Cheap Family Vacations – Does It Get Any Better Than This?

Isn’t it great?

If you are a family looking for a well-earned holiday – and you have some spare cash to pay for it – the deals on offer lately have been unbelievable.

From airlines to cruise lines, hotels to theme parks, everyone seems to be offering a deal. And until tourist numbers pick up substantially, it seems the deals are here for a while yet.

Cruise lines are regularly offering 50% or more off their scheduled prices. Some airlines are offering their seats for free, as long as you pay the taxes and fees, so they’re obviously hoping to make some money out of selling you stuff during the flight! Many hotels are offering the “buy two nights, get one night free” type of deal, which can be very attractive for family travel.

One note of caution though – if the tourist operator is offering such a cheap deal, will they still be in business when I come to take the trip I paid for today?

That’s a valid question, particularly when for example record numbers of airlines have gone bust worldwide in the last 12 months. And that’s where the well-known business trade-off comes in  – you have to measure the risk (of the airline or hotel going under) against the return (the cheapest deals we have seen for a long time).

If you are looking to take the risk, here’s some of the steps you can take to reduce the risk of ending up out of pocket:

  • buy travel insurance straight after you have paid for your holiday. It’s no use trying to buy it once the tour operator has gone bust!
  • check the background of the company you are giving your money to. Are they financially stable? If they are listed on the stock exchange, check online to see how the analysts rate them.
  • don’t book too far ahead. If you are paying now for a trip in a year’s time, that’s an awful long time in which the operator might buckle under the financial strain.
  • pay with your credit card. You may have some recourse through the card company if things go bad.
  • pay as little up-front as possible. For example, you can take advantage of those cheap air fares for 6 months hence, but leave it until much closer to the time of travel to book and pay for your hotels etc
  • shop around – there are amazing last-minute deals going.

Following these simple rules can save you money and stress, so that you don’t come home from your family vacation feeling like you need a vacation!