Looking for ways to save on your family travel budget? In today’s economy, many people are looking to save wherever they can. The vacation budget might need to be tightened this year.
A tightened budget doesn’t mean the vacation won’t be fun. There are many ways to save and make memories. If you are looking to save money on travel this summer, read on for some tips.
Ways to Save on Your Family Travel Budget
Travel in the “Off” Season
Of course, traveling to destinations during the “off” season – such as going to the beach in September – can save a bundle. But there are other “off” times that you may not have thought of. You can save on your family travel budget without giving up things.
For instance, avoiding travel during holiday weekends and planning your trip during a less popular time may save you quite a bit of money. Airfare and hotel costs tend to rise notably during holiday weekends.
Consider ditching the weekend idea altogether and plan a weekday trip instead. You are likely to find much cheaper hotel rates and airfare during the week.
Looking to save on airfare, fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Never fly on a Sunday as it’s the most expensive day of the week for flights. Probably because many take weekend trips and need to be home by Sunday for work on Monday.
Planning ahead can make the difference between a very expensive venture and a much cheaper one. While it’s true that you can sometimes find great last-minute deals on airfare and such, chances are you’ll pay a lot more if you have to buy a ticket or book a room right away.
Last-minute flights can be really expensive unless you find an airline running a great deal just to fill a flight. But then, you need to be able to travel last minute and that’s not always doable for families. If you plan ahead, you can refuse a deal that is too expensive…and you might find that the price will come down since you’re not desperate.
Joining things like DollarFlightClub or Matt’s Flights and getting on their newsletter lists will help as well. They send out deals weekly and you can find great deals that might be for in the future so you can snag them and plan a trip around them.
Keep It Simple
Vacation is about making memories but putting too many things on your plate isn’t a good idea. Don’t overfill your schedule to the point you are tired and worn out. Kids like to have time to enjoy themselves and not be overstimulated by so many attractions.
Rushing around will not only make kids (and adults) tired, but it’s harder to soak in what you’ve seen when you cram in too much in one day.
If you are staying somewhere with a pool, or on the beach, take some time and relax. Soak in the pool or play on the beach. Memories are made in many ways, not just sightseeing.
Avoiding tourist traps can help you save money on vacation. At tourist-intensive destinations, costs may be far higher as merchants raise prices on goods and services. You might be surprised to find how inexpensive a bed and breakfast is, for example, or a coastal cottage at a lesser-known beach.
Opting to stay at an all-inclusive resort might be a good choice for a family vacation. Feeding kids (and kids like to eat) can be a huge expense, so staying where they can eat whatever they want, whenever, is great! This can also be great for parents as they don’t have to worry about where to bring the family for meals. All-inclusive resorts offer many things for the whole family and are usually way cheaper.
Make and Bring Your Own Food
It’s understandable that one of the fun parts of a vacation is not having to cook. However, eating out costs a lot of money. A good, money-saving compromise is to bring your own food for the car trip, and make some of your own meals on-site and go out for others.
Finding a hotel that offers a coffee maker, microwave, and mini-fridge in the room is a huge bonus. This way you can bring your own foods or go grocery shopping and keep things in the room.
Making up a grocery list ahead is helpful; that way you’re not going to the store and buying on impulse. If you make a grocery list according to the meals you’ll be cooking, that will help save money and allow you to plan how much you’ll be spending on eating out.
On a week’s vacation, for instance, you might go out for dinner 3 nights, out for lunch 3 times, and out for breakfast on the day you depart.
Some hotels also offer just a continental breakfast which helps a great deal. Eating breakfast and then taking some fruit or snacks back to the room for later saves on eating out as well.
Check online at the local restaurants as well, as many offer kids eat free nights or other specials. Do this before you travel so you are not spending time online while on vacation.
Looking for a deal where you can have everything paid for in one price bundle may save you a bundle! Some of these packages even include a shuttle service from the airport to the place where you’re staying.
An all-inclusive vacation (mentioned above) may include meals, drinks, and even some activities. Do a little research and see if a package deal might work best for you.
There are many websites that offer great deals and coupons as well. You can check out That Traveling Chick for booking tips, ideas and to book your trip. You can also visit Vacations Made Easy to save on packages and attractions in places like Pigeon Forge, Myrtle Beach, and More.
Everyone should experience a family vacation and there is no reason why it should break the bank. Talk about the kind of vacation you want, make plans, set a budget, and execute the plan. Get the whole family involved because kids need to learn at some point the value of a dollar. Why not give them the chance to see what things cost and teach them that budgeting can be fun. Show them how to save here so they can spend there. Like, instead of going to Disney for one day, they can stay at an all-inclusive resort that offers lots of fun things, for a week, for the same price.
Enjoy your travels, no matter what you do. There are ways to save on your family travel budget while making memories. Making it all Work is all about finding a balance and enjoying life.