6 Secrets For Budgeting Large Family Holidays

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6 Secrets For Budgeting Large Family Holidays

March 20, 2019

A large family holiday or huge celebration with your nearest and dearest is an opportunity to create fond memories and hilarious anecdotes that will be remembered for years to come. You know the ones: your kids always chuckle when they recall the time Grandma beat Uncle Dave at table tennis and he threw a complete strop. That’s what these occasions are all about!

However, as we all know, family magic doesn’t just happen. It may often fall to you to organise these large celebrations and you may find budgeting and collecting the money from people a real headache - there is also the danger that you end up paying more yourself to calm the waters!

Let’s be honest: there’s always a lot to consider when planning the perfect holiday - even if you live and breathe organisation! Budgeting sooner rather than later is always advised and, before you even have the chance to become overwhelmed by the prospect, read our six secrets for budgeting large family holidays.

1. Make a budgeting spreadsheet

Spreadsheets may seem a bit overkill but they’re essential for planning and budgeting, allowing you to track exactly what you intend to spend. Breakdown your expenses by category such as transport (including fuel and parking), accommodation, food and activities and this will ensure you have a clear view of not only how much the total cost will be but, also, how much everyone will need to pay.

Not overly confident about making a spreadsheet? Here's a ready-made one just for you. Download it today to make your planning and budgeting simple. 

Budgeting speadsheet for family celebration

2. Establish a group kitty

When working out what everybody owes, it’s the minor details that can cause a real issue; it’s much easier for everyone to pay an agreed amount. An agreed price-per-head can include everything from accommodation to activities to food. This will make it easy to divide up and return excess cash to everyone at the end of the trip.

Understandably, money can be a sore point for some: for example, your frugal Uncle Phil may kick up a fuss because he only stayed for one night. By agreeing the costs before you set out on your holiday, you’ll save hassle and upset further on down the line.

3. Consider how you want to cater

You want to cater for everyone and, in a dream world, they’d all eat your signature spaghetti bolognese and be happy about it! However, catering is not always that simple. Kids tend to be picky, your Aunt Sue is severely allergic to nuts and your brother’s new girlfriend is a vegan. So, what do you do?

If you’re keen to keep the costs reasonable, you’ll want to avoid too many dinners out. Task the adults with sending you recipes they think will work for everyone. Then, set up an online delivery account with Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s or Ocado (whichever is your preference). Share a collaborative shopping list with a few trusted family members. You can add the basics - bread, milk, teabags, etc. - and they can top it up with anything they can’t live without. 

Expert tip:  Allocate meals to different members of your party and suggest a “Come Dine With Me” competition to make mealtimes more fun.

4. Plan your activities in advance

Nail your itinerary ASAP so you can fully integrate it into your budget. Retreats to the country will have some of the best (free!) activities Mother Nature has to offer, such as exploring nearby woodlands, local walks and trips to the seaside. This is especially useful for any canine family members that have come along for the ride.

VisitBritain have a great resource for finding days out which you can filter by location, budget, season and activity. Additionally, many museums offer free entry to kids, the elderly, NHS or military personnel, students and more so it’s worth scoping out the area.

Evenings are the ideal time for family bonding on a budget: board games and charades are fun for the whole family and, once the small children are tucked up in bed, a bottle of bubbly will only enhance the amusement.

5. Organise carpooling

Select a location convenient for most people to travel to then assign groups of clustered family members to drive over together. This will not just save on petrol money, but is an environmentally-conscious way to travel.

6. Stay all together in a large group accommodation

Family celebrations are all about spending quality time with the people you love and creating memories that will last a lifetime. What better way of encouraging that than by booking accommodation altogether in one of 16 property types from Glamping  to Castles to Luxury Villas. Moreover, it’s often the most cost effective option and will be much easier to split the cost on a per head basis.

For family gatherings, GroupAccommodation.com offers a holiday to remember by specialising in large holiday houses for 10 or more people in the UK and Europe’s most stunning locations. 

Explore our amazing range of properties for your weekend, short break or week long holiday.


There you have it - you’re ready to begin planning and budgeting the perfect family gathering.

Don't forget to download your free budgeting spreadsheet and make your planning easy.

Budgeting speadsheet for family celebration