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Budget Family Holidays
Finding a holiday for the whole family on a budget can be a challenge – particularly during the summer vacation when package holiday prices and hotel rates hit a premium.
But there is a way to get away from it all without spending a fortune – head off for a family-friendly hostel holiday this summer and you’ll get much more for your money!
Hostels aren’t just for backpackers and students – modern budget accommodation is clean, comfortable and perfect for families travelling on a budget. Here’s our pick of affordable family breaks in Europe this summer!
For more information on what makes a good family hostel, read our introduction to budget family accommodation.
Head to the Countryside
Staying in the countryside is usually less expensive than those prime beach-side locations in Europe, and you’ll have much more open space for games and picnics without worrying about sand in your sandwiches!
Where to go: Fussen is a small town in the Bavaria region of Germany. Surrounded by a picture-perfect landscape of mountains and lakes, it’s perfect for activities and sports. Try cycling and horse-riding, or windsurfing and swimming in the lake – an excellent substitute for the sea...
How to get there: Cheap flights (around €65pp return from London with Aer Lingus) run regularly to the nearby major city of Munich, and from there it’s an easy train ride to Fussen.
Where to stay: With stunning Alpine views and private rooms catering specifically for families, House L.A. is a bargain at €18 pppn.
Total holiday cost*: €191pp
Where to go: The walled town of San Gimignano in Italy is a beautifully preserved medieval relic in the heart of the Tuscan countryside – excellent for culture, relaxation and wine-tasting (for mum and dad, of course).
How to get there: The nearest airports are Florence or Pisa (from €100pp return with Airborn Direct from London), both of which are accessible by train or car.
Where to stay: A few kilometers outside the town, La Moraia is a lovingly restored farmhouse with rooms from €19 pppn. There’s a swimming pool and tons of outside space perfect for families – you’d hardly need to leave...
Total holiday cost*: €233pp
Explore New Destinations
Spain and Greece might be the iconic summer holiday destinations, but other countries along the Mediterranean offer the same fantastic coastlines and guaranteed sunshine for a fraction of the cost.
Where to go: The unspoiled island of Hvar, off the edge of Croatia, is a paradise of sparkling blue seas, palm trees and affordable restaurants.
How to get there: Fly London to Split (from €200pp return with Thomas Cook) and take the ferry from the mainland or make the train journey from the capital Zagreb for further savings (around €150pp with Airborn Direct)
Where to stay: Curin Hvar Guesthouse, on the west side of the island, has family rooms from just €9.15 pppn.
Total holiday cost*: €289pp
Where to go: Bulgaria might not be the first place that springs to mind for a beach holiday, but its long stretch of coast is a great place to enjoy the sun, sand and sea on a budget. Varna is the largest resort on the Black Sea and has plenty of entertainment to offer as well.
How to get there: Fly direct from London to Varna (€225pp return with Air Travel Consultants).
Where to stay: X Hostel has a lively atmosphere in the middle of Varna, with activities, bars and restaurants on your doorstep. Rooms start at €11 pppn.
Total holiday cost*: €269pp
*based on a family of four sharing a private room for 7 nights