Make the most of your precious time off...

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School holidays can be a challenging time for many families as they need to juggle work, holidays and time together. It is also when many get into debt chasing their desires and showering those they love with gifts with gifts. But the time people spend together can be more valuable than anything they buy in a shop – and with a little planning does not need to break the bank.

The owner of the byokids.com.au online travel agency, Leah Squire, is a fan of package holidays as an ideal way to save money. “Generally, package deals are better value for money. They may sound expensive but if you really did the sums and added in activities, food and drinks, it can work out to be good value and save a lot of stress.”

Squire says packages generally mean wholesale air and land rates as well as airport transfers and breakfast.

It may be too late for this holiday but Squire’s tip for planning the next one is to seek out resorts where kids can stay or eat for free. “A kids-eat-free offer can make a huge difference if you have a couple of kids who are big eaters.”

If you are planning a long drive these holidays, packing plenty of snacks and a picnic lunch will save having to open the wallet every time you stop for petrol, and fortunately, there are websites that specialise in last-minute bookings for hotels and other holiday accommodation options such as bed-and-breakfasts and apartments. They include wotif.com.au, lastminute.com.au, laterate.com, Stay247.com, Holidayswithkids.com.au and Ubid4rooms.com.au, and have a growing number of options to choose from at prices that would suit most budgets. The rates vary depending on a hotel’s booking schedule for different dates and may or may not differ considerably from the actual “rack rate” but they are worth checking.

While most great deals over Christmas and for the New Year’s celebrations may have already gone for places on the coast, there are plenty to be had in the capital cities and inland. And what child would turn down a night under the stars in a tent with a campfire and marshmallows?

Although we all try to plan and save for the added expenses at this time of year it is always difficult trying to cover all the expenses at a time when you may be taking leave and not receiving salary. Sometimes it’s hard to access extra funds due to low income, poor or bad credit rating, low savings or past defaults. ClubMoney can help when you need it the most by providing fast cash loans or short-term payday loans, large or small, to those in need. The terms of the loan are transparent and tailored to suit everyone’s individual circumstances. This highly regulated service means that Australians can apply for a loan to suit their needs and can plan and save at this very expensive time of year. The terms of the loan are transparent, and clients know the exact amount of their repayments, the costs involved, and any default fees applicable.

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