Budget Family holidays… how cheap can you go?

I can't wait to take the kids to KL
I can't wait to take the kids to KL

Six people, five grand, four countries… one amazing adventure.

Two wines too many and I got us into this mess. I agreed to a challenge, to take my family of six to four countries and not spend a cent over five thousand Australian dollars.

It’s an outrageous concept. Is it possible?

I threw myself into finding out. I searched airfare engines and set alerts and watched prices and eventually scored airfares for 6 people from Sydney to Siem Reap for $1333. In total.

Pretty impressive. And well on track to achieving our goal.

In fact, the more I research and try out a few travel hacking ticks, the more I’m certain that this can be done.

I’ve discovered that one of the biggest factors in keeping the costs down for this holiday is to be completely flexible. Usually we choose somewhere we want to visit and then we fund it. This time our funds are really limited so we need to build the trip around that instead.

We needed to find a cheap place to fly into, and build our trip from there.

There have been a few places that I’ve looked at adding to the itinerary and decided not to after doing the math. They were too expensive.

On the other hand I’ve discovered some places that look interesting and appear to be cheaper. With those factors in mind, I’ve added the following destinations to our trip:

  • Malacca, Malaysia
  • Battambang, Cambodia
  • Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Accommodation in all these places is cheap, even when paying for two rooms, as we do with a family our size. In Siem Reap our hotel costs come to $180 for 4 nights. We’ve saved money by staying with friends in Bangkok and Singapore.

I've budgeted for LOTS of mango lassi!
I've budgeted for LOTS of mango lassi!

So far we’ve budgeted our flights over, all bus and train travel, and most of our accommodation. I’ve taken food and activities into consideration. And we are well and truly within our budget.

We still have five days at the end of our trip to hang somewhere in Thailand. I’m yet to decide where.

And we still need to buy our flights home. That's right… so far we only have one-way tickets.

Can we do it for under $5000?

Stay tuned. And sign up for our newsletter to get tips and tricks on how you can do it too.