Family holidays for under $1,000

Every year, the same battle.

Every year, the kids sit around during their school holidays (they get so many of them) and passive-aggressively demand your undivided attention and a solution to their boredom. Yet, forking out for annual trips to Disneyland just isn’t an option.

Hence the school holiday oasis that is getaways for under $1,000.

While a grand won’t get a family of four overseas – it might, but it won’t get you back – there are plenty of options in Australia you can plan for this holiday break. It’s called a staycation.

The first step is to book now. Right now.

The sooner you can book in your transport and accommodation during the school holidays the better, as parents will invariably panic at the last minute and scramble to get those trains, flights and motels organised.

Remember that if you splash out on accommodation, you may have to take a bus to your destination. Or if you’re planning on a week full of activities, it might be best to aim for an accommodation option that involves staying with family and trading off your kids’ dishwashing capabilities as payment for the favour.

Here are a couple of options, right in your backyard, that will get you away from the daily grind, and keep those monotonous drones of “I’m bored!” at bay.

For that tropical feeling, head over to Darwin. The city is so warm that it could almost pass for an overseas holiday destination, as this spot is even closer to the equator than New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

Darwin is prime real estate for an Aussie staycation as the weather often has that mesmerising effect that puts everyone into the holiday mode as soon as you arrive.

Darwin’s deckchair cinema is a fan favourite, operating nightly and open to anyone with a lawn chair. It’s open seven nights a week, has food and drink vendors on site and has plenty to offer the whole family.

The Leanyer recreation park is a great one for the kids too and is well equipped to handle the school holiday rush.

Even if you’ve been to Queensland before, it’s pretty unlikely you’ve been everywhere in the state.

The Great Tropical Drive is an ideal option as you can mix and match your travel and accommodation options to suit your budget. You could even hire a campervan and make a real adventure of it. This will take you past the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, Hinchinbrook Island and the Undara Lava Tubes.

Alternatively, head to the Gold Coast and spend a week relaxing on some of the most idyllic beaches in the world. Not only will the beach cost you nothing more than the price of a couple of bottles of sunscreen, it’ll finally give you a chance to read that book you’ve been ignoring.

For a quick getaway in our own back yard or a lengthy adventure abroad, be sure to pack some peace of mind with Virgin Travel Insurance.