Are you one of those people with a travel itch that you just have to scratch? If so, you might be planning your next trip away as we speak. You might not be someone that travels regularly or you might prefer to be a bit more spontaneous when you plan a getaway. We are definitely having to be a bit more spontaneous now that Max is in school. We try to fit trips in and around school holidays, as well as inset days and such. We’ve even been thinking of a quick getaway in the Christmas holidays.
If you wanted to do the same, then there is still time! The school’s break up in less than two weeks so you could see if there are any Christmas bargains for a trip away. Here are my tips for planning a bit of a last minute and spontaneous trip abroad.
Decide on a Budget
At this time of year it might seem like you are spending money left, right, and centre. So be sure to make a solid budget plan. It might literally be what you’d earn from work in that time, or be money that you have set aside. Whatever it is, set a budget and stick to it. I find that having a rough cost for each day helps, then when we’re away, I can judge if we are going over or not.
Set Flight Alerts
One of the best ways to book flights, last minute or not, is to set alerts with sites like Kayak. You let them know the route that you want to take and they will let you know when they find the lowest price for you. You can set how much you’d pay in most instances too. So it will only alert you if it has found flights that are in your budget. Then it needs to be a case of book it right away. It is really handy for getting the lowest price for flights.
Choose Villa Accommodation
When you are traveling with a young family, then I find that villa accommodation is the best way to go. It becomes a home away from home and you can do things as you normally would. Things like bath time and going to sleep in their ‘own’ rooms is a big plus. When you are all in a hotel room it can make it hard for bedtime or nap time, for example. You’ll tend to have your own pool and laundry facilities too which can make travel with kids much less stressful. Plus, with you wanting to get a few gifts out on Christmas eve perhaps, it is easier to do when you can make a little bit of noise. Somewhere like Tots to Travel would be a good place to look for villas that are family friendly.
Be Prepared to Wing It
It might be hard to go away without having much idea of what you’re going to do. But that is what makes it a big adventure. You’ll have time to research what to do when you’re there, or you could just go and explore. We like to eat out on the first night and get chatting to the local people. They know the best things to do much more than any website ever will, we have found. It also works with packing too. Pack light (or as light as you can with kids)!
Have you ever been aboard for Christmas? One other point I would add is to go easy on the gifts if you are away for the big day. I’d also advise not to wrap the presents. If your cases get searched, they will more than likely need you to open them. So think about gifts bags or something instead.