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Affordable Family Holidays: 3 Ways to Decrease Costs and Increase Fun!

Updated: Jul 14, 2023


Recently we enjoyed a long weekend away to Rainbow Beach and it was epic! Yes, it was always going to be pretty special... We were heading to a beautiful corner of our sunshine state that has lots to offer and enjoy. What added to the epic-ness of this trip though - the sweet cherry on top - was the cost of it. We all know that things are pricey at the moment, but all work and no play is no good for anyone. So if there's a thrifty way that we can enjoy a family holiday away, you can bet I’m all for it! I’m guessing I’m not alone on that front either - I mean, who doesn’t love a cheap holiday! So I thought to share a little with you about our long weekend away. Specifically, how we were able to keep it low-cost for a family of four, and jam packed with loads of fun (for kids and parents!)

Climbing the sandy cliffs of Rainbow Beach and enjoying the view isn't a kids-only activity... fun for young and old!
Who said climbing the sandy cliffs at Rainbow Beach was a kids-only activity? Fun for young and old!

So, let me tell you about it and the 3 ways we love to do affordable family holidays - that are not only low-cost, but super duper fun!

1. Holiday with a crew!

We love a shared holiday away with friends and family. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but we’re big fans of crew holidays for these reasons:

  • Kids Playtime - The more kids the merrier! Our kids love playing with friends and can go for hours without asking us for anything! They’re so entertained and engrossed in playtime that they don’t want it to stop. Which means we parents get to enjoy some downtime while the kids are social - deeping their friendships and creating lasting memories together. It’s a win-win all round!

  • Friends - Parents get to hang out too! Belly laughing so hard until you cry, while enjoying drinks and hilarious banter with friends is so enriching! The connection and fun to be had when holidaying with people you love… it’s the best!

  • You share the cost too! Securing comfy accommodation in a prime location that you can split between the families holidaying together can cut costs down significantly! For this trip, camping was an option, but after travelling north in traffic from Brisbane, setting up a tent and campsite at 9pm at night wasn’t too appealing. So booking an AirBnB for three nights, at less than $240 per family was fantastic!

2. Share the Chef Duties Anyone else ever had that experience of going away on holidays with kids and feeling like you’re doing all the same stuff, but just in a different location? Like cooking in the kitchen and feeling like an on-call chef 24/7?

Well, not when you’re with a crew. We’ve been doing this for a while now and we all love it...

Before we head off on a holiday, each family chooses what meal they're going to be responsible for over the course of the trip - will it be breakfasts, lunches or dinners?

Then once you’ve locked in what meals you're covering, that’s all you need you shop and pack for. Sharing meals means less meal planning beforehand, and less cooking while you’re away. Not only does it save money, there’s something special about sharing meals and eating together. Plus, no one ever goes hungry and no one feels like they’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day. It’s great!

3. Pick a location where you can maximise fun and reduce the costs Locations with plenty of outdoor adventure opportunities and budget accommodation options (like camping or larger holiday homes) are always crowd pleasers for group holidays.

Rainbow Beach had it all for us on this trip… Beach, Bush, Forest … Lots of different locations to explore with loads of free outdoor activity fun!

We climbed sandy cliffs, flew kites, threw glider planes, played beach cricket, searched for coral and got the boogie boards out at the beach.

Went 4WDriving through the bush and magical forests. Saw roaming goannas and only required one rescue mission after I got us stuck in the mud (whoops!)... another benefit of travelling with friends!

There was also a spontaneous barefoot trek up to the lighthouse at Double Island Point. Barefoot wasn't the best idea (piggybacking children while wobbling over rocks hurt), but we live and learn! Thankfully the spectacular views from the lighthouse and headland were worth it!

There were so many free and fun activities for everyone to enjoy! The kids absolutely loved it (the grownups did too!)

For under $700 for accommodation, fuel, food and drinks, we enjoyed a cup-filling, recharging long weekend away. Such a fun and affordable holiday!

Rainbow Beach was far enough away to feel like a proper getaway, but not too far that anyone had to take big chunks of time off work!

So, if you’re looking for an affordable and fun family holiday that’s near Brisbane (only a 3.5 hour drive north), I can highly recommend Rainbow Beach. Even if you don’t have a 4x4, there is still plenty to enjoy and explore! When we asked the kids what their favourite part of the trip was, they said getting bogged and playing with friends. From the mouth of babes, it just goes to show that amazing holidays don’t have to cost a lot. Creating memories and sharing magic moments with amazing people is free, and that’s just perfect for me!

We all had such a great time that the next crew holiday has already been locked in... Next stop: camping at Kenilworth. We can’t wait!

Do you have a favourite cost effective holiday destination? If so, where and what do you love about it? Let me know in the comments becasue we’re always looking for more family friendly holiday destinations to add to the bucket list! Until next time, I hope you're having an epic day!

Jaleesa x


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