This time of year, all I can usually think about is when I will get to take a vacation next and where it will be. It’s provided me many hours of daydreaming over these last couple months! Now I know firsthand that traveling is expensive, especially with a family. So I’ve put together my top budget travel tips for family vacations to help that goal become a reality for you and your family this year.
Of course when you hear Hawaii, the Bahamas, little flags with price tags probably go off in your head. But you can take similar vacations to different destinations without having to break the bank. That’s why Florida and California are such popular destinations, they’re much more affordable and airfare is actually manageable when you’re flying with a group.
Accommodations are another costly part of traveling. There’s ways to save on this as well, you can opt for a vacation rental which tends to be more affordable than a hotel, or grab a hotel on one of the deal sites such as HotelTonight where you can save on your stay.
If you have a friend or family member with a second home in a different state, see if they may be up for renting it out you. More likely than not, it’s probably going to be sitting there vacant so they’d rather take a little bit of cash than nothing at all. Everyone wins!
Many people think that driving is much cheaper than flying but when you account for the time factor (and the meals that you’ll have to eat along the way, and possibly rooms to stay in along the way as well) it really doesn’t save you much. However, if you are traveling with a large group, it may make sense to take a large vehicle (or an RV, depending on the number of people) and split the cost of gas. Bring along meals and snacks, and if possible, sleep in the vehicle.
If you do want to fly, it’s been researched and proven that Tuesday is the day to buy your tickets. You’ll either want to buy early or late to grab the best deal. I follow several websites that send you airfare discounts as they happen which is an awesome way to grab super low prices on airfare. One website is Airfare Watchdog, and another is TripAdvisor. You can also choose to follow the airlines social media accounts and subscribe to their email lists to be the first to know of any sales.
Entertainment and Dining
No matter where you go, there is sure to be plenty to see and lots of options for dining. Do your research ahead of time to see if there are any options for restaurants where kids eat free on certain nights. Or, you may be able to plan out your dining locations ahead of time and snag coupons online to lower the bill.
Nature is many times our greatest entertainment, so scope out natural parks, hiking trails, bike paths, beaches, hot springs, waterfalls, anything that your kids would love to see up close. It’s usually free (sometimes bigger parks will charge a minimal fee) and it’s a great learning experience for the kids at the same time.
There are lots of ways to save on your next family vacation, it just takes a little bit of research and planning beforehand! But it’ll be well worth it in the end.
Where would you like to take your family on your next vacation?