We seemed to have fallen into a pattern over here when it comes to our Summer Holidays; alternating UK travel with going “abroad”. Last year was Cornwall, the year before Italy, next year Scotland, and this year? Well it just so happens we booked that yesterday, and are heading back to Italy. This year though we are heading a little more south (but not too much) and come August we will be Vacaying in Tuscany (and I can’t blumming wait)! What’s even better is I stuck to my thrifty guns and it most certainly ticks the box as a Budget Family Holiday (without losing class/charm).
As I say 2 years ago we were in Northern Italy at Lake Garda and fell in love with everything about it. I LOVE Italy and so do the kids (and Nath), and of course from then on we all wanted to explore more of it. However, other than Rome and Pompeii it didn’t really feature on my top 10.
We didn’t go into this saying “We are going to Italy again this year”, in fact we kept trying to avoid it and find a new place to discover together…Barcelona? Croatia? Malta? but suddenly after a few Skyscanner searches, we stumbled upon Tuscany and it very quickly became incredibly exciting and a beautiful reality.
For weeks we have thrown around locations wondering where we might like to visit and decided in the end to set a budget and see what we could come up with around that. The Budget (which for some may seem ridiculously low for a family of 5) was £600, but I love a good challenge and this was it! I will point out that this was just for flights and accommodation – we will obviously take spending money too and pay for transport or hire a car depending on what we deem as the best option.
European travel can be so cheap and I don’t believe in spending more than necessary on a holiday. Regarding food, we are of the opinion that food needs to be bought at home or on holiday and rarely factor that into our budgets as there is little difference in what we would spend that week at home or on holiday (especially when Europe is rich with Lidl stores).
Budget Family Holiday Plan of action
Whenever we travel anywhere I always follow the same steps – Skyscanner and then either Trivago (if it’s just me and Nath) or AirBnb (if its all of us). I find the best flight and then match up the accommodation with the remainder of the budget.
For this years summer holiday we weren’t particularly eager to go to one of our “Top 10” places and spend it sightseeing and cramming, rather we just wanted to go somewhere chilled out, near a beach and guaranteed sunshine. So I started off on Skyscanner to narrow down some options…
My one goal was to find flights for us all for around the £250 mark, leaving about £350 for a semi decent place to stay. The options during August that ticked the boxes on price, sun and water, were Menorca, Milan (looking at lake como), France, Majorca and Malaga. Some we had been to, others didn’t marry up on the accommodation, and then a few days later Pisa came up at £50 each and the more I looked into it and what we could do there, I knew it was the one. The flight was from Leeds (convenient) and when I clicked on it for mid August, it actually was only £47 each – BARGAIN!
Next (keeping the flight deets open) I opened a new page and scouted out some options for our accommodation. For us all the best option is most definitely AirBnb. As a word of advice; when you start looking at hotels, lodges, apartments etc on holiday sites (even Eurocamp) you are looking at £1,000+ for a week. AirBnb guarantees the space, a nice home, good locations and will keep within your budget!
Following this, I quickly found a beautiful farm house in the hills, complete with stream, incredibly views, olive trees and animals. It’s 40 mins from the beach, Airport and city and was a grand total of £364 for 7 nights. It looks Idyllic and so of course we booked it all!
The budget was £600, and with a few extra things on the flight, the grand total for 5 of us for 7 nights in Tuscany is a bargainous £630 (Not bad at all)!!
Our Budget Family Holiday 2017 in Tuscany is going to be gorgeous, and probably filled with way more sightseeing than we planned on, but it will be mint, perfect for us all, and we cannot wait!
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