One of the things people on the Internet (and at the school gates) feel to need to ask me in regards to our Livvy Bird Adventures instagram is how do I afford to go on holiday with only one income. Of course, on the surface it’s not really anybodies business, as long as I pay my rent and bills, what I do with any extra money is up to me. But in the vein of wanting to help everyone have a holiday (because life is tough for most people and everyone deserves a break) I’m going to tell you three ways I make my holidays affordable.
Obviously, what i’m going to say is of course personal choice. Having fantastic Disney holidays is my favourite thing to do and it’s worth any sacrifices but I know not everyone will feel the same. But this is how I do it;
Give Up Your Vices
Prior to being a parent I had a very active social life. I went out multiple times a week, I ate out for at least one meal every day. I went to the cinema and I travelled all over the country visiting friends and family. But when I became a parent that stopped and I soon realised just how much I spent on these things. I had a new outfit every time I went out. I drank cocktails and paid to get into clubs and for taxis to and from town. I didn’t go to the cinema on the cheap days and I never brought my own drink. I ate steak and had dessert. All these things would blow my mind these days as I just see it as money I could spent on holiday.
I shopped all the time. Going into Topshop and spending hundreds of pounds, having shopping trips on payday, it was all normal. I smoked menthol cigarettes and I bought expensive gifts for people. Of course the smoking and shopping curbed when I became pregnant but now my daughter is 5 I’ve never felt the need to go back to it. That money now benefits her.
I rarely ever book a holiday from the main website. They rarely do discounts and it’s always top prices. Instead I sign up to Sky Scanner for flights, I use Travel Supermarket and book my hotels with Hotels.com. I look for travel companies that offer freebies when I book such as the $200 gift card for booking a Disney trip, or money off at Planet Hollywood at Disneyland Paris, or somewhere that offers free travel insurance. I wait for big discount days such as summer sales, Black Friday and the January Sale which is notorious for good holiday discounts. I use discount codes, groupons, nectar points, you name it. I compare prices and I’m happy to play companies off each other to get the best price possible.
I also pretty much always book everything separately. Doing the work that a travel agent would do can save you so much money in the long run and all it usually takes is a night in front of a laptop with a notepad and pen.
Save Save Save
Sadly, the only way to afford a big holiday these days is to save like crazy. I save about £300 a month which is a big chunk of my wages. I’m thankful for birthdays and Christmas my parents and family are happy to give me money (usually in the currency of where I’m going) to help out but the bulk of it I pay myself. Like with paying for the holiday itself I shop around for everything else in life such as food, presents and I buy second hand a lot. To pay for our Walt Disney World trips I have to be dedicated and for me, it’s worth it. It’s worth hours shopping around, it’s worth saving and it’s worth giving up stuff for. As I see that money build up in my savings I get so excited and love feeling accomplished!
If you’re still short and it really will be a holiday of a life time you could look into loans online, this could be used to pay for your flights (which you usually have to pay as a lump sum rather than bit by bit like you would with a package) and then you could pay it off as you can afford. Usually you will have to pay more than your initial loan but it could be worth it in the long run. I often use my credit card for a big payment like flights as you have the added cover if something happens. As I said above, this is personal choice!
Hopefully this clears up any questions and will help other people planning a big holiday for 2018!