Recently I have been looking for a holiday abroad for next year's summer holidays. However, since Ben has gone full-time self-employed recently and we have no guaranteed income amount each month, we are now really having to stick to a much tighter budget with our holidays.
I’ve wanted to go to the Greek Islands on a family holiday for a while now and thought it would be out of our price range. However, I've been searching a bit differently than usual and found a much cheaper way to book a family holiday to Greece. I’ll share with you the ways you can save money on a holiday to Greece in this blog post.
I had been searching for a holiday to Greece using many of the package holiday websites and they come up very costly. As much as I’d love to be able to book a four or five star all-inclusive hotel, this isn’t going to be realistic for us now. Even the self-catering options are really pricey.
When we went to Fuerteventura in 2018, which was the only package holiday we’ve been on as a family abroad, it cost us £2800. It was amazing, but it was a lot of money. The kids were no cheaper than the adult prices, even though they were only three and five at the time! As I also don’t drink, I’m not sure if it’s worth getting all-inclusive or cheaper to go self-catering.
In comparison, we recently did an eight day European road trip and spent £1200 for the whole thing, driving through five countries and visiting three of them.
So now we are in 'budget friendly holiday mode' to be able to visit more places and get more for our holiday budget each year!
Tips on how to get a cheaper family holiday to Greece
Book your own flights
Whilst many of us like the security of booking a package holiday when going abroad, surprisingly it’s not always the cheapest way. The travel agents have to make a commission and so it’s not always the best value, but can just provide reassurance that we know who to go to when there’s a problem.
It can be much cheaper to book your own flights to Greece and find your own accommodation.
Using a website such as Skyscanner means you can input your flight dates and destination and they’ll search loads of flight providers to find the cheapest flights based on your criteria. You can even set up an alert or check back daily to keep an eye on flight prices as they do fluctuate.
Flights are usually the most expensive part of a holiday to Greece and accommodation can be found for very reasonable rates.
Keep an eye on Skyscanner and remember to check for cashback from the flight provider you choose to go with to make the flights even cheaper.
I just searched London to Crete for 20-27th July 2020 and the cheapest direct flight is £353 per person. If you don’t mind a longer route then you can save even more by taking an indirect flight. The more stops, the cheaper, but obviously the longer the journey will be.
Find your own accommodation
There are lots of websites you can use to find affordable accommodation in Greece too. I’ll include one of my favourites in the next section of this blog post. If you’re not sure where to stay as you usually rely on the package holiday websites for information on the best resorts on Greek islands, then check out online guides such as where to stay in Crete or use Google to find recommendations. Make use of travel blogs and use Trip Advisor to find the best places to stay.
Find affordable accommodation with Airbnb
My best accommodation tip is to look on Airbnb. There are all sorts of ideas from single rooms to apartments or entire houses and villas.
I just searched the same dates and for 20-27th July 2020 the cheapest accommodation I have found is a cosy house in Viannos for only £145 suitable for a family of four! That’s incredible! That includes the cleaning and service fee too and is the entire price for the whole week.
When we were in Bruges I found hotels were charging £300 per night, perhaps as we were booking with just over one week’s notice, but still. I tried Airbnb and found a two bed apartment for just £60 per night. What a difference!
If you are a new customer to Airbnb then I have a great discount code to share with you today. You can save £25 on your first accommodation booking if you sign up to Airbnb via this link.
Choose self-catering and buy your own food
By choosing to buy your own food you will save a small fortune. On our last holiday we had cereal for breakfast, or I just had a coffee, then we took a packed lunch out with us and cooked our own food in the evenings. That saved us a lot of money based on going out.
Many of the Greek islands have supermarkets such as Lidl so you can find affordable food and save lots of money compared to eating at cafes and restaurants every day.
If you do eat out then look out for meal deals and special offers that include a drink or several courses for a better deal.
Hire a car and explore the island yourself
Expensive days out and entry prices on holiday can quickly stack up, especially as a family of four or more. Instead, it’s much better value to hire a car and explore the island yourself.
As a guide, a quick search on TravelSupermarket finds me car hire for only £124 for a four passenger car for 20-27th July 2020. There are lots of comparison websites for car hire abroad online, so you could spend time searching to find an even better deal. And, of course, once you’ve found the most affordable company always remember to check for cashback too.
I was really worried that we wouldn’t be able to go on a summer holiday abroad now that we need to budget our holidays and reflecting upon our Fuerteventura holiday that cost almost £3000. But, by searching for flights and accommodation separately, eating food from the supermarket and finding budget car hire, we may just be able to have a Greek beach holiday for around half the price!
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