As you may know I love to travel and over the recent years I have really been enjoying our family holidays staying at resorts.
However prior to these more luxurious family holidays, I use to backpack – becoming quite thrifty with how I spent my money whilst abroad. Many of these money-saving tips have carried through to our family travels.
This is how we save money on holidays when staying at resorts.
5 Tips to Save Money at Resorts
1. Choose accommodation that meets ALL your needs.
Choosing the right family accommodation for you can save you money.
You could stay in a self-contained apartment or villa to save costs on eating out by having a kitchen available for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Though of course this means this isn’t much of a holiday for you, which I discussed in my article “It’s Mum’s Holiday Too” hence why I stay at the resort.
If you have little ones that need bottles etc heated you could do as a neighbour of mine does – hire a microwave from the local baby hire company, allowing you to heat bottles and food in your room.
But what I really need from a resort is facilities to amuse my only child son. I look for things like water slides, splash zones, kids clubs, in-house kids activity schedules and now games rooms. This means I don’t have to look outside the resort for addition amusement parks to keep my very active 7-year-old entertained all day. Some resorts may charge for your child to join activities whilst for others it is included – do your research when planning your family holiday.
2. Look for more inclusions.
Until recently I have never been a fan of the all-inclusive holiday, but recently I discovered some real benefits when we stayed at the Grand Mirage Resort Bali and during our stay at the Samabe Bali Suites and Villas.
All our meals, drinks, mini bar, activities and entertainment were included. When we checked out of both these resorts we did not have an extra cent to pay. A great way to keep on budget.
3. Pack snacks
One thing I find travelling with a child is that he is always hungry. No sooner do we get back to our room from lunch (all-inclusive or not) he is asking for snacks. When I pack for our family holiday I always include his favourite go to snacks (rice wheels, tiny teddy’s, boxes of dried fruit, and muesli bars). I choose items that are individually packaged, to save on cleaning up after – remember it’s my holiday too.
4. Utilise the mini mart/supermarket
However if you haven’t packed snacks you can always pop out to the local mini mart that is surely less than a block away. Your local mini mart becomes your friend for cost saving on holiday. This is what I do.
As soon as we arrive at our room I check the mini bar fridge. If it is stocked I call to have it emptied (or empty it myself). Then it is free for me to fill with our preferred beverages that are bought at a fraction of the cost from the nearby mini mart.
Whilst I am there I also buy water – lots of it. Often the resort will only included 2 bottles of drinking water so I always buy a couple of gallon (4L) bottles to use for the kettle, glasses of water in the room and cleaning teeth. I usually buy a 1L bottle as well to take out for the day.
The other thing many mini marts include is a laundry service and if you are away for more than a week you will probably need your clothes cleaned. I get our clothes washed and dried, but not ironed (to save money). We rarely have clothes that need ironing on holiday but if I do there is an iron in the room.
5. Live like a local
When you are heading out to the supermarket you are already starting to utilise the services used by the locals. Take the plunge and go a step further.
We often use public transport as opposed to taxis to get about. In my travel stories about Penang I raved about the Penang Rapid bus service, when we were in Bangkok we jumped on board the Sky train and Bangkok ferry, and even in Sydney with a very young toddler we used the Sydney bus, train and ferries to get about. Using local transport costs a mere fraction of the cost of taxi services.
The other way to live like a local is to use the food courts for eating out. In cities like Singapore residents tend to eat out nightly rather than go home after work and cook. They do this I am sure, because the food courts are so cheap and this is one of the reasons we utilise them regularly too. The other reason is the great local food that you get to experience – which is all part of why I love to travel.
By keeping our costs down and saving money on holiday at resorts means we get to go away again in the not too distant future 🙂
How do you save money on holiday?