Different ages of family need different types of holiday, and with a bit of canny creativity you can find a great budget break to suit each phase, from birth to teens.
Tiny people may be portable, but the stick-em-in-a-sling and go theory is an optimistic one.
What you need is a destination where all the baby paraphernalia is there on arrival, plus baby listening or babysitting services, for nights out.
There are many baby friendly UK hotels, with prices starting from £45 per night. TheWeekenders.co.uk has a great list of options.
Heading further afield now shouldn’t be too stressful, although avoid the long haul chaos of a small child with jet lag.
Key to this age group is a crèche or children’s club so you get a break as well as the children.
Operators such as First Choice offer resorts with free children’s places (book early), inclusive kids’ clubs and inexpensive crèches, to bring your holiday under budget.
Glamping (or glam camping) has seen an upsurge over the past few years, as the perfect – inexpensive – family holiday.
This age group will love the novelty of sleeping under canvas; parents will be relieved they don’t have to suffer soggy sleeping bags and cold showers.
A Lake District tipi sleeping four with 4WindsLakelandTipis.co.uk starts from £430 per week, a bell tent in Somerset from £230 per week (WoodfieldHolidays.co.uk).
House swapping through sites like Holswap is an increasingly popular way to holiday cheaply.
You can also swap amenities such as cars too, meaning you can end up saving up to 80 per cent of your holiday costs.
And you don’t need a luxury home to do it. Everything from flats to houses and condos to cottages are swapped, around the world.
With independence kicking in now, a narrowboat is a cost-effective option for this age group.
Kids will love having private bunks, a different location to stay at each night and the satisfaction of driving the boat themselves (with a little help).
France and the UK both have beautiful canal systems to cruise. A six-berth UK narrowboat starts from £650 per week – try Alvechurch.com or WaterwaysHolidays.com.
By the early teens you’ll all be looking for a holiday that allows you the freedom to do your own thing, with family moments in between.
A villa holiday is the perfect solution – and cost effective if you rent a privately owned one.
Websites such as Owners Direct, offer holiday villa rentals direct from the owners – usually substantially cheaper than villa companies.
Late teens want excitement and freedom. Activity holidays – skiing, diving or cycling – are something you can all do together (without being seriously uncool) or apart.
For diving and skiing holidays, destination is key to budget– try the Red Sea and Andorra, respectively, for good deals.
Breton Bikes offers £195 cycling holidays in France from £195 for a week’s cycle-camping holiday, with equipment included.