We (my husband and I) have been on many holidays without our son lately, yes I am feeling slightly guilty, I don’t like feeling guilty, even if its slight guilt! so I took action!
I booked a small family holiday and flights to Sydney from the Gold Coast. Airlines offer incredible discounts if you keep an eye out, or book months ahead. I managed find a cheap flight, at a decent hour, for a family of three, return tickets for $250. Yes that is all of us! (incl carry on luggage only, but for two days, how much stuff do you need?).
I booked a mystery hotel from a discount website, and it turned out to be the Mecure in the middle of the city and it included breakfast plus, close to central station.
We purchased local transport travel cards, so we can catch all the buses, trains, etc and the major expense was because we went to the zoo! We also spent most of the time walking around, catching public transport and hanging at the huge inner city park. You dont have to spend lots of money on holiday, just explore the surrounding area, close to your accommodation. It can be fun and lead to an adventure!
How to make it happen…
Book ahead you wont get any good discounts if you are wanting to travel straight away
Do your research! Don’t rely on the “Compare” websites, they work together to keep the prices similar, so you think you are getting an awesome deal when actually everyone is making money out of you! e.g book directly with the airline.
But I would recommend using a discount website for the accommodation (there is a difference between a discount site and a compare site, the compare sites get a commission, and the discount site would get a commission, but it is included in the heavily discounted price)
If you are time poor the compare websites would be the best option for you.
Eating clever when away;
BREAKY & LUNCH: Book a hotel that includes breakfast if you can. Buy cheap lunches, just get a nice sandwich, sushi or share a some fish and chips.
DINNER: The Internet is a wonderful tool, use it well and you will be rewarded, sometimes I search things like “best Greek food in Sydney” you will have lots of options, its just a matter of looking at it all and finding something with good reviews. And also fits your price range and suits the whole families dietary needs.
If you are really trying to save money, go for an apartment away from the city that gives you the option to cook your own meals.
An insight into our holiday:
We did have an interesting meal on the first night, my husband looked at American diner type of food, we went out looking for it…Caught a train, walked a few hundred meters, followed the map to a dark alley, with graffiti everywhere, even on the door of the diner. Greeted by a “red light” above our head as we walked in. The walls were also littered with graffiti, lots of genitals, skulls, and phone hook up options, “Wazza was here” and so on.
A simple menu, delicious burgers, freshly cooked chips and just plain naughty tasty (not a diet option in sight) Now all this was with our four year old in toe! If you can get the above picture in your mind, I asked if kids where ok in the premises, it reminded me of something from a rock style horror movie. We had fun, but at the same time I wasn’t gonna stick around for a few quite whiskeys, I was keen to get out of there before we ruined their rocka reputation with small children sitting around. What did I learn? Don’t shy from away from experiences, don’t be embarrassed and just go for it!
Air bnb (stay in someone’s home for a fee) www.airbnb.com.au
Groupon (helpful for food, accommodation, day spas, experiences or anything really) www.groupon.com.au
Livingsocial (competitor to groupon, very similar options) www.livingsocial.com.au
Tripadvisor (great for reviews) www.tripadvisor.com.au
Google maps www.google.com.au/maps