School Holiday Money Woes

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According to research by online travel site Wotif.com, 78% of parents look forward to the school holidays and 45% of families often go away with their kids during the school holidays¹ but despite this, the rising cost of living is one of the largest growing concerns for Australians. Most of us (76%) believe the rising cost of living will
impact our holiday choice over the next five years, with mid and young families most (81%) likely to be impacted².

With all this to consider, Wotif has looked into the ‘hacks’ parents admit to doing in order to holiday with their family, with many Aussie parents going to extreme lengths to ensure they can provide their kids with holiday memories:

  • 55% have lied about their kid’s age in order to get a freebie while travelling¹
  • 22% have snuck their kids into accommodation without paying for them¹
  • 63% of parents would rather take their kids out of school to travel rather than wait for the expensive school holiday period²
  • 38% have chucked a sickie to take a few extra days off with the kids during the school holidays¹
  • 48% have travelled interstate to avoid their own states school holidays, to try and beat the crowds and save some cash¹
  • 25% have taken their family or kids with them on a business trip that happened to coincide with the school holidays¹

Wotif Travel Expert and mother of two primary-school-aged children, Amanda Behre said: “Travel is such a rich learning experience for our kids. By travelling, kids get to explore a new setting and see, hear, taste, and touch things they would not usually find at home. But with economic issues the most important problem facing Australians³, we also understand the financial cost of travel can feel overwhelming.”

“Our advice is to remember that in the eyes of a child, it’s the little things that count. Whether it’s spending hours playing in the resort pool, the novelty of staying in a lush hotel bed, or the games you play in the car, families don’t need to break the budget or travel far to get away with the kids. A holiday can be as simple as a beach break a couple of hours up the coast, or even a staycation in a city hotel for a night or two.”

Top Victorian suburbs or towns, according to Wotif.com (excluding capital city areas

  1. Falls Creek
  2. Ballarat
  3. Mount Buller
  4. Mansfield
  5. Bright

Wotif’s Top Five Holiday Hacks for Parents

1Look beyond cheap airfares: While you might find a great airfare, do your research and look beyond the first part of your holiday. Check out the family accommodation within the region, to ensure there’s availability over your travel dates that align with your budget.

2Apartment vs. Resort accommodation: While apartments can provide great value for families, it’s worth weighing up the facilities you have access to when staying at a resort or hotel. Resorts often include pools, tennis courts and kid’s playground making up hours of entertainment. In an apartment, the kids may get a little restless, leading you to spend more money on activities in the town or city you are visiting.

3Search for value-adds or kids stay free: Keep an eye out for hotel inclusions like free breakfast or parking. On Wotif you can choose to find these added extras by ticking the options in the ‘amenities list’. The other thing to consider is that many hotels and resorts offer fantastic savings for families, particularly destinations such as Fiji and Bali. For example, kids under 12 stay free at the Radisson Blu Resort Fiji.

4Activities: Most cities have joint attraction discounts giving you discounted admission to a number of local activities and attractions. An example on Wotif.com/activities is the Go Oahu Card. Not only can you make savings of close to 30%, you can jump the queue to many of the key attractions.

5Be flexible with dates: If you can and you have permission from your child’s school, consider travelling outside of school holiday dates. For example, opting to travel to The Murray one month after the school holidays in May could save you almost 15% on your family accommodation(5).


(1) Based on responses from more than 1,200 Australian parents via www.wotif.com/vc/blog from 21 March 2018 – 26 March 2018.
(2) Wotif’s Wot’s Your Journey Report: The Leading Edge were engaged by Wotif to conduct research into understanding Australian travellers. The study was conducted across August to September 2017 and consisted of two components: Online Community of 40 Australian travellers 2. Online Survey completed by a nationally representative sample of 1,036 Australians travellers (who had all travelled and stayed in paid accommodation in the last 2 years on leisure holidays). The survey was conducted online amongst members of a permission- based panel, between 23rd and 29th August 2017. After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Data was weighted to National Representative proportions to reflect the age, gender and residential location of Australian travellers.
(3) Sourced from Roy Morgan Research released 6 March 2018 – www.roymorgan.com/findings/7504-most-important-problems-australia-the-world-february-2018-201803051043
(4) Based on family accommodation demand for VIC destinations on Wotif.com between 9 April 2017 and 9 April 2018 for travel dates from 8 April 2018 – 21 April 2018.
(5) Based on the average daily rate for 3 – 5 star-rated and self-rated accommodation on Wotif.com between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017 for travel from 9 April 2018 – 23 April 2018, compared to travel from 14 May 2018 – 28 May 2018.

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