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How to Create a Cheap Holiday for a Family of Five

Creating a cheap holiday for a family of five can sometimes be hard to do! It seems that the world doesn’t cater for larger families like they do for a family of four. However, we have tried and tested a range of holidays as a family of five and have learned how to create cheap holidays for larger than normal families. So, if you’re asking yourself, ‘where can a family of five go on holiday?’ The answer is actually quite a few places. And it wont necessary break the bank!


One of the easiest ways to get costs down when vacationing as a family of five is to camp!

The cost per person per night is much much lower than any other form of accommodation.

Cheap Holiday for a Family of Five camping in a tent
Camping in Charmouth along the Jurassic Coast

We camp for 4-6 weeks every summer to allow us to travel for as long, and as cheaply, as we can. This is most certainly a do-it-yourself option. But camping as a family of five also comes with the option to control other costs such as food too.

As a family you are much freer to maximise or minimise the length of your holiday in ways you aren’t able to with other holiday options. You can also move around and stay in several different places in the one trip! The options are endless when you choose camping to create a cheap holiday for a family of five.

Camping as a family of five
Playing in the tent at Charmouth on the Jurassic Coast

If full on camping is a bit much, you might want to opt for some glamping (although changing the ‘C’ to a ‘G’ often means this is a very expensive option for a family holiday), cabins or park homes in campsites.

Glamping means you still stay on a campsite but have your own cabin / park home. These usually come without toilet facilities. Glamping can be a good budget-friendly option – in certain areas. However, we have found the very best deals are usually in France, especially in the off-season! Glamping doesn’t seem to mean the same thing abroad. Glamping in the UK can be proposterly expensive!

Cheap Holiday for a Family of Five
Staying in a mini park home with no toilet on a campsite in Le Grau de Roi in South of France

Holiday Parks

Holiday parks are another avenue to consider when looking to create cheap holidays for a family of five. Most come with their own night-time entertainment and swimming pools so all ages are catered for. However, this will come as an added extra and you will need to pay for it.

Park homes holiday with the family
Family stay at a holiday park in Kessingland, Suffolk

Road Trips as a cheap holiday for a family of five

In a bid to avoid pricey flights, why not plan a road trip!

Much like camping, road trips offer so much flexibility. Pick and choose where you want to go and for how long.

Road trip through the Pyrenees in France for a cheap holiday for a family of five
Road tripping through the Pyrenees in France

You are in total control of every decision you make and on a road trip the journey is all part of the trip. The destination is just the icing on the cake!

If you are interested take a look at how to create a camping road trip to Croatia!

Ferry Crossing vs flights

Something worth mentioning when talking about road trips is the option to go abroad.

Flights for a family of five can be expensive as you pay per person. However ferry crossings from Dover to Calais, for example, are booked per car so this is a much cheaper way of getting out of the country.

And if you’re wondering what there is to do once you get to the other side, there are lots of lovely coastal towns you can visit all within a 30 minute to 1 hour drive of Calais!

Air BnB

Hotels can start to get really pricey when booking a holiday as a family of five. You will most likely need to book two rooms – thus doubling the cost of your stay.

A way to avoid these unnecessary costs is to book an Airbnb instead. For a fraction of the cost you can book out an entire house. This gives you more space and more options to create a cheap holiday for a family of five.

Free Child Place

If you want to book a package holiday because of the sheer ease of it all, then keep a keen eye out for the ‘free child’ places on offer.

They do pop up every once in a while for family of five package options. This brings down the price of the overall holiday quite considerably. If you have a look and there are none around, just keep checking. Also check all destinations to make sure you don’t miss one.

If a package holiday is what you want but you are finding the family of five options far too expensive here are some tricks so you can get the best package holiday deal for you and your family.

Flexible Dates

If you are able, don’t book in the school holidays. This is probably an obvious one, but this can also include weekend dates around the holidays. If you have the scope to leave Monday or Tuesday this can shave some money off.

Flexible Destinations – cheap holiday for a family of five

Being flexible with your destinations can also help offset costs. Flexibility really is your best friend when it comes to getting the best deal when booking a cheap holiday for a family of five.

Book Over the Phone

Sometimes, holiday providers are able to give bigger discounts over the phone than you can find on the internet. It’s also worth calling to make sure they can’t offer you anything else like a free upgrade, a free private transfer or even a free meal on the plane too!

Off-Season holidays

Here’s a crazy notion. Your summer holiday doesn’t have to be in the summer! You can save so much money if you choose to travel at less busy times of the year.

Off season holidays are cheaper and less crowded, thus making it a cheaper option for a family of five

If you are tied to the school calendar then April or October are great alternative times of the year to find some sunshine. The deals are much better as the season is just beginning or ending. Plus the weather is good enough.

Or another option is have a look if you can elongate any school inset days as these will generally be specific to your child’s school and not a national trend. This means holiday suppliers will be less likely to raise the prices around this time.

Always be on the look-out for a good deal

If you are planning on going on holiday, but not ready to book, start looking around to find out what is a good price for the family holiday you are looking for.

Compare providers, compare dates and compare destinations. This means you’ll know when you find a good deal and you wont need to waste a moment in booking it up!

Search Incognito for a cheap holiday for a family of five

When searching the web make sure you set your browser to incognito.

Gong incognito means that it keeps your searches off your browsing history. When companies see that you have returned to their site again and again they can raise prices because they know your interested in one of their products and likely to purchase. If they can be sneaky, then so can you!

The Day Trip

If money is extra tight, why not go somewhere for the day.

Not paying for accommodation is a massive money saver. A great idea is a day trip to France from the southern counties in England. Or you could drive to your nearest city. Get the train to the other end of the country!

For full disclosure we got the train from London to Glasgow for the day and we also got a plane from Stansted to Billund in Denmark for the day!

Me asleep on the train after a day trip to Glasgow!
A day trip to Glasgow from London meant a very early morning!

Day trips are massively underrated, but this kind of travel provides families with so many opportunities to utilise!

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