Deal or no deal? That’s the question on everybody’s lips, and we’re not referring to the Noel Edmonds show, either.

Whatever happens with Brexit, the question of how to make our money go further is one that faces many family travellers and, whilst tailor-made trips are by their very nature not a rock bottom budget holiday option, there are still ways to save, from choosing where you go, how you travel and where you stay.

Overall, the largest cost savings come down to the destination you travel to and, with Asia offering the lowest cost of living, it’s not surprising that four of our six budget options are located here.

The next largest cost savings relate to where you stay. Just because a hotel or homestay isn’t five-star doesn’t mean you and your family won’t enjoy a thoroughly authentic or comfortable experience; sometimes it’s quite the reverse.

The same can be said for transport, another area where ‘going local’ can sometimes be not only cheaper, but sometimes more fun too.

Here’s our guide to the best budget family adventure holidays.

1. Where? Nepal

Teenagers hiking in Nepal

Trekking in Nepal is a family favourite and we love staying in the simple tea-houses dotted along the way


The world’s most famous mountain chain and the world’s highest mountain aren’t the only things which appeal to the family traveller: if you’re wanting to get the most bang for your buck, then Nepal will reward you richly. Given the terrain, uber luxe hotels are few and far between here, which is all part and parcel of the Himalayan Kingdom’s charm.

What is here, though, is characterful, with a lovely network of homestays, guesthouses and, when trekking, tea-houses, too. You can even stay in a monastery. The road network is relatively good too, and whilst private, air-conditioned transport might be costly, scheduled public transport is comparatively reliable and cheap.

Minimum price for a two week tour for a family of four: £3,800 excluding flights.

2. Where? Vietnam

Homestay in Ban - ideal budget family holiday option and a great experience for all the family

Homestays are a hugely popular experience and wallet-friendly at the same time


Not only is Vietnam one of Stubborn Mule’s most popular destinations, it’s also one of the best value destinations too, offering a huge range of accommodation options from hotels, to guest houses to homestays and everything in between. Inexpensive doesn’t have to mean rock-bottom basic, either: even homestays can offer private rooms.

In Hoi An, arguably one of the most popular (and most charming) coastal destinations, you can save simply by plumping for a guesthouse 3 kilometres from the beach, getting back and forth by borrowing free-to-use bicycles. It’s fun, too!

Vietnam’s geography also lends itself to easy cost savings as you can take the overnight sleeper train on long journeys, saving yourself the cost of a night’s accommodation as well as a domestic flight. And, of course, there’s the food. Street food comes incredibly cheap without having to compromise on taste.

Minimum price for a two week tour for a family of four: £4,100 excluding flights.

3. Where? Sri Lanka

Travel like a local by train in Sri Lanka - budget family holidays

Train travel in Sri Lanka is great value – opt to travel 2nd class as it’s much more fun to live like a local!


It may be THE destination du jour, being the most popular Stubborn Mule destination and voted the top destination by Lonely Planet for 2019, but with great popularity comes a raft of new hotels, being built at a faster rate than tourism can perhaps keep up with. Whilst many of these are eye-wateringly expensive, not all know how to get themselves on the international tourist radar and until they do, offer much cheaper rates. Make hay whilst the sun shines, we say!

Minimum price for a two week tour for a family of four: £4,200 excluding flights.

4. Where? Cambodia

Budget family holidays - family exploring Sambor Prei Kuk

Bring a guide book when exploring the Cambodian temples and save costs on a private guide


In terms of mainstream tourism, Cambodia remains an emerging destination which means that accommodation and transport are costed low to attract more people.

Not only that but Cambodia has a comparatively low cost of living, with only Nepal matching it when it comes to value for money. What does this mean for the family traveller? Inexpensive hotels (even those with pools, particularly in Siem Reap), wallet-friendly transport (even domestic flights!) and cheap as chips street food.

Even at Angkor Wat, the country’s star attraction, you can opt to have a guide for just one morning and explore the rest of the giant complex by bike on other days, although we’d recommend bringing a guide-book so you know what you’re looking at.

Minimum price for a two week tour for a family of four: £3,800 excluding flights.

5. Where? Namibia

budget family holidays - pop up tent on a self drive trip in Namibia

Enjoy the open road and travelling at your own pace with pop-up tents on the roof of your 4×4 (photo thanks to Barney Worfolk-Smith)


Going on safari is notoriously expensive but opting for Namibia rather than its East Africa counterparts can save you £££’s. Why? Two words: self-drive. Not only can you hire a jeep and drive yourselves around Etosha, but there’s no need to shell out for those luxury lodges, either, instead sleeping on top of the jeep in double roof tents. So. Much. Fun! All camping equipment is provided and you can save further money by self-catering, too, although if camping in a lodge campsite, you can use their restaurant if you don’t feel like cooking every night.

Minimum price for a two week tour for a family of four: £5,200 excluding flights.

6. Where? Mexico

Budget family holidays - self drive to Tulum and Chichen Itza

You can self-drive in the Yucatan to all the famous sites like Tulum and Chichen Itza


Already one of the cheapest countries to travel to in Latin America, further savings can be made depending on when you travel. Whilst Easter and Christmas are peak holiday times, go during the British summer and flights and hotels will be significantly less expensive. There are other ways to save whilst there, too. Self-drive is easy, particularly in the Yucatan, whilst along the Caribbean coast, beach hotels which cater for the US and Canadian fly and flop traveller can offer discounts which appeal to the budget adventure traveller, too.

Most hotels also offer two rather than one double bed, so if you’re happy to share a room (and/or have no teenagers yet) that’s another way to curtail spend. And, like Asia, street food is as cheap as it is delicious, so load up on enchiladas and tacos without having to max out that credit card.

Minimum price for a two week tour for a family of four: £4,300 excluding flights.

Get in touch for more ideas on budget family holidays

If you’re wanting to know how we can save you money on your adventure holiday, just ask. As tailor-made specialists, we can help create the perfect holiday for you and your family with an obligation – free quote, not just to these destinations but to any place we travel to. Want to know more? Call us on 01728 752751 or e-mail us at [email protected]