June schools holidays are just around the corner. After working hard for half of the year, it's time to kick back with a fun-filled family vacation. But since most of us will have the same idea, how do you still enjoy quality family vacation without going for broke due to high peak-time prices?
It's possible! We've thought of some unique and clever ways to save and still have a rolling-good-family-time:
Camping can be very easy on the pockets. If you prefer somewhere local but not East Coast or Pasir Ris Park, try Pulau Ubin. Alternatively, take a budget airline and fly to the national parks of Sabah or Sarawak. Family bonding can take place over fishing, barbequing, seashell-picking or star-gazing. There's something to keep everyone occupied.
Malaysia is also a great place to go for a road trip. For a 200km drive from Johor Bahru, you can go have fun camping under the stars and rhino-spotting at Endau-Rompin National Park. For a longer drive, you can opt for Malacca or Penang.
Think about it. You'll have all the comforts of home and this is especially useful when you have kids travelling with you. It will save you tonnes on accommodation. Give it a try - http://www.1sthomeexchange.com/browse-asia-10.html or http://www.homewelcome.com/south-east-asia/.
One good thing about being in this part of the world is that there are many wonderfully exotic lower-cost neighbouring countries which western holiday-makers fork out good money to experience. Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines – the choices are only limited by your own preferences. Also, remember to take advantage of the fluctuating currency exchange rates. For example, the Korean won has dropped quite a bit compared to a few years ago. Same thing with the Australian dollar.
Seasoned travelers already know how difficult and expensive it can be to fly on peak days. Those with more flexible schedules may want to consider traveling on days that tend to be less busy. While off-peak periods can vary according to airlines and locations, generally, avoid flying on Fridays and Saturdays.
Yes, Disneyland and theme parks may be the Mecca for most children, but they don't come cheap. If you're smart about it, you do not have to burn a hole in your pocket though. For example by visiting on weekdays instead of Saturdays, buying online and getting the online discount, by using clip coupons or even arriving after 4pm after the crowds have dispersed and the entrance fees have been slashed.
Got a close friend overseas? Why not reach out to them to host you? Even if they can't let them stay with you, they may offer to drive you around, give you local tips on where to go, obtain local rates for tickets and other ways on how to save money.
The last is to remember that children do not care how much the holiday costs. Kids are happy anywhere on the beach in summer. There's no need to fly to the Caribbean - they won't appreciate the palm trees. Same with expensive day outs - of course they like the zoo but at a young age they enjoy farms and pet shops.