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October 2013

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You’ve managed to find cheap flights and affordable accommodation for an upcoming trip. You’ve scraped some savings together for spending money and bagged some absolute bargains to give your holiday wardrobe a bit of life. Now, how do you plan to travel at your chosen destination?

We’ve created this guide to holiday travel on a budget, using examples from around the world to illustrate what we think is the best option for parents travelling with children, depending on the type of destination you’re heading to.

Car Hire

Hiring a car may seem like the most convenient and sensible option, especially when you’ve got kids; but it can also be extremely difficult trying to negotiate yourself around a completely alien road system. Add in the stress of driving on the wrong side of the road and the situation can be ever more taxing.

However, if your holiday destination is a small island, such as one of the Balearics or the Canaries, you stand a better chance of enjoying the experience of driving abroad. Roads are invariably quieter than on the mainland and because you’re staying on an island, having your own car means you can explore the destination in its entirety.

Car hire at Funchal Airport, on the popular holiday island of Madeira, available from Economy Car Hire, is undoubtedly the fastest way of getting away from the airport, like the majority of island destinations where the way of life is a lot sleepier and buses a lot less frequent!

Rail

If you’ve stepped off a flight into an airport serving a mega metropolis, such as the likes of JFK or Heathrow Airport, then taking a direct rail service into the city could be the best, and fastest, way of starting your holiday.

The Heathrow Express is a great example to use. With services running every fifteen minutes and the journey time between the airport and the city centre the same, this is a fantastic option for quick access into the heart of London. The Express takes passengers directly into Paddington, where it’s possible to connect to national, regional and London Underground services. An adult single on the Heathrow Express is priced at £20 and children receive a discounted fair.

Inner City Rail

Once you’ve arrived in the city, you’ll need to decide how to get yourself around.

If it’s available, we would always advise using an inner city light rail service, such as the London Underground or the Bangkok SkyTrain. Above ground rail systems are arguably better for families, as platforms are less claustrophobic and there aren’t as many horrendously steep escalators to navigate. The Bangkok SkyTrain, or BTS as it is referred to locally, is affordable, fast and the perfect way to explore Bangkok. Cities including Vancouver, Chicago and Miami also boast similar light rail transit systems which are above ground.

For more information on the Bangkok BTS SkyTrain, including a route map, the different tickets available and points of interest at each stop, click here.

Bus

It’s often the cheapest option, but it’s also invariably the slowest. Everywhere in the world has buses and they’re fine for getting you from point A to B. However, if you’re travelling with luggage and children, the bus isn’t the best option for getting you started on your holiday adventure.

Taxi

Taxis are good if you need transportation fast, although when you’re in an unfamiliar destination, it’s difficult to predict whether you’re getting the best value for money or whether you would have been better off taking public transport. For a rough estimation of taxi fares, you can use sites like World Taximeter, although it’s important to remember that the results you get from these services are rough estimates.