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Winter Holiday Tips and Hacks

By Jen Carr, the Travel Mum

Most people focus on the summer months when it comes to planning their family travels, but the winter months are a fantastic opportunity to holiday at hugely reduced prices - and many destinations can give you a dose of sunshine or even a magical Christmas experience.

Here, Jen Carr (AKA The Travel Mum) shares her top tips for holidaying in the winter with your family. Jen’s tips come from genuine experiences, from childhood caravan holidays to adventures with her son, Leo. She's a seasoned traveller who is passionate about making memories without breaking the bank.

My Favourite Winter Destinations

Europe is great for families with young children and it’s easy to bag a great deal during the winter months. Here are some of my favourites:

* Lapland, Finland: Lapland offers a magical winter experience where children can meet Santa, go on reindeer or husky safaris, and witness the enchanting Northern Lights. Consider visiting in January and booking your flights and hotel yourself to experience the magic on a budget. Santa will be less busy then too!

* Billund, Denmark: The birthplace of Lego makes for a great family getaway. Flights to Billund are usually great value, especially in the winter months. Spend some time exploring the original Legoland and visit Lalandia, an exciting waterpark within a tropical aqua dome.

* Centre Parcs, Europe: Skip the UK parks and investigate the European options which are usually much cheaper and great for exploring Europe. Villages Nature Paris is a park located a short drive from Disneyland Paris. Erperheide park in Belgium is fantastic for babies and toddlers, there is a tropical indoor pool perfect for the winter months.

* Playa Blanca, Lanzarote: The southern resort town of Playa Blanca is a great option for families. It enjoys winter temperatures of around 20°C, has a calm sandy beach and lots of family-friendly restaurants along the promenade. There is no time difference with the UK, meaning less disruption for your little one's routine.

Accommodation Tips

When scouting for places to stay, consider apartments or private rentals over standard hotels. Kitchens are a blessing, allowing families to whip up their own meals and significantly cut down food expenses. If you have picky eaters, this flexibility is invaluable. Properties equipped with playgrounds or pools are ideal. We recently took our son to Rome but the only thing he remembers is the playground!

Consider the location carefully. Renting a car is a great option for getting about with children if you plan to explore a lot and allows you to book more peripheral accommodation which is normally cheaper (most airlines allow you to check your car seats in for free too). On the other hand, a smaller place close to all your activities might save you time and money by cutting out unnecessary travel.

Keeping Cost of Activities Down

You don’t need to spend a fortune every day on expensive days out – remember to make the most of the free stuff. Play on the beach, visit a park, find a beautiful hike (with a treasure hunt?) and look for free museums that have interactive elements.

Good luck planning your winter holidays! Remember, with careful planning you can do a lot on a small budget.

Check out Jen's website for help finding your next cheap trip: