! Well I’ve got good news for you because if you plan your trips well ahead and research properly, you can make it happen for a very affordable cost. During summer our whole family (2 adults 2 children) flew from Finland to the Greek islands for a total cost of 198 euros! Now that’s cheap! Sometimes the money we save on airfares, we prefer to invest it in the hotel stay. Some people like doing the opposite. Whatever you prefer (or both) here are some of the tricks I use when searching for flights and hotels.
- Search for flights on cheap regional airlines. In the GCC go for Flynas, Flydubai. Nesmaair, Cebu, Air Arabia, Jet Airways, Jazeera Airways and the new SaudiGulf airline.
- Browse flights on cheap airfare finders: Cheapoair, Momondo, Skyscanner.
- Join airlines for their sky miles clubs and sign up for hotel memberships (Accra hotels give 10% membership discount)
- Book flights for Monday and Tuesdays. Flights tend to be cheaper on those days and most expensive on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Clear browser when searching for flights, prices may change during the day and from one day to another. Always open up the airfare calendars to find the cheapest rates available over a longer time period.
- Travel off-season when you can avoid peak holiday seasons and weekends.
- Get the Hopper app to predict when flight prices will get cheaper.
- Purchase the Entertainer app for offers on hotels (stay one night free)
- Sign up for airlines newsletters for special promotions and exclusive offers.
- When booking hotels on booking sites, check for ones that allow children to stay for free in existing beds.
- Double check on the trivago site that you’re getting the lowest rate for the hotel stay.
- Drive to your destination instead of flying. Petrol is cheap in the Middle East and roads are in great condition. As a bonus on the way you can stop by for some sightseeing that your kids will enjoy
- Consider using public transport. In KSA the train from Riyadh to Dammam is excellent and very affordable.
- Instead of hotels, stay at furnished apartments. They are often very good value for money and just as clean as hotels for a fraction of the price. Added bonus is you get a kitchen and separate rooms for children and adults.
- Check Airbnb for accommodation at low cost.
What are your tried and tested travel hacks to save money?