"But don't worry... with a bit of forward-planning and a few clever tricks it’s possible to slash the cost."
We asked Nowottny and Netmums editor in chief, Anne-Marie O'Leary to share their best pieces of advice for saving money on your holiday bookings.
1. Spend time researching.
It can be hard to resist the urge to get your family holiday booked as soon as possible to avoid having it hanging over you.
But deciding to book without having done research can hike up the cost.
O'Leary's advice: Do your research.
"The same holiday varies wildly in price according to who you book it through," she told HuffPost UK Parents. "Surf around for the best deal on the internet."
Another important tip is to clear your cookies/cache on your computer before making a final booking. Some websites are able to see that you have visited that web page before and might up the cost.
2. Choose your destination carefully.
O'Leary said the cost of living in certain countries that aren't in the Euro can be cheaper and you will get a lot more for your money.
"Croatia, Bosnia, Poland and Bulgaria all have beaches, plenty to explore, and your money will go a lot further," she said.
3. Be mindful of when you place your booking.
Many parents place great emphasis on the dates of their holiday when looking for a good deal, but O'Leary said it's also best to pay attention to when you're making the booking.
"For a good deal, parents should book either well in advance or last minute," she explained.
"But remember, booking last minute usually means compromising on where you can go and travel times."
4. Save on flights.
Nowottny shared a tip many users of MoneySavingExpert use to save on flights. It involves booking the wrong date on Easyjet.
He explained: "This counterintuitive trick can help cut the cost of flying during the school holidays (though always use comparison sites to check another airline is not cheaper).
"Easyjet’s Flexifares let you switch dates by a few weeks without paying anything extra. So you can book a Flexifare on the same route at a less busy period (e.g. term time), then after 24 hours move the date you actually fly up to one week earlier or three weeks earlier.
"This trick can potentially save families hundreds of pounds."
5. Consider house-swapping.
Do you know friends or relatives who live abroad or have a property overseas and would be happy to house swap?
Netmums advised asking them to swap houses - even if just for a weekend - to save on accommodation costs.
6. Package or go it alone?
Nowottny said in many cases, package holidays can be cheap, especially in the last two weeks of the summer holidays.
He said: "If you’re simply after a sunny getaway in a traditional holiday resort, the good old-fashioned package holiday may still smash booking separate flights and hotels.
"Waiting until the last two weeks of the summer holiday when demand goes down can help slash the cost further."
However O'Leary said parents shouldn't always assume the package option is the best one. If you are willing to put in the legwork, do your own research by looking at flights and accommodation to see if you can make it cheaper by doing it yourself.
7. Discuss with other parents.
O'Leary advised asking around for recommendations. In many cases, other parents will be aware of great family holiday spots with family-friendly companies at reasonable prices.
"There's a reason the Netmums travel listings are so popular," she said.
"Mums know which holidays represent value for money with their own families, so read what they've said in our travel listings and ask in forums for advice before you book if you're in need of any further help.
"You're bound to find someone who's been there who can give you some first hand insider knowledge."
8. Pre-book essentials.
Nowottny advises parents to pre-book as many essentials as possible - car hire being one you can dramatically save on.
"What costs £8 per day months ahead can be £28 per day just before you go," he said. "So booking early’s crucial.
"Use comparison sites like Skyscanner, TravelSupermarket and Carrentals to find the cheapest price, watch out for fuel policy 'stealth' charges and ignore hire firms’ fear-sold excess insurance policies - you can get your own standalone cover instead for as little as £2 per day."
9. Pre-book activities for kids, too.
They might not be essential, but pre-booking activities for children could be a lifesaver when it comes to cutting costs.
It is possible to save on day trips by looking into prices before and comparing the "pre-book" and "on the day" charges.
"Don’t let theme parks take the mickey," added Nowottny.
"For example, if you’re off to Orlando, then whether the kids are clamouring for Disney, Universal or Seaworld, grab cheaper tickets in advance."
10. Ensure you get the best currency rates.
Nowottny said parents can get unbeatable travel money rates by getting a specialist overseas credit card such as Halifax Clarity or Creation Everyday.
He said: "It's a no-hassle way to smash even the best bureaux de change rates – you can spend in every country at the same near-perfect rate the banks get.
"Only do this though if you pay them off in full each month."
Even if you don't go for one of these options, there is one piece of money saving advice all the experts agree on: don't buy your currency at the airport.
“We’re seeing a trend in families seeking out more authentic travel experiences that will inspire rather than distract their children,” says Tom. “There are plenty of unexpected destinations that are kid-friendly without being completely kid-focused that offer incredible experiences that will excite kids and grown-ups of all ages. Follow in the footsteps of Darwin himself and visit the Galapagos Islands—perfect for any budding zoologist. Heading to Australia? Try going walkabout with Aboriginal tribes in Australia. Or if you fancy a safari then why not meet the young Massai and learn of their ‘rites of passage’— even in our well-travelled world, there are still opportunities to find truly unique experiences, as long as you know where to look.”
“Sometimes just getting your family out of the door can feel like an impossible task, let alone planning an entire holiday. This is where travel specialists come in,” says Tom. “For example we make sure that every single visa, airport transfer, flight and hotel is booked and ready to go so that all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.”
“The new generation of family traveller is not boxed in by perceived limitations, but even the most intrepid traveller needs to do their research”, warns Tom. “Life is full of unexpected twists and turns and you don’t want to arrive in your destination to find yourself stuck in the monsoon season or in the middle of an unwanted national holiday.”
“Nothing brings a family closer than a thrilling physical challenge and in our internet age we’re seeing an increasing number of parents eager to get to get their children to ditch the computer games and explore the great outdoors. From jungle trekking in Borneo to hiking the cracks and boulders of Yosemite National Park, there are plenty of exhilarating trips to choose from these days.”
“For a trip that your children will truly cherish forever, why not try giving them a new perspective or introduce them to a new sport?” suggests Tom. “Experiences that can ignite new passions and hobbies.”
“A safari is a classic option for that big family adventure but if you truly want to capture their imagination then give them a safari holiday with a twist. Swap your traditional 4x4 for a quad bike and skid across the plains of South Africa or grab a canoe and see the Big Five in action from the water in the magnificent Selinda Spillway in Botswana—there’s nothing better than ending the day hotly debating your favourite wildlife encounters of the day.”
“There’s no need to wait until children are walking and talking to take that trip of a lifetime—there are plenty of resorts and hotels that offer spectacular kids club facilities to keep the younger travellers entertained and give you a well-deserved rest.”
“One of my favourite choices of holiday for 2013 is the quintessential road trip. For kids that are happy in a car, America’s West Coast offers the ideal combination of adventure and incredible scenery. From behind the bars of San Francisco’s Alcatraz to the majesty of Big Sur, the constant change in scenery is sure to keep the whole family entertained. You can even make the obligatory day trip to Disneyland and be back sipping cocktails in Santa Monica by sundown.”
“You don’t have to travel half way across the world to create a family holiday that will stick in the memory bank—a quick trip or city break can offer just as many rare and memorable experiences for even the most discerning (and tiny) travellers”, suggests Tom. “ For something more exotic, a quick flight to Marrakech gives kids a chance to revel in the chaos of the souk, ride camels, and try their first tagines. “
“As parents look to enrich and inspire their children’s lives with travel, they too often forget to include time to themselves in their busy schedule. A holiday should be just that and it’s important to give yourself some downtime while the kids are entertaining themselves. Indulge in a spa treatment or try an evening of wining and dining in a gourmet restaurant.”