Having a big family with a lot of kids is something that is pretty wonderful. However, it doesn’t come without its challenges. One of those can be finding the finances to do things like take day trips, eat out, and go on vacation. Things that smaller families may not have to think so hard about, or plan so much for.

Although the thought of going out or holidaying without the kids is appealing from time to time, we never really enjoy ourselves when we are away from the kids for too long. This may be guilt, it may be missing them, but mostly it is fear of what they might be getting up to without us to keep a lid on things.

Luckily, there are some ways that even the largest of families can save for that dream vacation.

Be realistic

Applying realism to any given plan is a skill that the momma of a large family learns pretty early on. Otherwise, they might not make it through the day with their sanity intact. Happily, it’s definitely a skill that can be applied to saving for a family vacation too, as you will need to pick somewhere fabulous but also financially accessible for the whole family.

Yes, you may have always dreamed of going to Europe, maybe walking the streets of Paris, climbing the Eiffel Tower or visiting Champs-Élysées. However, you have to consider whether it is a trip that is worth taking the entire family on, or whether you could you spend less money, and so have to save less in order to go on a different vacation. One that just might be more fun for most of the people involved too.

Minimize your spend on bills

There are often costs that can be cut here and there on outgoings. The money saved can be put towards a family vacation without you having to feel the pinch. One such cost is the student loan repayment that your or your other half may be making. Did you know that you can potentially reduce the monthly payments on this by heading to sites like refinance student loan and educating yourself on how to get refinanced? This could leave additional cash free each month to be added to your vacation fund.

Another way that you can save money on your monthly outgoing is to look at the other debts you have like credit cards, and see whether you can get them consolidated into a single monthly payment. A payment that could be a lot cheaper than the sum of the ones you are paying out now, and so could free up a significant amount that can be added to your family’s vacation savings.

If you choose to go this route be careful to put the extra money away and not to run up your credit card bills.

Shop the offers and deals

Next, don’t forget that like anything else vacations are a commercial industry and that means prices fluctuate up and down. It also means that there will be sales and offerings that run at different periods in the year, so to get the best value for money as this post at buzzfeed.com recommends you need to time when you book your vacation. Shopping around for holidays in the sales can save you money.

January, is a great time to book a family break, as many providers are offering discounts and also only require a small deposit to secure your booking. Of course, for those of us with big families, it does mean that we will have to have done the saving the year before to book at this time, or we risk adding another cost to a possibly already strained monthly budget.

Save Safely

If you can, try not to save the vacation money in your regular bank account. If you are like me, you’ll leave the extra money in the bank, get to the end of the month and use the excess to more easily cover the days until you next get paid.

Either open a savings account, so you actually have to take from your holiday fund, save the cash at a secure place at home, or even better give the money to a trusted relative to keep for you. Nothing stops me touching the savings like having to call up and ask for my money!